Racism and white supremacy are an ongoing public health crisis resulting in deeply-rooted systemic health and social inequities. Tools of violence have been used to facilitate inequities and perpetuate systems of exploitation, creating racially disparate outcomes that have widespread health impacts on individuals and communities. These tools include policies and practices used in today’s policing institutions in the United States. Policing systems contribute to the public health crisis and have created a critical need for transformation of this system, including redistribution of the resources that feed into that system.
History – and the current pandemic – have demonstrated that Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) are at increased risk of getting sick and dying from public health disasters, disproportionate policing, and xenophobic policies that exacerbate these inequities in access to health care, mental health, employment, economic mobility and stability, housing, food security, and autonomy – including personal autonomy. Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM) recognizes the history Planned Parenthood has had in being a part of oppressive systems. PPMM is ready and committed to change, working to ensure we don’t continue to be a part of the problem, but to be part of the solution. The above disparities are structural and intersectional, having significant and coinciding negative impacts on BIPOC and LGBTQ communities that comprise the majority of the patients and program participants we serve.
PPMM strongly supports the work to end health inequities and systems of exploitation. We will put the patient at the center of our work, from the way we design care and train staff to the choices and plans we make for expansion. We will prioritize how patients experience care, because providing equitable access to health care and sex education helps break down and eliminate stigma, inequities, and cycles of oppression. Additionally, in holding ourselves accountable, PPMM will utilize a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to consciously ascertain the impact of policies and practices on BIPOC and LGBTQ staff.
PPMM’s approach to providing services, how we conduct ourselves internally through our policies and procedures, and what we advocate for in our communities, must be intersectional, honoring that no one defines themselves by just one identity and that all the identities that comprise our humanity deserve to be respected and cared for. This means we are committed to addressing and correcting bias and structural racism so that we can continue to improve our delivery of health care and education. As we do this work, we vow to fearlessly solicit and accept criticism and continuously learn from mistakes with transparency and humility.