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(Washington, D.C.) Today, the National Women’s Law Center sent a letter to congressional leadership, on behalf of 91 organizations, showing strong support for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The organizations represent a broad range of perspectives, including advocates of women’s rights and health, health care providers, communities of color, faith communities, and unions, which recognize Planned Parenthood’s critical role in providing health care to millions of American women and men.
(Washington, DC) Sandra Bland was a friend, a daughter, a sorority sister, and a colleague. She was on her way home from a job interview for a position she had just been offered when she was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. She was then arrested and a few days later found dead in her jail cell. She was 28 years old.
The following is a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center:
“Sandra Bland joins the too-long list of African Americans in the United States who have lost their lives in the custody of police. She joins the too-long list of potential unfulfilled and of futures cut short too soon. She joins the too-long list of African Americans whose talents and skills were taken from their families, communities and country.
“Today, we #SayHerName: because we will never achieve equality and opportunity for women while systemic racism continues to put hurdles on the paths of women of color. We must continue to confront the race and sex bias that affects women of color, particularly black women and trans women of color, in a uniquely painful and destructive way. We will continue to #SayHerName. And as the #BlackLivesMatter conference begins this week, we stand in support of the powerful organizing that is demanding an end to the systemic racism that oppresses all people of color.”
LaShonda Davis says, “NWLC took my case all the way to the Supreme Court and won. As a result, other students who are harassed will get the help that I didn’t, and schools will do more to protect students.”
When I found myself pregnant in August of 2010 it only took a quick calculation to realize the baby was due right smack in the middle of my Spring semester of my junior year of college. Everything was fine until the fourth week of class. I was 40 weeks pregnant, feeling like labor was imminent, and I had a midterm exam that night. After I finished the exam, I went home so that I wouldn’t go into labor in the middle of class. Later, I realized I had received only 5 out of 25 points for “Attendance & Participation” for that day. I emailed the professor asking if she planned to dock me the full 25 points for each class I missed for the birth, and she said ‘yes.’ I had two options: either risk failing the course while giving birth, or withdraw. I withdrew.
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When I was 18 years old I visited Planned Parenthood for the first time to get an annual checkup and birth control prescription. This wasn't my first annual exam, I had been to my family doctor before for the same reason, but decided to go to Planned Parenthood this time as a gesture of independence. The difference in the care that I received at Planned Parenthood was clear — there were no funny looks when I told them I had had unprotected sex and I didn't feel judged when I asked for STD testing. They gave me real, unbiased answers to my questions about sex and birth control. I walked out of there with a birth control prescription and a bag of free condoms, more confident to make better decisions and take control of my own health. I continued to turn to Planned Parenthood for all of my preventive health care needs — STD testing, cancer screenings, and birth control.
During college I stayed on my parent's health insurance and took care of the vast majority of my health needs while I was home on break. But after graduation I moved 3,000 miles away to San Diego. For the first time I was managing all my own bills and appointments. It was overwhelming. I was working a lot at my new job and I didn't know anyone in San Diego I could ask for advice about really important questions I wanted the answer to right away — like which beach is the best — and all the logistical questions that make life work — like where can I find a doctor I can talk to and trust. On the second one I turned to my mom. She was an OB-GYN nurse so I always trusted her opinion on health care, especially gynecological care. While she didn't know doctors in the San Diego area she assured me that if I went to Planned Parenthood they'd take care of me — and I would be able to afford it.
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