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The first-ever national Black Maternal Health Week.
Planned Parenthood
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In This Issue:
Black Maternal Health Week + Can you reverse an abortion? + Why is Planned Parenthood talking about gun violence?

Erica Garner
I know that once we come together, we are powerful beyond imagination."
— Erica Garner, Black Lives Matter activist and the daughter of Eric Garner, whose death spurred a national outcry around police brutality in 2014
On April 11, Black Mamas Matter Alliance launched the first-ever national Black Maternal Health Week to build awareness, promote activism, and foster community-building. In this issue of TBH, we remember Erica Garner, a fearless and unapologetic advocate for justice who died at the age of 27, shortly following the birth of her second child. Garner is among an alarming number of Black women in the U.S. who die either during pregnancy or within one year of childbirth — a result of the compounding impact of racism, sexism, and economic inequity that contribute to poor health outcomes and inferior care for Black mothers. Read more about how to help make change beyond Black Maternal Health Week.

Gun Violence
"Gun violence in all its forms — from mass shootings to intimate partner violence to overzealous and brutal policing — is a public health epidemic that threatens the health and safety of our communities."
— Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

All people deserve to live healthy lives and feel safe in their homes, schools, places of worship, and communities. The unprecedented rate of gun violence in the United States is a public health crisis that threatens that safety.

While anyone can experience gun violence, it disproportionately puts marginalized groups — including people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and women — at risk. For instance, 2017 was the deadliest year on record for transgender people — especially for Black transgender women — and more than half of those killed were victims of gun violence1.

In addition, around one-third of women have experienced intimate partner violence. These women are five times more likely to be killed when their abuser owns a firearm2.

As community-based health care providers, Planned Parenthood health centers serve the needs of these communities. That's why we want solutions to gun violence that address the safety of all communities. This means taking into account the effects of racism, law enforcement, and mass incarceration on Black communities and other communities of color, and refraining from stigmatizing and scapegoating people with mental illness.

The fact is, people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than to be perpetrators3. A past history of violence — especially intimate partner violence — is a far better predictor of future violence than simply having a mental illness. Ignoring this fact will result in gun violence policies that are both stigmatizing and ineffective.

Every person has the right to lead a life that is healthy and free from violence. We support the young people and people of color mobilizing around gun violence prevention in this country, and the many organizations that have been leading gun violence prevention research, education, and community organizing for years.
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1. HRC, Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017
2. Giffords Law Center, Domestic Violence & Firearms
3. MedPage Today, Mentally Ill Often Targets of Violence

"Can you reverse an abortion?"
There are two types of abortion — an in-clinic abortion, sometimes called a surgical abortion, and a medication abortion, also known as "the abortion pill." Both are safe and effective ways to end a pregnancy.

Claims about treatments that reverse the effects of medication abortion are out there, and a handful of states require doctors and nurses to tell their patients about them before they can provide abortion care. But these claims haven't been proven in reliable medical studies — nor have they been tested for safety, effectiveness, or the likelihood of side effects — so experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reject these untested supposed treatments. Read more.

— Chelsea at Planned Parenthood
If you have questions or are feeling unsure about your decision, make sure to consult with your doctor or nurse — they're there as a resource to talk you through all of your pregnancy options.

Defiers of the Month

Students United for Reproductive Justice
University of California, Berkeley

From health insurance coverage to transportation to missing school or work, there are plenty of logistics students have to navigate in accessing abortion services. Students United for Reproductive Justice (SURJ) at UC Berkeley is working to address these barriers by making it mandatory for all University of California and California State University campuses to provide medication abortion services in their health care centers. Adiba Khan, co-founder of SURJ and the author of the resolution that inspired SB 320 (which the California State Senate passed in January), hopes that the project will impact other states and change the way people think about abortion. Read more.

I almost didn't interview for this job. I've never run anything this big. I had a list of all the things that I didn't know how to do. But I did it anyway. I went ahead and tried it anyway. If you wait until everything lines up, it's over."
— Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
After more than a decade, Cecile announced her plans to step down as president of Planned Parenthood: "The time has come for me to move on to my next chapter — and for new voices to take the lead at Planned Parenthood." Her advice for young activists? "Get going before you're ready."

We've partnered up with Refinery29 to give you your Dream Job Experience!

Donate $10 or more for a chance to win an immersive look into a career in tech, media, beauty, fashion, or the nonprofit industry — and support Planned Parenthood while you do it. Participating companies include: Atlantic Records, Harper's Bazaar, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Refinery29, Rent The Runway, and more!

The sweepstakes ends May 18
Did you Know?
Some Planned Parenthood health centers offer general health care services, including physicals, anemia testing, diabetes screening, help with quitting smoking, thyroid screening, and even flu shots. Check with your local Planned Parenthood health center to see which services are available in your area.
TBH (To Be Honest) is a monthly newsletter dedicated to learning about our bodies, talking about sex and relationships, and challenging health inequity and injustice. Send us your feedback.

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