PPFA Statement on Open Letters from Affiliate Staff
For Immediate Release: June 19, 2020
New York, New York —
Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The behaviors outlined in the open letters from Planned Parenthood Greater New York and Planned Parenthood Great Plains staff, including those of misconduct, abuse, racism and more, do not align with Planned Parenthood’s standards or our values. The allegations are serious, and we expect the Planned Parenthood Greater New York Board of Directors to hold themselves accountable to their mission and values by centering their patients, their staff, and their community. While each independent member affiliate, not the Planned Parenthood Federation of America board nor management, holds the ability to make hiring and personnel decisions at affiliates, we are taking steps internally to address these allegations. Planned Parenthood’s skilled, dedicated staff are at the core of who we are, and we must stand with them when they speak out about failures to uphold our mission and values.
“Right now our country is in the middle of a racial justice reckoning — one that includes Planned Parenthood. We know we cannot address structural racism or white supremacy in this country without addressing our own. It spills out in the ways we have not yet successfully and publicly reckoned with our history, adequately supported the staff who make our work possible, and in the make-up of our leadership at national and affiliate levels. It ultimately stands in the way of fulfilling our mission.
“Our work demands that we hold ourselves to high standards. We must ensure that Planned Parenthood workplaces are safe and supportive environments for patients, volunteers, and staff at all levels. This includes reckoning with and addressing directly our own internal and structural racism — both historic and current — which harms Planned Parenthood staff, our Black staff in particular. Every person in leadership, including in the national office and affiliate CEOs, must take this responsibility seriously.
“This is the work we must do. As we take steps to address this situation, we reaffirm our commitment to ending implicit bias and structural racism within our organization at all levels. We owe this to all Planned Parenthood staff and the people and communities we serve.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.