By Tinashe Chingarande,
Special to the AFRO
A Baltimore social justice organization has committed $250,000 to protect access to abortion and ensure bodily autonomy in Maryland. This was followed by a Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade, an almost 50-year-old precedent on the federal level that allowed women to have abortions without facing legal repercussions.
“This Supreme Court decision is a devastating blow to people around the country, particularly women of color, who will be disproportionately impacted,” said Danielle Torain, director of OSI-Baltimore and Open Society-U.S.’s Leadership and Innovation Program in a media release. “We are grateful for the city’s partnership in this effort, and we hope that funders and civic leaders around the country can come together on similar efforts.”
Local politicians also sounded off about their dismay regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“The court got it absolutely wrong again,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott stated in an email press release. “Men have absolutely no place deciding what women do with their bodies.”
Rep. Kweisi Mfume, (MD-07), echoed the Mayor’s sentiments in his release as well.
“Tomorrow, millions of women will wake up in an America where they have significantly less control over their own bodies,” he said in his press release. “Now stripped of the intensely personal decision-making pertaining to their own bodies, women will be forced into a state-by-state fight on the matter of choice.”
After the Supreme Court’s decision, city councilman Zeke Cohen approached Karen Webber, Director of Open Society-U.S.’s Innovation Program to discuss a collaboration to combat the effects of Roe v. Wade’s overturning.
“Councilman Cohen has been a steadfast partner of OSI-Baltimore in our work with Healing City Baltimore and so many other initiatives,” said Webber. “Collaborating with and other city partners prompted our foundation to…speed needed funds to abortion providers at the forefront of efforts to provide services to Marylanders and visitors from neighboring states like West Virginia where women are no longer able to access abortions.”
Webber, who was previously a director at OSI-Baltimore’s Education and Youth Development Program mentioned that plans, in the future, to support similar funder-city collaborations in other states.
Individuals or organizations looking to support OSI-Baltimore or similar efforts in Maryland or around the country are encouraged to visit the organization’s website.
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