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Planned Parenthood Honors Anthony D. Romero at Gala Celebrating Champions of Women’s Health and Rights
Event Features Actors Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and
David Eigenberg (Sex & the City)
Tonight, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) will proudly present its highest honor, the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, to Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), at a gala paying tribute to champions of reproductive health and women’s rights. Romero, the first Latino and openly gay leader of the ACLU, has devoted his career to human rights, racial justice, religious freedom, reproductive freedom, and the rights of sexual minorities. Actor David Eigenberg will co-host the event with PPFA President Cecile Richards.
“It is with great pleasure that I accept the highest award from an organization that for 95 years and counting has not only worked tirelessly to keep women, men and young people healthy, but has also been the leading advocate for sexual and reproductive rights,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero. “That’s a mission that the ACLU will continue to support, and that’s why today I stand with Planned Parenthood.”
“Anthony is a true friend, ally and hero. For years, he and his team at the ACLU have fought to safeguard women’s rights and health,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “Anthony’s leadership has been unwavering, and we know that we can count on him for the hard fights ahead.
“It is also my honor to salute tonight an array of entertainers, artists and activists for their unblinking honesty in addressing sexual health in their creative work and actions. By portraying the realities of people’s lives, and promoting frank, open discussion of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, they are contributing every day to the health of our kids and our country.”
PPFA will present its Maggie Award for Television to the Emmy Award-nominated series Friday Night Lights, which takes place in fictional Dillon, Texas, where high school football brings the community together. Actor Connie Britton will accept the PPFA Maggie Award on behalf of the show. “It’s such an honor to receive the Planned Parenthood Maggie Award. I'm so proud of Friday Night Lights, and having the opportunity to tell complex, real human stories, including stories of challenging and difficult personal health decisions.”
PPFA will also honor the Emmy Award-winning series Modern Family, a mockumentary-style sitcom about three related and diverse families. Actors Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell have recorded a video acceptance of the award on behalf of the program. “We proudly accept this award on behalf of Modern Family. We work really hard to offer a positive portrayal of a contemporary family and we don't shy away from the trickier questions, and we're truly flattered that you noticed," said Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell on behalf of the show.
MTV will receive the PPFA Corporate Leadership Award for its leadership and innovation in its partnership with Planned Parenthood and through strategic planning to reach young men and women about sexual and reproductive health. MTV was one of the driving forces behind the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign, in partnership with Planned Parenthood, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jason Rzepka, MTV’s vice president for public affairs, accepted the award. “It's been inspiring to watch our audience adopt GYT as a peer-to-peer call to action the last two years,” he said. “GYT has helped establish STD screening as a positive act on par with going to the gym, recycling or donating to a cause. We feel privileged to sit at the nexus of public health leaders, pop culture players and America's youth, and we'll continue to galvanize all three to make taking control of your sexual health sexy."
The PPFA “Walk the Talk” Award will recognize a new generation of online activists and philanthropists, including Wesleyan University students Jacob Eichengreen and Su Park, creators of the YouTube sensation – I Have Sex.
The gala awards dinner is the highlight of the 2011 Planned Parenthood National Conference.