This contentious presidential election has taken place in the context of an ongoing revolution for Black, Brown, and Indigenous lives, in a world severely threatened by climate change, an economic depression, and during a pandemic that continues to rage on. 2020 has been a difficult year for many, and we have all faced new challenges in how we live, work, and care for our families, loved ones, and patients.
We recognized that much hinged on this election, from racial justice to immigration to environmental justice, health care, education, disability rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, reproductive justice, and so, so much more. It will take time and effort to not only undo the harms done by the outgoing administration, but to be a more equitable and just society than we have ever been.
The outcome of this election is thanks to the tireless work of BIPOC organizers and activists, especially Black women in the South, Midwest, and Southeast, who have for centuries led grassroots movements to disrupt white supremacy and fight for justice. It has never been clearer that our imperative moving forward is to center BIPOC lived experiences in the work that we do. For some of us at RHAP, that means taking more time to look internally and examine our own biases and positions of power. As an organization, that means ensuring that our strategic plan centers racial justice and that our organizational structure includes all voices in this movement. There is work to be done, and if we learned anything this year, it’s that there’s no going back to business as usual.
We will hold the Biden-Harris Administration accountable to center true reproductive freedom and to follow through on the promises they have made regarding health care, especially reproductive health care. This includes protecting the Affordable Care Act, removing the global gag rule, ending the Hyde Amendment, codifying Roe v. Wade, reinstating the contraceptive mandate, and much more.
Moving forward, RHAP reaffirms the core values that guide our work. We are also committed to the following actions to ensure that our work is inclusive and centers the needs of the communities we serve:
- Listening to and incorporating the voices of our clinicians from across the country, especially in the South and Midwest, where access is most limited;
- Lifting up the work of, taking the lead from, and working in coalition with reproductive justice activists and organizations who have long been fighting for their communities;
- Speaking out on issues of reproductive injustice;
- Staying aligned with the changing landscape of medication abortion care;
- Ensuring that our clinical tools and resources, and in particular our patient education materials, are inclusive and accessible for individuals of all backgrounds; and,
- Broadening the leadership of the Reproductive Health Access Network so that it is more inclusive of BIPOC clinicians, non-physician clinicians, and clinicians who provide in low-access states.
We count on you to work with us to make our vision a reality.