Theory of Change
If we support and uplift the political and social power of Black communities through advocacy and organizing, education, and resource distribution, then we will build an equitable, sustainable and inclusive movement that centers those who are most impacted, protects and expands avenues for access to care, and attains reproductive freedom for all.
About the Black Organizing Program
Planned Parenthood officially launched the Black Organizing Program in 2019. The goal of the Black Organizing Program is to develop a strong, integrated volunteer infrastructure among Black communities. This program looks to center the experiences and urgent needs of those most impacted by our work. At Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, this program works in North and South Carolina to achieve this mission. We believe that we can continue to build political power, develop local advocacy efforts and uplift the tireless work already being led by Black community leaders. This work includes partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities through our Generation Action campus organizing program, hosting “Shop Chats” in partnership with local Black-owned businesses, and leading community discussions that destigmatize and uplift sexual and reproductive health care issues.
Planned Parenthood and the Black Community
Within the movement for reproductive rights, we must acknowledge the historical ties to racism and ableism — including Planned Parenthood’s own role in this work over time. Historically, women of color — particularly African American women, Latinas, and those in indigenous communities — have experienced medical abuse against their will and faced significant barriers in accessing health care. Women of color have fought and continue to fight for reproductive justice and bodily autonomy. As we are not a reproductive justice organization, our way forward is to acknowledge historic wrongs, encourage open conversation, and work to address racism and ableism wherever they exist — outside or inside the organization. Through this program, we seek to uplift this work and expand upon it to protect the valuable care that we provide for all of the people that we serve.
It’s been 100 years since white women first received the right to vote. For many Black women, that right did not come until the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965. That right to vote is still constantly under threat today, and yet Black women are among the most influential voting blocs in this country. Not only is voter registration and civic engagement a crucial part of this program, but voter mobilization is critical to electing champions for reproductive freedom in local, state, and federal elections. Black women have formidable political power and with collective organizing, we can fight back against attacks on our bodies. Our rights are constantly threatened with restrictive laws, such as abortion bans that infringe on bodily autonomy and voter suppression laws, which weaken the collective power of the Black community in the ballot box.
Patient Advocacy Program
Today, Planned Parenthood provides critical health care services to nearly 3 million people, 17% of these patients identify as Black. In Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, 22% of the patients that our health centers serve identify as Black. The preventive health care services that Planned Parenthood provides — including contraception, prenatal care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, and STI testing and treatment — can help to close the health disparities and create positive health outcomes for our patients who identify as Black. Planned Parenthood believes that everyone should have access to safe, effective, and legal abortion, without shame or barriers — and we are proud to offer abortion services at Planned Parenthood health centers. The Patient Advocacy Program works to uplift the voices and power of our patient advocates in order to hold our public officials accountable and effectively mobilize towards our larger mission.