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.
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.
Minority caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill on Wednesday, the 49th anniversary of the enactment of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, aiming to improve health outcomes for communities of color.
Black women already have low and inconsistent use of birth control due to access barriers, and Monday’s Hobby Lobby decision is one more that puts effective care out of financial reach for many in need.
For Black women, the decision echoes a history of employers imposing their religious beliefs on our reproductive freedom.
Women should be free to choose their childbirth experience, whether it be in a hospital or in the woods. But I fear that Born in the Wild will be a disingenuous attempt to suggest that modern medicine ruined childbirth.
State lawmakers and anti-choice activists alike have been working to restrict access to abortion services in Louisiana, employing rhetoric and tactics that are seen by some community leaders as exploiting racial fears in Black communities.
Melissa Harris-Perry’s recent announcement about the birth of her daughter via a surrogate, and the broader conversation about redefining family that she hopes to instigate, could help other women, particularly in communities of color, talk about aspects of their reproductive lives that have previously been little discussed.
Self-love can help build the confidence that I and other Black women need when facing a medical industry that often doesn’t understand us.
As long as stereotypes and racism get in the way of diagnosis and treatment, young women and women of color will continue to receive substandard care.