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These past few weeks have weighed heavily on our hearts as we witness even more instances of violence against Black people, predominantly unarmed Black men and other people of color, at the hands of police. It seems like barely a few days went by between stories detailing the killings of Daunte Wright and 13-year-old Adam Toledo, the trial of Derek Chauvin; and now three more lost lives: Ma’Khia Bryant, Isaiah Brown, and Andrew Brown Jr. 

Once again, we are mourning with the families of victims of violence. We stand in solidarity with communities disproportionately targeted and killed by the police. We fight against the heinous acts of violence and racism across this country and the globe. We say their names so we may never forget. 

As organizations that have committed to upholding truth, justice, and antiracism, we will continue to use our voice to condemn the systemic violence and discrimination both in Ohio and across the United States. We were proud when Planned Parenthood stepped forward as an organization in a call to defund the police – and that call has only become more and more urgent as time has passed.

The constant re-traumatization of watching similar events over and over – a police officer or officers responding to unarmed or non-threatening situations with violence – points to an undeniable truth: racism is a public health crisis, and it is inescapably linked to these killings. We saw it in Minnesota with Daunte Wright and George Floyd. We saw it in Chicago with Adam Toledo. And we have seen it right here in Ohio, with Andre Hill and Casey Goodson Jr. All their lives had meaning. They all left grieving families and communities behind. 

These feelings can be overwhelming and traumatizing, especially for other people of color. We hear you. We are in this fight with you.

We encourage all Ohioans to explore opportunities to support anti-racist legislation and contribute where they can to mutual aid funds that support families and communities affected by police brutality. The ACLU has created a manual that guides those fighting against police violence by offering actionable steps you can take. If you are a Black, indigenous, or a person of color in need of support during this distressing time, Self Wellness compiled a list of 44 Mental Health Resources for Black people

As a reminder, Planned Parenthood Greater Ohio and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region will always stand with Black communities. We will not have reproductive freedom until everyone has bodily autonomy. We will continue to step forward in transparency to show our support for the fight against this violence. We see you. We value you. Together, we will prevail. 

In solidarity,
Iris E. Harvey, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio and Kersha E. Deibel, president & CEO of Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region.