Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Columbia, MO – Planned Parenthood expresses deep gratitude for Mizzou graduate student Jonathan Butler’s leadership in working for racial justice for the students of the University of Missouri. Jonathan’s courageous demonstration, combined with the outstanding efforts of Concerned Student 1950, along with other student groups and faculty, have brought much-needed attention to the reality and impact of racism on the MU community.
Butler and Concerned Student 1950 have stood strong for equality, and we are grateful for their stalwart commitment to exposing the oppression of marginalized groups within the University system.
Butler’s hunger strike has ended with the resignation of Tim Wolfe followed by the impending departure of R. Bowen Loftin, and has created the momentum for real change within the University system and specifically at Mizzou. Now there is yet another opportunity to do the right thing and listen to the voices of the thousands of students, faculty, and community members who continue to speak out in defense of academic freedom and access to health care.
Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, says, “We are grateful to Jonathan Butler for risking his life to bring attention to the inequities faced by people of color, women, and other marginalized groups treated by MU leadership as though their issues and voices don’t matter. Too much is at stake for the residents of Missouri to take this moment for granted. In Jonathan’s own words: “This is only the first step, more change is to come.” The clock is ticking for Mid-Missouri women to have continued access to the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion. Before assuming a new role, we urge Chancellor Loftin to immediately reinstate the appropriate clinical privileges to ensure there is no disruption in health care access for the residents of this community.”
“The resignations of the University of Missouri president and chancellor show how direct action can lead to significant change. Jonathan Butler's courageous leadership proves how important it is for young people to stand up for justice. Butler, and the students and faculty who joined him, understand that issues of racial justice and access to health care--including safe, legal abortion--are interconnected and cannot be fought alone. Officials must take notice and take action to address issues of race, homophobia, sexism, and other oppressions that impact the lives of people daily--including reinstating critical physician privileges at MU to ensure Missouri does not go back to being a state with only one health center that provides abortion," adds Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Planned Parenthood is a vital resource for our community and for women and families throughout Kansas and Missouri. We are a trusted advocate and source of health care and education for thousands of women, men, and children. For 80 years, women have relied on Planned Parenthood to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.
Sheila Kostas, 913.345.4635
Leanne Mayer, 913.345.4640
November 09, 2015