Press Release |

Reproductive health movement must address harassment

In light of recent sexual harassment allegations at an organization that has long been a partner to Physicians for Reproductive Health, Board Chair Dr. Willie Parker issued the following statement:

“It is increasingly clear that the issues raised by the #MeToo movement are present in every community and every line of work. The field of reproductive health, rights, and justice cannot be exempted. For many of us who work in this movement, whether as health care providers or advocates, we are all too accustomed to facing threats and harassment from those who would stop our work.

“To feel unsafe and unsupported within our places of work is an additional burden that no one should have to bear. This extends not only to sexual and gender-based harassment, but to any harassment and discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, disability, and other identities – all of which are part of our whole selves that we bring to our workplaces and our communities.

“Physicians for Reproductive Health is committed to working both within our organization and with our allies in all social justice movements to ensure that the spaces we create are safe for all. We will work to build structures both within our organization and externally that will provide support and solidarity in times of need, and educate and challenge ourselves and each other to do better at opposing all forms of oppression.”

Board Chair Willie J. Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, is a reproductive justice advocate who travels as an abortion provider in Alabama and Georgia. He also was recently honored by the United Nations Office of Human Rights as one of 12 Women’s Human Rights Defenders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women. He is also a recipient of Planned Parenthood’s 2015 Margaret Sanger Award.

Dr. Parker joined the Physicians for Reproductive Health board in November 2007 and is the current Chair.