Friday, February 24, 2012

Letter to Planned Parenthood on Accepting Support from Michael Bloomberg

Dear Planned Parenthood,

I love you all. I've been a longtime supporter. I give money when I can. And I do things like make pro-Planned-Parenthood t-shirts for family to wear when you're under attack. I'm currently a college professor, and was formerly a NYC public school teacher.

I'm writing because I'm deeply troubled by Mayor Bloomberg's recent decisions. I believe them to be in direct conflict with Planned Parenthood's commitment to equity and access. In the past week, it has come to light that Bloomberg has overseen the NYPD infiltration of university-based Muslim Students Associations. Now today, despite the concerns of so many, NYC released teachers' value-added data test score data to the public. Even the level-headed economist who helped develop these measures and data reports states that the decision to make them public is, "unwise at best, absurd at worst."

As I know you are aware, Muslim Americans are at the forefront of the new racial profiling; when you accept Bloomberg's money, you become part of a network that elevates his status and makes it difficult for others to take strident positions against him. What comes at some benefit to the organization, comes at a great symbolic cost to justice. Likewise, let me remind you: teachers are overwhelmingly women; that is not unrelated to the ease with which politicians and billionaires so readily dismiss and demean them. New York City public schools teachers work with the children of the very families you claim to serve. These teachers do not have the luxury of Bloomberg's bankroll, but if they did, I can assure you, you'd be receiving $250,000 many many many times over. If I had it to give myself, it would be yours for the taking.

Here is my ultimate point: as an organization, there is nothing more critical than staying true to your admirable mission - a mission that inspires so many of us, and keeps alive in our hearts the hope of more equitable access to high quality healthcare, particularly in the area of family planning and reproductive health. Give Bloomberg back his money. It's tied to practices that stand in stark contrast to everything you represent.

I know these are such tough times, but it is in tough times that we look to our established equity warriors to make decisions on principle.

If there is some wayI can be of assistance, please let me know. I'm a humble supporter, but a committed one.


Lauren Anderson

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