Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years, and one thing is clear: we will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the health care they need. All people, including immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people of faith, and more, are entitled to and deserve high-quality health care without barriers.
Every morning, Planned Parenthood health center staff across the country wake up and open their doors, as they have this morning, to care for anyone who needs them, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, income, or country of origin. They will do so today, they will do so tomorrow, and they will do so every day as they have for 100 years.
Health care should not be political. Millions of people rely on Planned Parenthood for health care every year – including 64,000 in Connecticut. When someone comes to our health centers, they are seeking our health care services, resources and information. People from all backgrounds, Zip codes and political affiliations need and are entitled to affordable, high-quality reproductive care. The majority of Americans – including those who supported President-elect Donald Trump – support access to the vital services provided by Planned Parenthood health centers every day across the country.
However, much of the rhetoric used in the last several months has created a frighteningly more dangerous America for people of color: one where unlawful stop-and-frisk policies, that have been found unconstitutional, are enforced; where immigrants are at risk of facing immediate deportation; where Muslims may be banned from entering the country; and where discrimination against LGBTQ communities and disabled people is deemed acceptable.
This cannot be what it means to live in America in 2016.
We know that many of the people we serve and work in partnership with may be concerned about their safety, and the safety of their families and friends. Together, we are immigrants, Muslims, Black, Latinx*, white, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and everyone else who deserves access to health care in a safe and welcoming place. No matter how great the threat, nothing will ever overcome our commitment to providing high-quality, affordable health care and information to all people.
We will never stop fighting for our patients and all people. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has faced many challenges and attacks from those opposed to our mission. Through every attack, we have come out stronger. We are going to use that strength in partnership with our allies across progressive movements to lead in the coming days, months and years for those who rely on us.
The doors of Planned Parenthood stay open – no matter what.
Judy Tabar is President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
[* The x is used to be inclusive of those whose gender identity is fluid or non-binary (non-male/female).]