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Throughout U.S. history, Black women have organized communities, led social movements, nurtured families, and reimagined fields like the arts and sciences. We know that in the tireless effort to survive, thrive, and care for themselves, their families, and communities, Black women seldom get the care and support they deserve. We stand with Black women and celebrate your heritage, your achievements, your health, and your future.

As we recognize Kamala Harris as the first Black woman to become Vice President of the United States, we are reminded how strongly Black women have shown up and showed out to save our democracy. In November 2020, a record number of Black women — 26 in total —  won elections to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and began their new terms in this year.

Black women’s influence radiates in every corner of American culture and history — shattering records in music, and leading movements that affirm the need for racial and gender justice, sex positivity, bodily autonomy, and health equity. Simply put, Black women forged our path to the present and are leading us into the future.

The Reproductive Justice movement — started by Black women and rooted in Black feminist theory — is at the forefront of the movement for reproductive freedom. From RJ leadership, Planned Parenthood is reminded that our work to provide access to health care and education is grounded in the belief that people should be able to decide their own futures, and that everyone deserves access to the resources they need to make their own decisions about health, sex, and relationships. 

In COVID-19, we face an unprecedented health crisis that has laid bare the vast health disparities in our country, including its disproportionate impact on Black people, who are nearly three times as likely to die from the disease as non-Latinx whites. We cannot forget that Black women have been at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic — serving communities as essential workers, nurturing their own families, and consistently remaining civically engaged. We not only owe them our gratitude, but our commitment to care for them and ensure they have healthy bodies, families, and futures.

Deeply entrenched systemic racism in health care has resulted in Black women, who are 50% more likely to be uninsured than non-elderly, non-Latinx white women, facing barriers in accessing the quality, unbiased health care services and social support they need to lead healthy lives. These inequities often result in delayed or missed diagnoses, higher rates of STIs, and increased breast cancer and maternal mortality rates for Black women. This must change.

Despite being staunch champions of justice and gifted purveyors of culture, Black women seldom get the care, support, or respect they deserve. Planned Parenthood is committed to providing the care, education, and resources Black women need to protect their health and their futures, so they can lead healthy, safe, and empowered lives.

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Tags: Black History Month