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Statement by Kafi Rouse, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

“The President of the United States has made his ideology extremely clear: immigrants, people of color, and people with low incomes are not welcome in his vision for this country. Trump spent the weekend leveling attacks at some of our most vulnerable communities in an attempt to manipulate people’s emotions and create a toxic culture of fear. These are just the latest in a series of racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and dangerous strategies meant to white-wash America.

“Planned Parenthood of Southern New England won’t stand idly by as the Trump administration uses hateful, harmful policies that put lives at risk. From terrorizing immigrant communities with the continued threat of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids and deportation to his blatantly racist comments telling four first-year congresswomen—three of whom were born in the United States—to ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came,’ Trump’s words and his administration’s actions are obviously meant to vilify immigrants and put people in harm’s way.

“Our health centers are safe spaces—open only to our patients and their guests. The ICE Sensitive Locations Policy and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Sensitive Locations Policy keep immigration law enforcement away from sensitive locations such as our health centers to enable people seeking health care services to do so without fear or hesitation. We encourage every person to know your rights and be prepared for interactions with ICE officers and law enforcement. You have a constitutional right to remain silent, refuse to answer questions, and contact an attorney for assistance. More information is available from the ACLU and the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA).

“Planned Parenthood of Southern New England denounces these cruel, inhumane attacks meant to instill fear and harm. No one’s health or well-being should be compromised because they are a person of color, a person with low income, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, or because of their immigration status. All people, regardless of where they come from, deserve access to high-quality, affordable health care and a safe environment for their families to live healthy and meaningful lives.

“Our doors stay open. Our 17 health centers in Connecticut and Rhode Island are proud to provide essential preventive and reproductive health services to 75,000 patients each year, regardless of income level, insurance coverage, and immigration status. We know that many individuals struggle to access the care they need—we guarantee that no one will be turned away from Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

“Health care is a human right, and we won’t stop fighting until our patients can safely seek the care they need without fear.”