Black Lives Matter! Say it with us!
Women Have Options Statement of Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
In the wake of the ongoing murder of innocent people of color by law enforcement, the board and staff of Women Have Options feel that we must publically speak out about the issue of racist violence; especially the structural and state-supported racism that too frequently manifests as overzealous, brutal, and fatal policing. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and we mourn with them for every life that is lost to racially motivated violence.
We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other organizations working for justice, respect, safety, and dignity for communities of color. We echo the National Network of Abortion Funds with this call to action: “If you have not been paying attention, this is the time to start. If you have been paying attention and have remained silent, this is the time to speak. If you have been speaking and unwilling to take action, this is the time to act. If you have been acting, it is time to get louder.”
Racial justice is reproductive justice.
Women Have Options is an abortion fund. We believe all people should be able to determine if and when to have children. Additionally, we believe all children should be able to be raised in safe and healthy environments that are free from violence. As such, standing against racist violence is central to our mission because pervasive racist violence is destructive to the very environments that we believe all children deserve to be raised in.
White silence fuels violence.
As an organization with a current majority of white staff and board members, we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the many other organizations that have been working for racial justice. We call on the white people in our families, networks of friends, and communities to join us in our solidarity with this movement. It is important that, as allies, we use our privilege to speak out and get involved. If we do not speak up against racist police violence, we, in our silence, are complicit in that violence.
The revolution will be intersectional.
Our movement to make abortion accessible to all cannot be fully effective until we understand that many of the obstacles that people face in exercising their reproductive options are caused by race, class, immigration status, and language barriers. All anti-oppression work is connected.
We affirm the humanity and dignity of all Black people and people of color, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, income, immigration status, national origin, language, and other identities. We recognize that discrimination based on these identities overlaps.
We deplore and condemn the police brutality and other forms of racist violence that rob children of parents, and parents of children. We demand that police stop the violence against people of color. We demand accountability for all who commit racist violence.
Words alone are not effective. We must act.
We refuse to succumb to feelings of helplessness or hopelessness. We commit to doing the ongoing work it takes to become/be an anti-racist organization.
We commit to opposing racism in our personal and professional lives, every day.
This means examining and interrupting our own racist thoughts and actions. This means holding other white people accountable. This means using our “power and privilege responsibly in the service of justice.”
We recognize that because racist oppression is systemic and institutional, individual change is not enough. We commit to using our social capital, power, and privilege to change the systems, structures, and organizational cultures that perpetuate violence and white supremacy.
There are many ways to get involved and we ask you to take action on some level.
- On the personal level: Educate yourself. Talk to your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers about police accountability and racial bias.
- On a community level: Investigate your city or town's police oversight policies, be an informed voter, and engage with your local government to change the policies so that all people can feel safe in their communities.
- Get involved locally: In Columbus the People's Justice Project and Columbus People’s Partnership are doing great work. You can also join your local chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (an ally group).
Women Have Options/ Ohio