By: Planned Parenthood of Greater New York
Equity is at the heart of our mission. Planned Parenthood of Greater New York strives to ensure equitable access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion services, to communities harmed by legacies of systemic racism, ableism, and all forms of bias. This includes people with disabilities who often face discrimination when navigating health care systems.
We were troubled when we learned that a person calling to schedule an appointment at one of our health centers was given misinformation about our ability to provide abortion care to ALL people, including patients with wheelchairs. This should never have happened.
We are deeply sorry for the harm that we have caused to this person and the harm and distrust that this may cause others.
People with both seen and unseen disabilities have faced tremendous injustices when accessing sexual and reproductive health care and comprehensive sex education, and in making decisions about their reproductive lives and expressing their right to bodily autonomy. We acknowledge that our organization contributed to this history of oppression. We continue to reckon with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s support for eugenics and the harmful impact of that decision on women of color, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes at the dawn of the birth control movement. It’s clear that the harm caused by Sanger continues today.
We can, must, and will do better. We firmly believe that we should center marginalized communities’ voices, experiences, and knowledge of self and listen to and respond to these experiences. We acknowledge that there have been missed opportunities for us to listen to and respond to people with disabilities and intersecting identities.
We want to be clear — we are listening, and we have made and will continue to make changes. We are committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this from ever happening again. We commit to ensuring that community members with disabilities are welcomed and served with dignity and respect. We continue to hold ourselves accountable to our Reviving Radical community mandates that are grounded in a shared definition of accountability as we reckon with our organization’s past and present.
We are prepared to do the work to repair this harm and rebuild trust and ensure that all people can access our services. All 23 of PPGNY’s health centers are ADA-accessible and mandated to accommodate patients who require assistance, including patients with wheelchairs, for all appointment types. We know that this is the bare minimum. We have taken immediate steps to retrain all health center staff, as well as call center staff, on how to accommodate patients who require assistance, as well as to look closely at our systems to ensure our processes and protocols support front-line staff to provide access.
Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is committed to continuing our journey toward being a multicultural, inclusive, and anti-racist organization where all communities thrive. That requires owning our mistakes and committing to continuous improvement in the name of our communities.