In the News

Fighting For All: A Century Of Progress With Planned Parenthood

Op-Ed / Huffington Post

f t # e
Washington, October 21, 2016 | comments

Written by: Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Vice-Chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group

Stephanie, a college student without health insurance, visited her local Planned Parenthood for a check-up she could afford. Imagine her surprise and fright when told her Pap test results were abnormal. With empathy and compassion Planned Parenthood staff guided Stephanie through a biopsy and a screening that proved her to be cancer-free.

Rachel’s mom and grandmother were both teen mothers. Wanting a different life, Rachel turned to her local Planned Parenthood clinic for help to avoid an early pregnancy. Nurse practitioners provided her with counseling, information, and contraception. Now a graduate of Florida International University, Rachel is pursuing a career as a health educator.

This month, as we honor Planned Parenthood’s 100th anniversary, we think of Stephanie, Rachel and the millions of grateful patients who have relied on its services over the years.

In fact, at some point in her lifetime, one in five American women will turn to Planned Parenthood for care. With more than half of its facilities in rural and under-served areas, millions of people rely on Planned Parenthood as their best source for healthcare. Each year Planned Parenthood performs 270,000 Pap tests, 360,000 breast exams, and 4.2 million STD tests. It detects early cancer in thousands of women, and prevents approximately 579,000 unintended pregnancies.

Over the last century, Planned Parenthood along with other women’s health leaders has led massive changes in women’s health and civil rights, including the legalization of birth control, improved sex education, and access to safe and legal abortion.

With all that said, the organization has become a political pawn for the opponents of legal abortion and women’s access to full health. Many Republicans in Congress have repeatedly threatened to shut down the government unless federal funds are withheld. Recently, some tried to prohibit Planned Parenthood from providing high quality health care to individuals impacted by the Zika virus. As if that weren’t enough, House Republicans created a special panel to attack Planned Parenthood and intimidate scientists who are involved in life-saving research. After complete cooperation and providing thousands of documents to the Committee, no wrongdoing has been found, yet this partisan witch hunt goes on.

Today, Planned Parenthood perseveres as a powerful health care advocate for both women and men. On behalf of the Stephanies and Rachels of the world whose lives improved significantly because of their connection to Planned Parenthood, I say thank you to all who have worked with or for this premier organization. May the next century bring more progress for the wellness of all people and an end to the persecution of Planned Parenthood by those politicians who abuse their power.

f t # e