INGLEWOOD — Planned Parenthood celebrated the opening of its new Inglewood Health Center May 14.
The facility will be the flagship location of the Black Health Initiative, an agency-wide program designed to improve the overall well-being of African Americans by empowering communities to advocate for themselves toward better health outcomes.
“Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles’ Black Health Initiative offers an affirmative vision for what sexual and reproductive health care should look like, and that vision is particularly heartening and sorely needed at this moment when we risk losing freedom over our own bodies,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade, and Black people will disproportionately bear the devastating consequences.
“This is on top of centuries of systemic racism and barriers to accessing care,” Johnson added. “But with the example and leadership of the Black Health Initiative, we have a model for more agency and access that sets out to reduce inequities and provides the necessary tools and resources for everyone to decide their own future.”
The opening comes on the heels of a leaked brief from the U.S. Supreme Court indicating the court is likely to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, allowing states to govern abortions themselves.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has publicly reaffirmed the state’s position that abortions will be allowed.
The majority of abortions affect Black and Latina women, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
It’s just one of several reasons why nurse practitioner Kara James believes in her work, in this moment and for this community.
“Black women are four times more likely to die in childbirth,” James said. “We have the highest rate of morbidity and mortality in the developed world — in one of the richest countries on the planet. That says a lot.”
The Black Health Initiative is working to improve Black reproductive and maternal health by providing coaching to address chronic conditions before, during and after pregnancy, acknowledging underlying social needs that impact health and connecting patients to resources and programs needed to flourish.
“The work that Planned Parenthood Los Angeles is embarking on with its Black Health Initiative is more critical than ever,” said Natasha Rothwell, writer and actress from HBO’s “Insecure.” “With the threats to reproductive health care, access to abortion, and Black maternal health care, the direct impact of this initiative on the Black community is key to helping overcome the critical challenges facing Black women today.”
The Inglewood Health Center reinforces Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’ commitment to providing the Black community with the resources needed to combat health inequities by offering prenatal care, doula services, behavioral health services, contraceptive counseling, birth control, and more.
For services not offered at the health center, patients are referred to additional care that is accessible, culturally specific and supports overall health and well-being.
In partnership with Black Women for Wellness, California Black Women’s Health Project, Reclaiming America’s Communities Through Empowerment, and UCLA Law Institute on Reproductive Health, Law & Policy, the grand opening included public tours of the health center.
2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.