As 2015 draws to a close, I can easily list the many incidents of violence inflicted on my communities this year. A series of arson attacks and a recent shooting at Planned Parenthood clinics. A deadly shooting at an African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston. Ongoing police violence against Black communities.
Yet in the midst of this national crisis of violence, Congress seems to only focus on attacking women’s health. On Dec. 3, the Senate voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and a House vote is expected any day now. As a young Black woman of reproductive age, an advocate for my local Planned Parenthood, and a faith leader in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, I can no longer watch as the communities I love are threatened and harmed.
As a clinic volunteer and reproductive justice advocate, I know how important clinics are to the women and men who rely on them for quality care and health information — including many Black women. Black women are more likely to need an abortion, and since many Black women are over-represented in low-wage jobs, the affordable health care Planned Parenthood provides is essential.