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PLANNED PARENTHOOD TAKES WOMEN’S HEALTH MESSAGE DIRECTLY TO CONGRESS

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Monica McCafferty
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Published: | Updated: 07.16.09

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM), along with the national organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), today hosted a Capitol Hill day.  PPRM representatives joined more than 300 other Planned Parenthood staff, board members and volunteers from across the country to discuss with members of Congress the importance of making women’s health a priority in health care reform.

“More than 127,000 patients throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming count on us for basic, preventive health care every year,” said PPRM President and CEO Vicki Cowart. “We know firsthand the importance of health care reform, and that is why we are taking our case to lawmakers. It’s time for Washington to learn what millions of American women have known for a long time — women’s health care is basic health care. More than 93 percent of what PPRM health centers do is preventive and primary care. Planned Parenthood health centers are essential community health care providers.”

Today’s lobby day was a huge success. Planned Parenthood staff, board members and volunteers made nearly 250 visits to members of Congress and delivered two main messages: any health care reform effort must include access to comprehensive reproductive health care, and women’s access to essential community providers must be protected. This ensures that basic prevention care, such as contraception, Pap tests, and other cancer screenings are covered and that women are able to access trusted health care providers in the communities where they live.  

“Women must not be worse off after health care reform than they are now,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “That means we need commonsense proposals that give women access to comprehensive reproductive health care and the opportunity to go to their provider of choice.”  

With the worsening of the economy, more and more women have turned to community health centers such as Planned Parenthood as a source of high-quality health care at costs they can afford. For many of these women, Planned Parenthood serves as their primary or sole health care provider. A recent Guttmacher Institute study found that more than six in 10 patients who receive care at a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood consider it their primary source of health care. These community health centers are an integral part of the nation’s health care system.

Today’s lobby day is a part of the Planned Parenthood 2009 Policy and Organizing Summit, a three-day event with a focus on PPFA’s ongoing campaign to ensure that women’s health is a priority in health care reform.  Other events include organizing and advocacy workshops, panel discussions, and the presentation of the PPFA Maggie Awards and Barry Goldwater Award.

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Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been committed to providing affordable, confidential health care.  Our goal is to ensure that every individual has the information, services and freedom to make healthy, responsible decisions about their sexuality.  More than 127,000 women, men and young adults annually visit our 29 health centers throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Southern Nevada and Wyoming.  For more information about Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, call 1-800-230-PLAN or visit pprm.org for the health center nearest you.

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