April 20, 2016
Solidarity with St. Louis Planned Parenthood
Mary Kugat, CEO
Planned Parenthood of St. Louis
Dear Ms. Kugat,
Thanks for standing strong against legislators intent on bullying Planned Parenthood staff and the women who use your services. Your refusal to turn over private patient information to anti-abortion witch-hunters will have a profound effect on women's ability to use their constitutional right to control their bodies and reproduction.
Years ago, Radical Women supported a similar fight for privacy rights waged by our sister organization, the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP). Like you, party leaders were ready to go to jail if needed to preserve the privacy of their constituents. The FSP successfully defeated their opponent after an 8-year battle in the courts, the media, and the community. An essential component of their victory was mobilizing a broad united front of support by all groups who would be injured if political opponents could gain access to their private records and membership. Unions, LGBTQ organizations, feminists, civil rights groups and others came forward. I have enclosed a copy of a booklet about the case that draws the lessons of how the campaign was mobilized. (http://www.redletterpress.org/names.html)
Please keep us informed about how National Radical Women and our chapters can assist and bring public attention to your crucial fight. We are a socialist feminist, grassroots organization that has been fighting for women's rights and reproductive justice since our founding in 1967.
Your struggles in Missouri also have a special place in my heart because my mother was raised in Hannibal, and I spent many summers in Springfield with my grandparents.