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New York, NY — Today, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund issued the below statement to acknowledge the death and injustice of Sandra Bland —  the 28-year-old Black woman who was found dead in her jail cell three days after being arrested during a traffic stop.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“Today marks one year since Sandra Bland’s tragic death, and unfortunately, the systematic violence against Black lives continues. The over policing of Black people is a direct attack on Black bodies. Last week, two Black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile died after interactions with law enforcement. These deaths are tragic and we stand in solidarity in calling for investigation into these horrific acts.

“As a community based provider and advocate for Black people of all genders - including those who work within this organization — we understand that it is unjust and misaligned with the ideals of our country when communities fear they or their loved ones may die at the hands of those entrusted to protect and serve them. We must not ignore that racial justice is integral to achieving reproductive freedom, therefore this is an important piece of Planned Parenthood’s work within communities.

“We are calling for justice for Bland, Sterling and Castile, and all Black lives who have died at the hands of violence. We stand with the partners and activists who are calling for laws to change in order to protect Black lives, and are committed to supporting those who are fighting to enforce this change.”