Planned Parenthood Action Fund — in solidarity with patients, staff, and supporters — stands with the Movement for Black Lives’ call to defund the police. Defunding the police means investing less in militarizing police forces and investing more in community-based solutions, education, and health care.
From slavery 400 years ago to present-day attacks by police, systems of white supremacy have imposed a public health crisis on the lives and safety Black people. Today, there are far too many examples across the country of police officers strong-arming and killing Black people. Yet certain lawmakers want to continue pouring money into military-style weapons, training, and systems that allow officers to commit violence without consequences. It’s time to shift our priorities.
Instead of investing in systems that brutalize Black communities, we demand that elected officials prioritize public-health approaches that strengthen Black communities. Excessive and discriminatory policing must be replaced with a model that promotes community support, connects individuals to available services, and actually creates safe and sustainable environments.
What Defunding the Police Means
Defunding the police doesn't mean reducing safety, as the Movement for Black Lives explains. Defunding the police is all about protecting and serving communities in ways other than militarizing the police. Defunding the police really means investing in community-based solutions, education, and health care.
A successful plan to defund and divest from the police will look different in every city and require participation from the community. But across the board, Planned Parenthood Action Fund supports calls for national, state, and local governments to:
Shift away from massive spending on police forces that often don't keep people safe, and reverse centuries of disinvestment in Black communities; and
Shift toward a massive investment in community safety that works — including increased funding in public health — so we can all live connected, represented, and free.
Why Planned Parenthood Supports Defunding the Police
Planned Parenthood’s first priority is the health and safety of patients, and that concern doesn’t stop once patients walk out of a health center. It extends to Black, Latino, and other patients and staff of color — including immigrants — who live in a world where law enforcement officers pull them over, engage in brutality, and target them because of the color of their skin and immigration status.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund supports efforts to defund and divest from the police because their continued militarization and brutal treatment of Black people runs counter to the values upheld and advanced by Planned Parenthood: caring for people’s bodies, lives, and futures. Everyone deserves to live in a world where people are equally protected, and have the resources they need to be healthy and safe.
Why Racism Is a Public Health Issue
Public health is built on the principle of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. Police violence is antithetical to that mission.
Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations are joining the fight alongside social justice partners for the basic human rights of Black people. We stand with the Movement for Black Lives and in solidarity with all of our partners to fight back against hate and discrimination.
Planned Parenthood Commits to Advocating for Policies That Will End Police Violence and Systemic Racism
It’s unacceptable that Black people disproportionately suffer from state violence and killings.
Planned Parenthood is committed to advocating for policies that will dismantle the system of white supremacy and oppression of communities of color — including policies to end police violence.
Specifically, Planned Parenthood is calling on public officials at all levels of government to work together to adopt four key proposals: holding police officers and departments accountable, divesting from police budgets, investing in community-based solutions, and ensuring peaceful neighborhoods.
1. Evaluate local, state, and federal budgets and policy priorities. Then, divest resources from policing.
2. Reallocate resources to the health care, housing, and education that people deserve. Invest in community-based solutions and policies that prioritize public health approaches.
3. Enact laws and policies that allow everyone to parent their children in safe environments and healthy communities — without fear of violence from individuals or the government. These policies are necessary to ensure that individuals, families, and communities have the tools they need to stay healthy and thrive.
4. Eliminate policies that criminalize health care, including punishments for people living with HIV and people’s behavior during pregnancy (including self-managed abortion).
In determining exactly how to defund the police, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Thankfully, examples of successful efforts to defund the police demonstrate what’s worked. And one thing is certain: True reform requires community participation.
The fight to ensure that the humanity and dignity of Black people's lives are valued, seen, and believed is an integral part of the Black Lives Matter movement — and it's a fight for which Planned Parenthood is unapologetic in its support.
We must demand accountability, justice, and an end to the inequity that continues to define every moment of life for Black Americans. We are fighting for a future where Black people have the right to live their daily lives without fear of violence; make choices about their bodies without fear of persecution; and access sexual and reproductive health care without entrenched barriers.
Join Us in the Fight for Justice and Freedom
Get involved in defunding the police, creating safer communities and defending Black lives.