Illinois action blog

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Talking Back to Anti-Choice Racism

A shocking attack on women's choice was launched today, this time in the form of 30 billboards featuring President Obama's face posted on the South Side of Chicago. The billboards are an offensive and condescending effort to stigmatize and shame African-American women while attempting to limit their ability to make private, personal medical decisions. Read Planned Parenthood's statement here.

This coordinated national campaign spearheaded by a Texas group is a reprehensible tactic and is harmful to women in every community who need quality, affordable health care. Planned Parenthood knows that every woman, of every background, takes her health decisions seriously and makes deeply personal decisions after consulting with her doctor and with loved ones she trusts.

Other organizations are speaking out as well. Gaylon Alcarez, executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund, said in a statement, "Women have a legal right to access abortion services and should not be shamed regarding the personal choices they make. Abortion is a personal decision, not a political discussion. Only we, women of color, can speak for our communities. Only we, women of color, know what is best for our families."

Planned Parenthood believes that racism is wrong and has absolutely no place in the delivery of healthcare. Our doors are open to everyone. Every person should have access to high-quality, affordable health care; ensuring this access is critical to eliminating the health disparities among racial and ethnic groups.

Black Women for Reproductive Justice has also taken a stand against the billboards. President and CEO Toni Bond Leonard said in an official statement, "We will not be silent victims in this assault upon our reproductive and racial integrity. Their placement of these billboards in the Black community only further highlights their lack of competency around the reproductive health disparities that Black women and girls face and these groups’ unwillingness to deal with the social and economic disparities of the entire Black community."

We know that African-American women are disproportionately affected by the current health care system which involves multiple barriers to accessing quality, affordable care. This results in higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancy and abortion.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois works every day with women of all background to improve the quality of their health care and to help them keep themselves and their families healthy through education, preventive care, and screenings for major health problems regardless of their ability to pay.
 Technorati tags: Planned Parenthood, abortion, anti-choice,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do the signs say?

March 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Planned Parenthood said...

Sorry about that! You can find a full image of the billboards here. They are truly disappointing.

March 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM  

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