A Message from Essential Access Health: #BlackLivesMatter
This has been a painful week. Like many of you, we have been struggling to identify where we go from here – as an organization, a movement, and a nation. One thing we know is, we cannot remain silent – because Black Lives Matter. George Floyd matters. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and those we may never know matter.
That’s why we all must actively engage in the fight for racial justice and acknowledge this country’s long-standing history with racism. We must reckon with the fact that we have separate and unequal systems that continue to deny Black people the right to live, breathe, and plan their families and futures without fear and discrimination. We must work together to dismantle the institutions of oppression and discriminatory policies that perpetuate anti-blackness, inequity, and injustice.
We cannot and will not truly address the health disparities that persist today – including those related to disproportionate unintended pregnancy, infant and maternal mortality, and STD rates – until we name and address the root cause – racism. Black and brown communities face deeply rooted barriers that impact their well-being and ability to achieve optimal health outcomes. These disparities have been highlighted, and exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis.
Essential Access was established over 50 years ago grounded in the fundamental belief that everyone should have the right to access the health services and information they want, when they need them – regardless of the color of their skin, their nation of origin, who they love, where they live, or their health coverage or income status.
Today, we recognize that our fight to champion and promote quality sexual and reproductive health care for all requires joining the call for accountability and system transformation. As we navigate through our current public health emergency and time of unrest, we can't go back to normal. We need a new normal that is shaped on a collective vision for a more equitable society that prioritizes and supports community health and treats all people with dignity and respect.
We are ready for change.