Yesterday, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of George Floyd’s murder. We hold Floyd’s loved ones in our thoughts, and understand that while the verdicts represent consequences for Chauvin, that is not the same thing as justice. Justice requires that we actively work to undo the multiple, overlapping systems of oppression and harm that continue to operate in this country.
The United States was built on white supremacy and as such, our criminal justice system is not just: it is the cruel result of centuries of systemic racist oppression. One verdict does not change the system — the system needs to be reimagined and transformed completely.
And police violence remains systemic and relentless. Before we could proofread this message, police in Columbus, Ohio killed Ma’Khia Bryant. Ma’Kia Bryant, George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and many thousands of others killed by police should still be here.
We have said before that statements are a limited tool, but silence does not feel like a better option, and we know people look to these statements for different reasons. We hope you find some thing of use below.
If you read statements because you want to understand an organization’s values, know that:
Black lives matter. Police brutality and state-sanctioned violence are systemic crises that endanger every Black person in this country, including those who seek and provide abortion care. Abortion Care Network understands that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color experience racist violence and oppression every day.
Every person should have the freedom to create, raise, and hold close the families they dream of. Racism and other forms of oppression mean that this is not the reality we face now.
We are actively committed to undoing racism, listening, acting, and analyzing power. We understand that this requires that we remain rooted in values, with an unwavering commitment to action and accountability.
ACN believes that racism is the most critical barrier to building an effective movement for social change, and that all forms of oppression are interconnected and interdependent. The racist forces that seek to dehumanize, devalue, and end Black lives are intertwined with those that seek to control people’s bodily autonomy.
If you read our statements because you want to understand how independent abortion clinics, their patients, and allies are impacted and involved, we offer:
People who work, volunteer, and seek care at independent abortion clinics experience firsthand the harm caused by state-enacted violence, interference, and surveillance. They understand that police do not keep us safe, and that it’s up to us to keep each other safe and cared for.
Every day, abortion care providers and their allies act with empathy, hold complexity, and they meet rage with compassion. They move through their days with trust and respect for the lives and dignity of their patients and communities. We know that another world is possible because of our members, and we commit to working alongside our members to help reimagine and shape a different world.
Abortion Care Network’s headquarters and over a third of our staff are based in Minnesota, with staff, board, and members located throughout the US. Many of us know what it means to live and work in police- and military-occupied communities. We wish safety and comfort to all those navigating a militarized response to injustice.
If you read statements because you want to know whose leadership to follow, where to learn more, or where you can donate, thank you.
One of the most important things we can do with our platform is to direct people to the Movement For Black Lives, Reproductive Justice organizations, and resources to support those protesting and organizing against police violence.
To learn and take action:
- Join, follow, and support The Movement For Black Lives.
- Follow and support Black-led Reproductive Justice organizations, including In Our Own Voice, SisterSong, and Black Mammas Matter Alliance.
- For white co-conspirators, read and click through this statement from If/When/How to begin to take on the work of anti-racism.
- Community funding list from Reclaim the Block (Minnesota-centered)
- Minnesota Healing Justice Network (Minnesota-based)
- SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
- In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda
- Find a bail fund in your community or donate to the National Bailout
Protesting and Legal Resources:
- Black Lives Matter has compiled a list of Advice for Protestors
- Know Your Rights as a Protestor via the ACLU
- Pro-Bono Net: Free Legal Resources Nationwide