Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast acknowledges the pain, especially for the Black community, caused by the racist murders that occurred over the past few weeks. The senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery — and too many others — are horrific and heartbreaking crimes. They should never have happened. Period. We mourn their lost lives and futures. However, it isn’t enough to mourn the individuals whose lives were cut short by racists. We must do more to fight the systemic racism that permeates every American institution — including Planned Parenthood.
The over-policing of Black bodies extends far beyond the actions of individual police officers. It is in our workplaces, our schools, our public institutions. It is in our health care system. It is that same policing of Black bodies that makes the promise of reproductive freedom unattainable for so many Black people in this country.
Racism permeates every structure in our society. As our nation confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, which is disproportionately ravaging Black communities, we must address the public health crisis that racism presents. Public health by definition is built on the principle of saving lives.
There has been no greater threat to Black lives than violence being inflicted at the hands of the state — through the blatant violence inflicted by police and through centuries of policy that have systematically oppressed Black people since before the founding of our country.
PPGC pledges to lift our voices and to work alongside our partner organizations to demand justice for the victims and their families, and to fight racism.
Melaney A. Linton
President & CEO
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast