Dear Monica Simpson and colleagues, I want to be as clear as possible: Planned Parenthood values 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.
All too often, when women of color are concerned about things outside of what appears to be the predominant white woman’s agenda, those things aren’t considered “women’s issues.” But, we cannot tell women of color what issues are important to them.
The recent exclusion of the long-term work of scores of reproductive justice organizations, activists, and researchers that have challenged the “pro-choice” label for 20 years, seen recently in New York Times and Huffington Post articles, is not only disheartening but, intentionally or not, continues the co-optation and erasure of the tremendously hard work done by Indigenous women and women of color for decades.
The persistent focus on the links between “choice” and abortion—the origins of this relationship and some of its impacts—in no way fully expresses or honors the vision or the agenda of reproductive justice advocates.
Black women specifically face a larger wage gap than women overall, and their Equal Pay Day comes more than two months later than the day women’s groups normally highlight.
Black lesbians are hyper-marginalized within their race, gender, and sexual orientation. The rates of poverty and unemployment for Black lesbians means that our society must think more critically about policy and legislation that would improve the quality of life across all marginalized groups.
The withdrawal of public services in Detroit is typically framed as an unavoidable response to the city’s declining tax base. Alternatively, we frame these violations as an active assault against communities of color and low-income families in the interest of white-controlled financial institutions.
The controversial photos that some visitors took at the exhibit are not only troublesome because they disrespect the art, but because the mocking and dehumanization of the Black female body has a long history in our society.
Melissa Harris-Perry is joined by Dean Obeidallah, Irin Carmon, Aisha Moodie-Mills, and David Cohen to discuss how African-American women and women of color are disproportionately affected by limited access to reproductive health-care services.
Although the reproductive rights movement and the broader feminist movement have become increasingly intersectional, there is still much work to be done in centering the issues faced by women who are not white, economically advantaged, heterosexual, and cisgender.