A Response to an Open Letter on Reproductive Justice and ‘Choice’

To: Monica Simpson, Executive Director, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and organizations/individuals who co-signed August 5, 2014, open letter

Dear Monica and colleagues:

Thank you for the letter that you posted today, outlining how the reproductive justice movement has shaped and advanced efforts to promote reproductive health and rights—and how Planned Parenthood and other organizations have sometimes fallen short in recognizing and honoring this work.

I want to be as clear as possible: We value your work deeply. We honor your past and present efforts to broaden our collective efforts to address the multiple injustices that women face. We appreciate that you push us to do this more, and to do it better. And we hear you when you say that we are not doing enough.

Planned Parenthood has been proud to stand with our colleagues and partners who developed a reproductive justice framework that has contributed to important political and organizing victories—and has impacted millions of women’s lives. The important fights that your letter outlined—from billboard campaigns to Medicaid expansion efforts to ballot initiatives—are battles that we have fought together, with and for women who need us to be strong, united, and focused on our common mission.

I am eager to meet with leaders of national women of color-led RJ organizations to formulate shared strategies that honor all of our strengths. I’m also eager to talk to you about the events of the last few weeks, and what we can learn from this experience going forward.

Thank you again for engaging in this dialogue openly and honestly. I can think of no better way to celebrate and honor the 20th anniversary of RJ framework than to redouble our efforts to work together, and I look forward to continued conversation.

With respect and gratitude,

Cecile Richards
President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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