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Planned Parenthood Takes Women's Health Message to Capitol Hill
Protecting Women’s Health in Health Care Reform Must Be a Priority
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), one of the nation’s leading women’s health care providers and advocates, canvassed Capitol Hill today with more than 300 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. Among the 300 making Hill visits were Planned Parenthood affiliate CEOs, staffers, supporters and Planned Parenthood teen peer educators and young adult volunteers.
“As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the importance of making sure women are a priority in health care reform,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “That’s 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 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood health centers do is provide preventive health care. Planned Parenthood health centers are essential community health care providers.”
Planned Parenthood staff, board members and volunteers made nearly 250 visits to members of Congress to discuss the need to make women’s health a priority. They brought Congress two 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 Richards. “That means we need commonsense proposals that give women access to reproductive health care and the opportunity to go to their provider of choice.”
With the economic downturn, 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 was a part of the Planned Parenthood 2009 Policy and Organizing Summit, a three-day event with a focus on PPFA’s ongoing campaign for health care reform. Other events include organizing and advocacy workshops, panel discussions, and the presentation of the PPFA Maggie Awards and Barry Goldwater Award.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. 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 more than 850 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.