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Defund. Divest. Reallocate. The fundamental right to bodily autonomy—the belief that every person should be safe and free in their body—is not a right everyone shares, as is excruciatingly clear as Black people continue to be murdered by police. 

Breona Taylor, George Floyd, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Manuel Ellis, Rayshard Brooks, and so many more lives were brutally taken by officers who swore an oath to serve and protect under a system adjudicated by white privilege. This can’t continue. 

It is the same overpolicing of Black bodies that makes the reproductive freedom unattainable for Black people in this country. Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawai‘i, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky support the call by the Movement for Black Lives and other Black-led organizations to bring communities together to reimagine policing with community investment at the center. 

Too often, police officers are called to intervene in situations related to racial microaggressions, mental health, addiction, and more. Police departments across the country are using their outsized budgets to militarize their officers, and Black communities are suffering because of it. What if communities came together to decide how to invest in a vision of community safety that works for everyone? 

That's what defunding the police is about — and that's why PPVNH and PPAIK stand with Black-led organizations and Black leaders who have called to #defundthepolice.

Racism is a public health crisis. Public health is built on the principle of saving lives — and the current police system endangers Black lives.

We know that there is no "one size fits all" approach to defunding the police. It will look different across all our communities and we will follow the lead of Black-led organizations in what this looks like locally. 

This is the moment to reimagine policing with community investment at the center—mental health, affordable housing, education, and job training. The system is currently centered around militarized police that values punitive justice. What if all of us could turn to a system that helps and heals people instead of harming them?

Planned Parenthood stands with @Mvmnt4BlkLives and we will be following their lead on the ways we can partner to strengthen Black communities. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch. Together, we must act. #DefundthePolice because #BlackLivesMatter.

Tags: #BlackLivesMatter, #Racism