By Jasmine Burnett, Regional Coordinator for SisterSong Women Of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
The Planned Parenthood New York March for Women's Health ignited a voice that said, "We will not be bullied by the racist and oppressive tactics that the Anti-Choice camp is using to drive a wedge between the racial and reproductive justice movements." The potential cuts in Title X funding and the defunding of Planned Parenthood will pose a significant challenge for poor women and women of color in accessing comprehensive women's health services.
See video from the rally in New York City:
How is it that the anti-choice camp can force themselves in between our legs despite our faces, and exploit the lived experiences of women of color? They are the same people who say that the Pro Choice advocates and agencies target women of color, thereby participating in what they call "Black Genocide."
Yet, strangely enough, they want to take away the basic services that provide women access to healthcare, food supplements, job training and access to grants that would allow them to provide healthy communities and safe environments for their families, but no one wants to talk about that.
Imagine, no one asks how you feel as you see hateful, racist, and oppressive propaganda on billboards across the country exploiting your children and demonizing your choices.
Robbing women of our choices and dividing our communities by creating allies of our men. Never mind, what they are quoting as truth is reflected in statistics that carry the lives of women of color behind it. The National Domestic Hotline just released a report in February that states, "1 in 4 callers report birth control sabotage and pregnancy coercion," but again, no one wants to talk about that.
What faith leader has the authority to religiously sanction a campaign targeting poor women and women of color? We are prepared to fight back with equal or more determination to protect our families and defend the dignity of our choices. While the Anti's are concerned with protecting their way of life, women of color are determined to fight for our right to live in this country with access to resources needed to have a child or to not have a child. This is what women of color want to talk about.
SisterSong and Trust Black Women represent the lived experiences of the women these funding cuts will affect the most. We live in the communities where we serve and we see the lives of the women who will suffer if this funding is compromised. We are not going to stand for it!