(Atlanta, GA) - Statement by Monica Simpson, Executive Director of SisterSong on false allegations against Planned Parenthood as a result of heavily edited videos by an anti-choice organization:
"We are troubled to see that yet again people who want to take away access to abortion and other reproductive health services are using half-truths to try to push their agenda of shutting down Planned Parenthood clinics.
The simple fact is that the people who are out there perpetuating myths about abortion providers are not doing so because they care about ensuring the availability of high quality health services. This is about doing whatever it takes including spreading lies in order to make it so that women can't get an abortion when they need one.
What is clear to us is that they do not have any genuine commitment to the health, safety or prosperity of women of color, our families or our community. Where are these groups when low-income women and women of color are struggling to access health care? Where are their programs to deal with the high rate of maternal mortality among women of color? Why aren't they speaking out about the systemic racism that makes it harder for women of color to raise our children and care for ourselves? Where is the so-called pro-life movement when it comes to mass incarceration or childhood poverty or police violence?
We are already hearing anti-choice politicians talk about defunding Planned Parenthood, including Governor Deal in SisterSong's home state of Georgia. They do not think about what that really means - that they are talking about taking away access to affordable health care for millions of men and women around the country. Lawmakers who have done little to support women of color and our families are taking advantage of these outrageous claims to try to make abortion care even harder to get.
Planned Parenthood is a place where women can find affordable access to the contraception, gynecological care, and abortion services that we need to plan our families and decide when we are ready to be parents. Planned Parenthood has helped people in our community to access high quality care to manage our sexual and reproductive health by offering community based sex education and important preventative health services like breast exams and pap tests. Given the higher rate of mortality for breast and cervical cancer among black women, these screenings are lifesaving services.
Let's be frank, we at SisterSong have called out our friends at Planned Parenthood in the past for not acknowledging the leadership of women of color or including our voices at key decision tables, for not seeing the intersections that exist between movements, and for at times taking credit for work that was done by reproductive justice organizations and leaders. We have spoken out in order to hold them accountable so that we can build a stronger movement because we believe that in the end we have much more in common and that we are working for the same core goal - to ensure that every person has the ability to decide when to parent and to have the health care and support that they need.
SisterSong is committed to building a strong and genuinely representative movement in order to demand and win reproductive justice for all people in the United States and abroad. That means that we must continue to call each other out when we fall short of that vision, but also call each other in and stand together against the forces that are aimed at creating a wedge in our movement and dismantling the progress that we have all worked so hard to make over the years."
Monica Simpson is available for interview up on request.