Response to Racist Billboards in Missouri

By Claire, Communications Intern

Excerpt from commentary by Tishaura O. Jones, Assistant Minority Floor Leader and Representative of District 63 in St. Louis, proud mother, and supporter and client of Planned Parenthood.  In regard to anti-choice billboards targeting low-income black communities with anti-abortion and anti-Planned Parenthood messages.

Representative Jones says her mother told her to go to Planned Parenthood because it was a place she could trust, a place that would care for her.  Representative Jones credits Planned Parenthood for saving her life.  Without the pap smear she had there, she would have never known she had pre-cancerous cell growth on her cervix, which could have become cancer, which could have killed her. 

She also has some choice questions and opinions about the people who claim to care enough about black babies to enact billboards in low-income communities of color.

If you care about black babies, why do they make up 25 percent of the more than 10,000 children in the foster care system, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services?

If you care about black babies, why are urban school districts crumbling?

If you care about black babies, why is Missouri No. 1 in crimes committed against black men?

I was insulted, to say the least, when Missouri Right to Life had the gall to put up billboards in black neighborhoods with offensive and blatantly racist messages.

The wholly unsubstantiated claim made on these billboards is that black women kill their babies, perpetuating the racist stereotype of black women as unfit mothers.

Regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion, I believe that the overwhelming number of Americans would agree that this type of reprehensible rhetoric crosses a line that should not be crossed and has no place in the debate.

Read the rest of her defense of family planning services and her take down of the racist hypocrisy of these billboard campaigns here.

Unhealthy Cuts – My Letter to the Editor – News and Observer

By Claire, Communications Intern

I wrote this Wednesday morning in respond to the veto override of the state budget that would defund Planned Parenthood.  I wanted to share with the state that Planned Parenthood is a necessary health facility.  But if you read the comments, not everyone agrees.  (Seriously though, don’t read them if you’re easily frustrated by ignorance and stupidity.)


Three months ago, I had a Pap smear at Planned Parenthood during a routine annual exam. They discovered I had abnormal cell growth on my cervix. It does not take a doctor to know what that could mean.

Planned Parenthood is more than just an abortion provider; it provides needed and necessary health services. I did not go to Planned Parenthood because I needed an abortion. I went because I needed my annual exam, and I knew I could trust Planned Parenthood to treat me right.

We are the third state to bar Planned Parenthood from state funding. I have always loved this state and have always been quick to defend its flaws. But defunding Planned Parenthood will hurt people like me. It will only make preventative care, like Pap smears, breast cancer screening, STI/HIV testing and birth control, harder to obtain for many North Carolinians.

I always thought North Carolina was immune from these ideological trends. We were a state that did not follow blindly. But here we are, participating in nationwide ideological foolishness. And how can I love a state that throws me under a bus for the sake of power?

Read more:

Cynical and Onerous – The News and Observer Opinions

Because I am a woman and a physician, I am doubly aggrieved by the onerous abortion bill passed by the N.C. House (June 9 news story). I have read through the burdens it imposes on patients and doctors during a time when patients can feel quite vulnerable.

The bill requires a 24-hour waiting period before the procedure, even when the physician documents that this wait will result in psychological harm to the patient. It gives the physician a scripted message to give every patient and requires that pregnant women undergo ultrasounds. The physician would be required to show the images and has to document whether the patient declines to look. The physician must proceed with a running commentary on the structures he views. I do not see in this bill that she can tell him to stop, even if it’s causing her emotional distress. Above all, the bill inserts the politicians’ beliefs and language between the physician and patients during a medical procedure.

In a gesture that is profoundly cynical, the bill says the physician must inform the patient that if she chooses not to terminate the pregnancy, medical care and support services may be available. At a time when the legislature seems bent on cutting support services, this promise seems empty indeed.

Susan L. Eder, M.D., Raleigh

Emphasis mine.  Thank you Susan L. Eder for standing for women’s reproductive rights in North Carolina as a woman and as a doctor.  From The News and Observer.