We cannot remain silent in the wake of January 6, 2021. We began the day full of hope and celebration, inspired by the victories of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Senate run-off, thanks to the years of hard work by state activists. Within hours, we watched in horror and dismay as acts of fascist violence unfolded in real time. As Congress began certifying the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we saw thousands of white supremacists seize the Capitol Building of the United States in an attempted coup. We witnessed the stark difference between how leniently these violent, anti-Black, anti-semitic mobs were treated by the police in comparison to how the peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrators were attacked and assaulted by the very same police this past summer. We know that the violence in Washington D.C. and elsewhere is a culmination of not only an administration that championed, validated, and empowered white supremacy for four years, but also a continuation of this country’s legacy of violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We are saddened and angered – but not surprised.
There is no separating the reproductive health, rights, and justice movements from the incidents of last week. The same individuals we watched storm the Capitol are the ones who protest at clinics and health centers, harass clinicians, and threaten the safety of those seeking abortion care. The current President and elected officials in Congress who have validated and incited the actions of white supremacists are the same ones who pass harmful restrictions on health care and abortion care provision that disproportionately affect BIPOC, rural, and low-income communities. These are the same individuals and institutions that perpetuate discriminatory policing, economic and environmental injustices, and other systems of oppression that undermine people’s autonomy to access reproductive health care and to parent the children they have in safe, sustainable communities.
On January 21st a new administration will take office. We have a chance to create change. However,we can not only rely on elected officials in Washington to move us forward. It must come from all of us, from the clinicians we work with, the communities they serve, and through organized action.
The Reproductive Health Access Project acknowledges that the medical system within which we operate is rooted in the very same legacy of white supremacy that has a history of violence and trauma towards BIPOC. We reaffirm to you our commitment to deep self-reflection, deliberate change, and our continued work towards becoming an organization that is truly anti-racist.