David Walter Banks

The devastation of the Dobbs decision, which took away the constitutional right to an abortion, came as a shock for millions last summer, but not Monica Simpson. She was ready. Lack of access to reproductive care—to reproductive justice—has been a fact of life in the South for generations. Yet Monica’s groundbreaking leadership transmuted these long-standing egregious attacks into effective organizing, and the attempted diminution of Black women’s lives into a celebration of our strength and a demand for equality for all. Through the advocacy organization SisterSong, Monica has delivered an array of creative, discomfiting, and brilliant programs to reset the language of reproductive rights. As state after state hurries to destroy a woman’s right to choose, Monica is proof of a woman’s right to lead. We daughters of the South and those of good conscience are grateful for her sophistication, proud of her irreverence for tradition, and indebted to her righteousness. And we are a better nation for her work.

Abrams is an author, voting-rights activist, and a former Democratic minority leader for the Georgia house of representatives

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