Fitzpatrick introduces bipartisan Protect Black Women and Girls Act

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) on Feb. 14 cosponsored the bipartisan Protect Black Women and Girls Act, H.R. 7354, which would establish an Interagency Task Force to examine inequities in the conditions and experiences of and study societal effects on Black women and girls. 

“For far too long, Black women and girls have faced disproportionate inequities in education, health care, housing, and economic development,” Rep. Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to establish an interagency task force aimed at improving outcomes and livelihoods of Black women and girls across the country.”

Rep. Fitzpatrick serves as co-chair of the Caucus on Black Women and Girls, along with U.S. Reps. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ). Rep. Kelly sponsored H.R. 7354, and the bill has 28 original cosponsors, including all the co-chairs of the caucus.

The task force created by H.R. 7354 would identify and assess the efficacy of policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels designed to improve outcomes for Black women and girls; make recommendations for improving those policies and programs; cover issues involving Black women and girls in education, economic development, health care, justice, civil rights, and housing; and submit recommendations to Congress, the President, and state or local governments.

The legislation would also direct the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to conduct a study and collect data on the effects of specified economic, health, criminal justice, and social service factors on Black women and girls. 

Data collected on the experiences and conditions of Black women and girls is often insufficient and incomplete. However, information from Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office noted the fact that Black women die from pregnancy-related complications at three times the rate of their non-Hispanic white counterparts, and 60 percent of Black girls experience sexual assault before they reach adulthood. 

“This legislation commits our government to improving the education, healthcare, economic opportunity, and civil rights available to American Black women and girls,” Rep. Kelly said.