Urges Women to Make Health Care a Priority


Jo Nestor


Published: 05.11.09| Updated: 05.11.09

Planned Parenthood Arizona is celebrating National Women’s Health Week, May 10-16, 2009, by encouraging women to visit their health care provider for regular checkups and preventive screenings for cancer and other diseases.


A recent survey conducted for The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that women are delaying their annual exams as a result of the economic downturn.


Roughly 16.7 million women are uninsured, and thus likely to postpone care and delay or forgo important preventive care such as cancer screenings, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


“The health care crisis is disproportionately affecting women, particularly women of childbearing age, who already pay 68 percent more in out-of-pocket costs than men,” said Bryan Howard, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona. “Our organization is committed to providing affordable access to basic health care, such as breast and cervical cancer screenings and sexually transmitted infection [STI] testing.”


Next week, May 10-16, marks the tenth annual National Women’s Health Week in Arizona. Planned Parenthood Arizona is contributing to this important health education effort through a variety of activities including breast cancer screenings on May 16 (see attached advisory), and about prevention to the crowds on May 13 in conjunction with President Obama's visit to Arizona to deliver the ASU commencement address.


The best way for women to protect their reproductive health is through preventive screenings. Sexually transmitted infections (STI) continue to pose a serious public health threat in this country, particularly to young women who are more vulnerable to infection than men due to biological factors. Without detection and treatment, STIs can lead to serious short- and long-term health consequences, including infertility.


Regular cancer screenings can identify precancerous or abnormal cells and treat them before cervical cancer develops. Routine administration of Pap screening has led to increased detection of pre-invasive lesions of the cervix and decreased mortality rates.


National Women’s Health Week, coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, empowers women to make their health a top priority. The 7th annual National Women’s Checkup Day will be observed May 11, 2009.


As the nation’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care services, more than three million clients annually depend on Planned Parenthood for quality, affordable health care.


Planned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona. We provide health care, education and outreach services to over 100,000 men, women, teens and parents annually. Planned Parenthood operates 20 health center locations in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Globe, Prescott and Yuma. For more information, please visit


Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. We believe that everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood affiliates operate nearly 880 health centers nationwide, providing medical services and sexuality education for millions of women, men, and teenagers each year. We also work with allies worldwide to ensure that all women and men have the right and the means to meet their sexual and reproductive health care needs.

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