Alexis McGill Johnson, the head of Planned Parenthood, was shocked one day when she walked down a street in New York City and saw a billboard of a little African American girl with the words, “The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”
She told Elle:
She was walking down a street in SoHo one afternoon in 2011, when she saw a billboard with a little Black girl’s face on it. “Thw girl was cute, so I got closer, and saw the words underneath her read, ‘The most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb,’” McGill Johnson says. She expected to see such things when she visited her family in the South, but this was New York City. Soon enough, she once again found herself in the right room, attending a dinner with then-Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards, where she had a chance to tell Richards she needed to do something about those signs. Richards told her, “No, you do.” McGill Johnson joined Planned Parenthood’s board soon thereafter.
Life News reports:
Johnson’s background is in political activism, and she has close ties to Vice President Kamala Harris’s sister, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, MSNBC host Melissa Harris Perry and a number of music industry leaders, according to the magazine.
After about a decade on Planned Parenthood’s board of directors, Johnson became the CEO after the board fired former CEO Leana Wen for “deemphasizing abortion,” the report noted.
Johnson bragged about how she has both emphasized Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices and its commitment to ending racism since taking on the new leadership role.
According to the magazine:
“My friends and family always say, ‘Why do you talk about abortion so much? Don’t you want to talk about the cancer screenings and the STI tests and all the other things Planned Parenthood does that people love?” Johnson said. “They would rather me talk about chlamydia than abortion, quite frankly, but honey, abortion is healthcare.” And not talking about abortion, or downplaying it as minor portion of Planned Parenthood’s work, is stigmatizing. “Not being able to have a meaningful conversation around the role abortion may play in someone’s life makes them more vulnerable to making decisions that will truly harm them in their lives,” McGill Johnson says. “So I think it’s really important to be candid and full-throated in our support.”