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Brittany Watts to highlight Cleveland's 2nd Anniversary of Roe Reversal Rally June 24, 2024 at 5:30 pm on City Hall steps...Watts is Black and was charged but not indicted for miscarrying at her home in Warren, Ohio...Activists, elected officials to speak

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Staff article

CLEVELAND, Ohio-Brittany Watts (pictured),  a young, Black woman from Warren, Ohio who miscarried at some 22 weeks of pregnancy at her home and was arrested and charged in January by the city with felony corpse abuse but subsequently escaped an indictment by a Trumbull County grand jury and prosecution will highlight Cleveland's 2nd Anniversary of Roe Reversal reproductive and women's  rights rally. It is Mon, June 24, 2024 at 5:30 pm on City Hall steps in downtown Cleveland.


Watts will join grassroots activists slated to speak at the rally as well as elected officials and others, including Ohio Sen and Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Meredith Turner, state Rep Juanita Brent , County Democratic Party Chairman David Brock, and Dr. Lauren Beene of Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights. Cleveland Councilman Kevin Conwell and his Footprints band will perform as a community service, organizers said.


Roe v Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal nationwide, was overturned on June 24, 2022, a 6-3 decision dubbed Dobbs vs Mississippi Health Organization that  gave states the authority to legislate abortion and forced some states like Ohio to pass statewide ballot initiatives to enshrine the legal right to abortion in the state constitution. Ohio voters passed ballot Issue 1 in November of 2023 but advocacy groups continue to fight for abortion access like Women's March Cleveland and the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus, the organizing groups for Monday's rally in Cleveland that will also include predominantly Black area activists groups.


"We are pleased to have a strong and brave woman like Brittany Watts who has risen above the unjust adversity she faced as a Black woman to stand with us as we continue our fight for reproductive rights for Ohio women," said Cindy Demsey, who leads the Cuyahoga Democratic Women's Caucus and has helped progressive women in the county and state get elected to office for decades.


Cleveland's upcoming rally is part of a National Day of Action on June 24 promoted by Women's March National out of Washington., D.C.


Warren is a small city some 59 miles southeast of Cleveland that is roughly 28 percent Black.

Watts, 34, became nationally known following the miscarriage incident where police said she should have delivered the remains from her miscarriage to them rather than discarding them in her home bathroom. She was the guest of 11th Congregational District Congresswoman Shontel Brown, a Warrensville Hts Democrat, and her mother the guest of Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, a Columbus Democrat, at President Biden's State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.

The Trumbull County grand jury issued a no bill relative to Watts' case, which meant no indictment and dismissal of the third-degree felony criminal charge, a case that drew national attention and angered women's rights groups in Ohio like Women's March Cleveland, the largest grassroots women's rights activist group in Northeast, Ohio.

Women's March Cleveland had called for the felony charge to be immediately dismissed before the case went to the grand jury, saying the charge at issue was racist and that Watts was being targeted by police and prosecutors because she is Black, and for political reasons.

"This case has racial implications for sure and we are pleased that the grand jury saw through the racism as we continue to be concerned about reproductive rights, and racist and malicious prosecutions of Black pregnant and other women in Ohio," said Women's March Cleveland head organizer Kathy Wray Coleman after the grand jury declined to indict Watts, Coleman a longtime Black Cleveland activist, digital journalist and community organizer.

The so-called facts of the case are murky at best, Coleman said.

Watts went to the emergency room some three times before she miscarried but was released in spite of pregnancy complications determined by doctors, who said the fetus could not survive outside of the womb.

Research reveals that Black women and girls who miscarry in Ohio and elsewhere who discard a fetus are prosecuted at a higher rate than similarly situated White women and girls.

Coleman added that "instead of singling out pregnant Black women in Ohio like Brittany Watts who miscarry due to no fought of their own for malicious and selective  prosecutions authorities should address disparities relative to Black women who face disproportionate complications during pregnancy, including higher miscarriage rates, and even death."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy than White women. and, the most read Black digital newspaper and Black blog in Ohio and in the Midwest. Tel: (216) 659-0473. Email: We interviewed former president Barack Obama one-on-one when he was campaigning for president. As to the Obama interview. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM, OHIO'S LEADER IN BLACK DIGITAL NEWS.


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