White supremacy and systemic racism permeate every American institution, including the health care system. We see it in the disparities within adequate health care access, in the over-policing of Black bodies, and the attacks upon bodily autonomy. For too long we have under-invested and under-resourced in Black communities—leading to decreased access to health care and dramatic health care disparities.
Racism is a public health crisis. Now is not the time to simply call out violent racism gone viral; it is the time to look inward. We must examine how white supremacy of the past and present continue in the institutions we are a part of today — including our organization. We acknowledge how the faults in our history have manifested today, including the implicit bias within our organization, and recognize that this is part of the problem. In this moment, the Planned Parenthood affiliates of California are reassessing our set of values and principles to ensure our health care delivery, education, and advocacy are grounded in a reproductive justice framework that helps to dismantle systemic racism. We acknowledge that for decades, Black organizations and leaders, especially Black women, have been leading the work to advance racial and reproductive justice, and this statement of values from Planned Parenthood in California is in the spirit of their leadership and work.
Racial Justice Values and Principles to Focus Our Work:
As declared by SisterSong, “our society will not be free until the most vulnerable people are able to access the resources and full human rights to live self-determined lives without fear, discrimination, or retaliation.” As we stand on the shoulders of the civil rights leaders who came before us:
- We recognize racism is a public health crisis.
- We support investment in the health, safety, and prosperity of Black communities.
- We demand the acknowledgment and accountability for the pain and injustice experienced by Black communities.
- We demand an end to police brutality and the over-policing of Black bodies.
- We demand the rights of protestors be respected, including a prohibition of the use of lethal force on protestors.
- We demand transparency and accountability from law enforcement.
- We stand in solidarity with those demanding the dismantling of systematic racism and white supremacy.
- We acknowledge white supremacy of the past and present in the institutions we are a part of today - including our organization - and commit to addressing and correcting the implicit bias and racism within our own organization, so we can improve our delivery of health care and education for all people.
- We commit to increasing our work within the intersections of reproductive health care, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice, especially as it relates in the fight to advance racial justice for Black lives.
We acknowledge Planned Parenthood in California has more work to do to prioritize Black bodies, and this statement of values and principles is only the first step in our renewed work to examine the role systemic racism has within our organization and American institutions.
Planned Parenthood believes justice will be achieved when those who face systemic barriers due to social and institutional discrimination have the social equity, political power, and the economic resources to make healthy, autonomous decisions about their bodies, their sexuality, and their reproduction. If Black people do not have the right to bodily autonomy to live their daily lives — or protest the violence against their lives — without the fear of violence or murder, we can never achieve justice, let alone reproductive freedom.