45.6 F
Indianapolis
Thursday, November 26, 2020

Supporting a community of hope and empowerment

More by this author

We need you in this fight now and after Nov. 3

I, like you, I am tired. I am tired of COVID-19 and the ongoing suffering and loss so many people feel as...

Supporting a community of hope and empowerment

This country is facing a racial reckoning — a necessary and painful understanding of systemic racism that permeates every area of our...

Combating cancer through education

An estimated 1.5 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2010. Thankfully, we have come together as a nation to fight the devastating effects of...

This country is facing a racial reckoning — a necessary and painful understanding of systemic racism that permeates every area of our lives, including control over our bodies.

As our nation confronts COVID-19 and systemic racism, it must be said that if Black people do not have the right to bodily autonomy — or to protest without the fear of violence or murder — we can never achieve justice, let alone reproductive freedom.

As the new state director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana, I embrace these challenges and look to move this organization forward. This starts with being in the community, making connections, acknowledging Planned Parenthood’s history, apologizing for these wrongs, committing to do better and rebuilding trust. 

There is a well-documented history of racism and violence in sexual and reproductive health care since the beginning of gynecology — from experiments on Black bodies based on claims that Black women experienced less pain, to testing the birth control pill on low-income women in Puerto Rico often without their consent, to the forced sterilization of Black women, to the lack of access to sexual and reproductive freedom that persists for Black women and many women of color today. 

We cannot address structural racism or white supremacy in this country without addressing our own. 

Planned Parenthood is an organization steeped in its own structural racism and white supremacy. It spills out in the ways we have failed to reckon publicly with our history, the make-up of our leadership at national and affiliate levels which is changing, though too slowly, our underinvestment in work aimed at engaging communities of color, and even our health care delivery. It ultimately stands in the way of fulfilling our mission to achieve reproductive freedom for all.

We at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky (PPAIK) recognize our past, profoundly and humbly apologize for it, and are committed to addressing and correcting bias and racism within our organization and our communities so we can improve real access to health care and education for all people. 

We are engaged in training and partnering with equity leaders to develop our awareness, knowledge and skills related to anti-racist leadership, culturally responsive communication, equity strategic planning and co-creating an environment that fosters inclusion for all. We’re also committed to supporting and lifting up Black organizations and leaders already at the forefront of this fight. We will follow their lead.

Public health by definition is built on the principle of saving lives. As public health providers and advocates, we are working to be part of the solution to the systemic challenges our community faces. 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and people’s inability to control if and when they have children can contribute to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness — hallmarks of depression. A healthy community infuses hope and empowerment. We have tasked ourselves to be a part of creating healthy communities.

Our 15 health centers across the state provide cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, abortion services, referral services and HIV PreP. As health care providers struggle to meet the demands of the pandemic, our doors remain open and we are, respectfully, here for you.

Planned Parenthood’s mission today is to build a world in which every person — regardless of their race, income, insurance, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities or immigration status — can access expert, compassionate sexual and reproductive health care, information and education without shame or judgment. Planned Parenthood continues to provide quality, expert reproductive health care, and I will advocate alongside my colleagues for freedom of individual choice in all matters of sexual health across Indiana. We are here for you, no matter what.

You heard it directly from me: No one tells me what to do with my body; I will do everything in my power to make sure you have the freedom to make the decisions best for you. No politician should be making decisions about your body for you. 

LaKimba DeSadier is Indiana state director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest local news.

Stay connected

16,331FansLike
3,142FollowersFollow
5,949FollowersFollow
14SubscribersSubscribe

Related articles

Popular articles

Ethics and professionalism in the workplace

If you look up the word ethics in the dictionary, you’ll find this definition: “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally...

Meet the director of equity and inclusion at Washington Township Schools

This school year, the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township school board hired Dr. Erica Buchanan-Rivera to fill the newly created position...

Cook Medical supplier facility coming to northeast side

A new manufacturing facility on the northeast side will bring up to 100 jobs that will average $16 an hour and include...

‘Make or break time’: Black business owners counting on Small Business Saturday

Sandy Crain decided to take a leap of faith about a month ago. She had been saving money from her job at...

Sowing seeds by faith

“Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those...
Español + Translate »
Skip to content