The Board of Directors of Medical Students for Choice affirms: Black Lives Matter

To the Black members of this organization: we commit ourselves to raising up your voices and leadership at this time.

As Medical Students for Choice, we believe that all people have an inherent right to lead safe and healthy lives, which includes full access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services. The right to a safe and healthy life includes freedom from violence. We condemn the ongoing physical and institutional violence against Black people, perpetuated and sanctioned by unchecked white supremacy, as recently manifested by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others.

Our mission states that all social justice movements intersect, and we understand that achieving our aspiration to create tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians requires working collaboratively to overcome all forms of oppression, especially the oppression of Black Lives in the United States and around the world. Our work must therefore be explicitly anti-racist and champion the work of Black-led organizations in our fight to demand reproductive justice for all.

Black Women came together in 1994 to launch what we now know today as the Reproductive Justice Movement. In the spirit of this Reproductive Justice framework, Medical Students for Choice makes the following commitments:

With regards to police brutality:

  • Calling for the immediate end to police brutality against Black Lives
  • Demanding the defunding and dismantling of racist police forces in order to reimagine public safety

With regards to racism within medicine:

  • Sustaining long-term work to amplify Black voices on the critical issues of reproductive oppression, forced and coerced sterilization and birth control, sexual education, abortion access, family planning, and maternity care
  • Holding healthcare professionals and students accountable for silence and inaction on issues of race, white supremacy, and oppression
  • Recognizing historical trauma and addressing continued institutional racism in medicine

With regards to our own organization and recognizing the need for self-reflection:

  • Transforming MSFC’s membership from a predominantly white cisgender female heteronormative organization into a transnational movement representing peoples of all races, genders, and sexual orientations
  • Restructuring Board recruitment processes and future MSFC staffing to incorporate principles of anti-racism, including the deliberate representation of Black people and other people of color at all levels of leadership
  • Instituting anti-racism education for MSFC Board members
  • Developing Board actions that explicitly include anti-racist goals within our own work
  • Providing travel funding opportunities for underrepresented medical students of color to increase their participation in MSFC activities, alleviating the economic disadvantage many students of color face due to the legacy of slavery, genocide, and colonialism, as well as structural racism
  • Building intentional and sustained collaboration with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color)-led medical student and healthcare professional organizations
  • Supporting MSFC chapters and staff on partnerships with Reproductive Justice organizations and incorporating Reproductive Justice curricula in medical education
  • Supporting and providing resources to MSFC chapters in their efforts to increase membership and develop leadership of underrepresented minorities in medicine

In solidarity,

The Board of Directors of Medical Students for Choice
Mugdha Mokashi, MPH, President
Erin Nacev, Past President
Kailin Gregory-Davis, President Elect
Mikaela A. Kelly, MPH
Mercedes Scott, MPH
Jessica Mecklosky
Alexa Henderson
Grace Chen
Ian Peake
Allison Whitney, MPH
Paul Oliveira Silva
Lin-Fan Wang, MD, MPH
Deborah Bartz, MD, MPH
Jennifer Levine-Fried, CPA
Parvaneh Nouri, MD, MPH
Farah Diaz-Tello, Esq.
Sabrina Holmquist, MD, MPH

We would like to uplift the words of other organizations including:

We Testify: “To achieve reproductive justice, Black lives must truly matter. The anti-abortion movement is curiously silent every time we’re demanding for Black lives to matter. When will our right to life be recognized? Imagine a world where the budgets of police departments are invested in reproductive healthcare, education, and families. We must have the freedom to decide if, when, & how to grow and care for our families free from state-sanctioned violence and coercion.”

SisterSong: Defending Black Bodies: RJ Town Hall

URGE: Urge Condemns Anti-Black Police Violence

Black Visions: Defund the Police Pledge

Kwajelyn Jackson, Executive Director of Feminist Women’s Health Center: “We want to know what you are willing to do differently….the people in clinics, the people who are providing care, the people who are working in the courtrooms and the capital buildings on behalf of reproductive rights, the people who call themselves pro-choice – we are asking you to really consider how you can call yourself pro-choice when your behavior may be anti-black….. We are asking you to boldly declare what you are willing to do differently…to defend and protect the fullness of black lives.”

White Coats for Black Lives: “White Coats for Black Lives is heartbroken and outraged at the recent murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade. We stand in solidarity with the people taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and police brutality. We also recognize the important role that medical schools and hospitals play in upholding white supremacy, and will continue to fight tirelessly for racial justice within our medical institutions.”

Alicia Garza, #BlackLivesMatter: “Reproductive justice is very much situated within the Black Lives Matter movement. And the way we that talk about that is that essentially, it’s not just about the right for women to be able to determine when and how and where they want to start families, but it is also very much about our right to be able to raise families, to be able to raise children to become adults…. And that is being hindered by state violence in many different forms. One form being violence by law enforcement or other state forces, and the other form of crisis through poverty and lack of access to resources and lack of access to health communities that are safe and sustainable.”

Black Mamas Matter Alliance twitter feed


The MSFC Staff has provided the following as some of the many critical actions to take here:

MSFC Staff Statement

Medical Student Open Letter Against Police Brutality

Ohio Governor Petition to Ban Tear Gas