We at the National Network of Abortion Funds, with all of our heart, decry the racist, violent, and murderous actions that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 11th and 12th, 2017. In the journey toward racial justice, this is an ugly contribution to the compounded history of racialized violence in the United States.
We mourn for the Black bodies trampled and injured in Charlottesville by violent racists. We mourn with the family of Heather Heyer, who followed her convictions to fight racial injustice and white supremacy. We are in solidarity with all who have been traumatized by the inhumane brutality that came to pass — and has come to pass for generations — at the hands of organized white supremacist hate groups and militias.
While the past Presidential election certainly did not create racial hatred, it has undoubtedly fueled and, time after time, affirmed it. This hatred has always existed in the United States’ policies and practices both here and abroad. It has been woven deep in our very moral fiber since the nation’s inception.
White supremacist patriarchy has been the enemy of reproductive justice for as long as the United States has been called such. Beginning in Indigenous genocide and the forced enslavement of African people, racial injustice in the United States of America is grounded in violently dismantling individual and familial agency. This legacy has been continued in racist policies that regard who gets to have families, under what circumstances they have them, and what quality of life people will live based on their skin color. We see this same hatred play out every day in the prison system that disproportionately hold millions of poor people of color and in the streets run by emboldened and militarized police. We see it in vitriol — online and in person — that targets activists and advocates of racial and gender justice; and in spaces like classrooms and campuses where people of all ages are denied the ability to feel safe while they learn. The National Network of Abortion Funds holds racial justice as core to our mission, recognizing that racism is the catalyst of so many oppressions that intersect within our daily lives.
Today and every day, abortion funds pledge to renew our commitment to furthering racial justice in the United States and abroad. Our ability to determine the fate of our bodies, families and futures does not extend just to abortion—racism is the enemy to all forms of reproductive justice.
We are in solidarity with our member abortion funds and all those who call them seeking the support that other systems have failed to provide. Abortion funds in Virginia provide their unique perspectives on the hate perpetrated this past weekend:
Blue Ridge Abortion Access Fund
“Blue Ridge Abortion Access Fund, like so many in our community, is grappling with the aftermath of a weekend of Nazi and white supremacist terror. We are proud of the Charlottesville community, and many of our supporters and volunteers, who turned out Saturday to resist the presence of hate. We mourn the death of a fellow social justice advocate, Heather Heyer, and hope that the others physically injured may heal their bodies quickly. The emotional toll of this weekend is immeasurable.
In offering direct financial assistance to folks who can’t afford an abortion, our work resists systems of white capitalist patriarchy by offering support born from and sustained by community.
To everyone who resisted Saturday, who has resisted, and who continues to resist — the road ahead is long and hard, but the community we cultivate, and the work we do, will prevail. History will have us on the right side of history.”
Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project
“The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project is grateful to our community for organizing and showing up to protect Virginia from white domestic terrorist groups over the weekend — one moment in an old, and long from over, struggle against oppressive systems that divide us and continue to kill black and brown people, families, cultures, and communities everyday. While we are still amid the emotions of a very public and very visible violence, let us not forget what fighting white domestic terrorism, anti-blackness, and all racism really looks like: taking back our streets, telling our stories, healing spaces, everyday choices to fight oppression and shift toward liberation, supporting local organizing with resources, reparations for targeted and oppressed communities, and institutionalizing the safety and autonomy of our (LGBTQ+, muslim, black, indigenous, people of color, and/or immigrant) families. With all the messiness of pain, guilt, fear, exhaustion, hope, anger, compassion, and love in our hearts, we must struggle nationwide to engage in the larger fight for our lives and make a world where justice — including, but not limited to, reproductive justice — becomes a reality for all.”
You can also read a statement from the DC Abortion Fund in solidarity with Virginia abortion funds.
As lovers of justice we as abortion funds heed the call to organize and activate in these streets, to show love and support to people of color on the front lines of this fight. We will not let the death and trauma in Charlottesville, in Ferguson, in Baltimore, across this country and beyond, be the defining portrait of this time. We will show up with power, in community with each other, and fight back against the evil forces harming us every day, and we will do so with fierce love and compassion as our guiding force.