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I am appalled at what we saw on January 6 from our country’s capitol. Sadly, after weeks of trying to sabotage results of the free and fair election, President Trump was able to do through force of mob what he wasn’t able to do through the courts. He instigated and used mob violence to continue his efforts to prevent a peaceful transition of power and now we are living those consequences.

What is clear from Wednesday’s act of terrorism is that white supremacy and racism are still alive and dangerous. Seeing a Confederate flag flying outside the Senate chamber underscores this fact. The outrageous insurrection inside the Capitol is a stark contrast with the scene in DC last summer when peaceful protesters exercised their First Amendment right outside the White House and demanded racial justice. Trump directed a violent response, saying that demonstrators need to be “dominated.” This double standard has not gone unnoticed.

President-Elect Biden said on Wednesday, “Democracy is fragile”…requiring “leaders with the courage to stand up” who are “devoted not to the pursuit of power,” but to “the common good.”

We can see signs of change for the better. For instance, in Georgia, two Democrats, a Black man, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, and a Jewish man, Jon Ossoff, have now been declared the winners of the special Senate election in Georgia. Rev. Warnock will be the first Black person ever elected to the Senate from Georgia. We are hopeful that we will now have government leadership at the federal level that supports racial equity, inclusion, and reproductive justice. Importantly, what this means for Planned Parenthood and our patients is a restoration of Title X family planning funds and a federal government that supports access to robust sexual and reproductive health care. This is truly something to celebrate.

The next several weeks leading to the January 20 inauguration and beyond will stress the foundation of our democracy and bombard us with distressing headlines. Still, PPMM health centers remain a safe and secure space to receive health care and we are proud that our health center doors are open for all. The health and safety of PPMM patients and staff is always our chief concern.

We are all in this together.

Stacy Cross
President & CEO, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

Tags: democracy, terrorism