Press Release |

This Is Not New: In Response to January 6, 2021

Dr. Jamila Perritt, President and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, responds to yesterday’s announcement that Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff have been elected to the U.S. Senate and the events of white nationalist terrorists breaching the Capitol:

“We began yesterday in celebration, in congratulation of the success of Senators-Elect Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. Without a doubt, their election to the U.S. Senate is a victory in support of compassion, respect, dignity, and truth and a testament to the work of amazing Black women advocates, activists, and organizers in Georgia who led this work and made these results possible.

“In the same day we celebrate these victories, we are reminded of the tenuous state of this nation as we continue to grapple with the legacies of violence, destruction, and anger on which this country was built. This is both a ‘national tragedy,’ as many have referred to it, and exactly who we are. This country whose creation was predicated by stealing land and whose economic systems and structures were built by stolen bodies. This moment of public violence and destruction has been preceded by centuries of theft, genocide, and murder. This. Is. Not. New.

“Those of us who provide abortion care have seen this rage before. We have seen it in the eyes and hear it in the shouts of the protestors outside of our offices and clinics. We know that the individuals that breached the Capitol last night are the same ones standing outside our health centers in the morning.

We know that the individuals that breached the Capitol last night are the same ones standing outside our health centers in the morning.

“And with that in mind, we know that securing a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate is just a step. Our new Congress and Administration must use this critical opportunity to push back on the ideological rhetoric that has fanned the flames and ignited the blaze we watched attempt to destroy the democratic process yesterday. This is the same rhetoric used to decimate the health care safety net, eliminate social support programs, and restrict access to abortion care. As we dismantle and reverse the policies of the last decades and advocate for policies that protect and expand access to care, this must be a priority for the Biden Administration and this new Congress.

“Now we have a new opportunity to build a world where no matter the reason, people can access safe, affordable health care in their communities free from stigma, free from barriers, free from criminalization, and free from political interference. I look forward to working with policymakers to ensure everyone has access to the health care they need and deserve no matter their income or zip code.”