Racism and Planned Parenthood: Documentation

Posted on January 23, 2024 By

compiled by Rachel MacNair

More documentation, including the court documents for individual lawsuits, can be found at Problems at Planned Parenthood. That website has an index page for specific problems – in addition to racism, there are health code violation documents, malpractice suits, 911 calls, sexual abuse, employee rights, etc.

Planned Parenthood itself offers detailed information on its own racist history:

The History & Impact of Planned Parenthood


from sources who otherwise favor Planned Parenthood’s mission

Employees Are Calling Out Major Reproductive Rights Organizations for Racism and Hypocrisy

by Ema O’Connor, Buzzfeed, August 21, 2020

employee Tweet in response:

Planned Parenthood employee



Dozens of Black Employees Said They Faced Racism at Planned Parenthood, An Internal Audit Found

by Ema O’Connor, Buzzfeed, October 9, 2020


(NEW YORK) — A former Planned Parenthood employee is suing the organization, alleging the reproductive healthcare nonprofit retaliated against her and ultimately fired her for speaking out against its treatment of Black women.

Plaintiff Nicole Moore, the former director for multicultural engagement at Planned Parenthood based at the national headquarters in Manhattan, New York, claims in the complaint filed on Wednesday that Planned Parenthood has perpetuated a culture of racism where Black women within the organization are discriminated against through unequal work distribution and opportunities for promotions.

“[Planned Parenthood] has blatantly ignored reports by dozens of its Black employees of systemic unequal hiring and promotion, more work for lower pay, overt hostility, and trafficking in stereotypes by leadership,” according to a copy of the complaint obtained by ABC News.

Moore, who says she served in the role from Jan. 13, 2020, through Nov. 2, 2021, also claims that “Black-centered campaigns were deprioritized and under-resourced.”


Ex-Planned Parenthood Employee Says Racist, Toxic Culture Sent Her to the ER

by Emily Shugerman and Brianna Sacks, The Daily Beast, October 19, 2022


Former Planned Parenthood Employee Sues Organization, Alleging Racism And Mistreatment Of Black Women

KSRO Talk Radio, October 20, 2022


Open Letters from Planned Parenthood Employees


New York: General Open Letter, June 18, 2020


Racism and Weaponizing of the Work of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Against Staff

Planned Parenthood was founded by a racist, white woman. That is a part of history that cannot be changed . . .  After years of complaints from staff about issues of systemic racism, pay inequity, and lack of upward mobility for Black staff, highly-paid consultants were brought in three separate times to assess the situation. Each time, employees of color were brutally honest about their experiences, but nothing changed . . .

When diversity and equity are weaponized to make changes that are harmful to staff it diminishes the value of these very important areas of change. We know that Planned Parenthood has a history and a present steeped in white supremacy and we, the staff, are motivated to do the difficult work needed to improve.

Decimation of Institutional Knowledge Due to Unprecedented Rates of Staff Turnover

McQuade’s time at PPGNY has been defined by constant staff departures. Under her leadership, 23 members of senior staff have quit or been forced out. Many of these colleagues had 10-20+ years of experience with our affiliate. Others were people hired by McQuade directly to newly created positions who left mere months into their roles. This high amount of turnover has had a destabilizing effect on the organization. The loss of institutional knowledge is so profound as to be detrimental to every aspect of the organization . . .

New York: Supplemental Open Letter: On Equity, June 18, 2020

We write this — as a group of both current and former BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) employees of Planned Parenthood of Greater New York — to expand on the issues of racism and anti-Blackness in our workplace mentioned in our general open letter to the PPGNY Board . . .

PPGNY, under the leadership of CEO Laura McQuade, has effectively gaslit and silenced their marginalized staff thus creating a toxic work environment. While we stand together as people of color, we also stand firm in our commitment to acknowledge that anti-Blackness is a critical and specific fulcrum of white supremacy.

The PPGNY Senior Leadership team, despite the visual appearance of diversity, has repeatedly weaponized the language of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Rather than using their true definitions, senior leaders and upper management have used these terms to manipulate and silence those with differing opinions and perspectives. They have leveraged identity politics by putting Black and other people of color in positions of leadership who actively participate in harming Black staff and other staff members of color below them.

At this point, PPGNY’s attempts to present itself as a diverse workplace have been carefully orchestrated and superficial at best. PPGNY repeatedly tokenizes their Chief Equity and Learning Officer, a Woman of Color who is not of African descent, as the “voice” for BIPOC staff. The decision to hire a non-Black person in this role exemplifies the ways in which white-led organizations use non-Black people as a buffer to actually confront and uproot anti-Blackness within organizations . . .

The class tensions are made clearer when the BIPOC leadership were also complicit in the decisions to furlough/terminate 28% of staff. This included the closing of health centers in the Bronx and Queens, as those areas were being devastated by COVID-19. Additionally furloughed staff, many of which are BIPOC women, remain unclear when they will be called back to work and left with no official information regarding when their health insurance will be terminated.

With multiple attempts by the BIPOC staff to bring these concerns to our supervisors, we continue to be invalidated and marginalized. White and non-Black employees are still given more pay and more advancement opportunities than their Black colleagues. Blanket statements are used to overshadow our grievances, while only exacerbating the problem. Black staff are further disheartened when our white and non-Black colleagues use their privilege to amplify our concerns, and find they, too, are challenged and manipulated into silence.


Pennsylvania: Save Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates (PPPA)

On November 24, 2020, employees of Planned Parenthood released an open letter alleging racism and poor management of severe budget cuts. It was signed by the entire staff. The letter demanded the resignation of Executive Director. She resigned on December 1, 2020.



For more of our posts on Planned Parenthood, see:

Medical Dangers, Sex Abuse, Labor Problems, Racism: Documenting Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood Staff Revolt

Does Planned Parenthood Reduce Abortions by Preventing Pregnancies?

“But I was Empty”: The Story of a Doctor Who Left Planned Parenthood


For some of our posts on topics about racism, see:

Racism and the Death Penalty

Historical Black Voices: Racism Kills

Racism Kills: Several Perspectives

Movies with Racism Themes: “Gosnell” and “The Hate U Give”

Police Brutality to the Preborn


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