The Reproductive Health Access Project condemns anti-Black, state-sanctioned violence and the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, and of countless other Black folks lost to the system of white supremacy upon which this country was founded.
We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Black protesters, organizers, and colleagues. As a predominantly white-led organization, honoring their pain, anger, and grief means rooting our solidarity in tangible actions. It means recognizing that this country’s legacy of violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color continues both within and outside of the confines of our organization.
This uprising against white supremacy and police brutality is happening within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has magnified and exposed disparities rooted in structural and institutional racism that have long existed in our society.
Our organization operates within a health care system that perpetuates inequities. The reproductive health field, in particular, has long benefitted from the exploitation of People of Color. In fact, many of the modern contraceptives and medical procedures used today are a result of abusive experimentation on enslaved Black women, testing birth control pills on Puerto Rican women, taking and profiting from Henrietta Lacks’ cells without her consent, and countless other violations of Black and Brown bodies. And today, coercive Long-Acting Reversible Contraception practices are still pervasive in Black and low-income communities.
RHAP’s mission is to ensure that everyone can access the reproductive health care they need to be able to live healthy, fulfilling lives. We will not have true reproductive freedom until everyone is able to live safely – free from all forms of violence and oppression. Fighting racial oppression and centering Black voices is paramount to this goal. We also recognize that as individuals – especially those of us who are white-identifying – we have a responsibility to critically examine our own implicit biases and deliberately center the experiences of People of Color in our personal and professional lives.
RHAP affirms our individual and organizational responsibility and commitment to incorporating a racial justice lens into our work, and we acknowledge that we have a long way to go. To that end, we are:
- Reaffirming our values to ensure that they are the foundation of all aspects of our programming and organizational structure.
- Dedicating financial resources to engage in ongoing anti-racism dialogues in order to implement a meaningful anti-racist lens into our work.
- Having, and continuing to have, frank and open conversations about how racism operates within our own organization and the reproductive health and primary care movements at large.
- Reviewing our current strategic plan to make certain that every program deliberately centers the needs and experiences of People of Color, especially Black people.
- Including People of Color at every level of RHAP by intentionally recruiting and cultivating leaders who are People of Color and examining our current processes and systems to address existing barriers.
- Consciously organizing clinicians to use their power to lift up the activism of reproductive justice and Black-led organizations, and advocate for racial justice within medical education, health care delivery systems, and medical associations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Demonstrate solidarity and take action today:
ReproJobs: White Supremacy at the Repro Office