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History

Planned Parenthood has a long and impressive 80 year history in Pennsylvania. This timeline shows the development of Planned Parenthood of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood Keystone.



 













1916 -
First birth control clinic in America opened by Margaret Sanger in Brooklyn, New York. All founders arrested and indicted under the Comstock Law.

1920 -
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified - women win the right to vote.

1921 -
The first American Birth Control Conference held in NYC results in founding of American Birth Control League.

1926 -
First Birth Control League in Pennsylvania is launched in Luzerne County.

1927 -
Birth Control Services is launched in Berks County, housed in Reading’s Community General Hospital.

1930 -
Hannah Feller establishes and operates the Maternal Health Center out of the basement of a house located on Cameron Street, Harrisburg. She secures 
its funding by personally soliciting local businessmen. Center is staffed exclusively by unpaid volunteers.

1932 - 
First Northampton County birth control clinic opens in Easton.

1932 -
Maternal Health Center founded in Lancaster. 

1934 -
Luzerne County’s first birth control clinic opens in Wilkes-Barre’s Kirby Health Center.

1935 -
Lackawanna County’s first birth control clinic opened in Waverly.

1935
 - The Maternal Health Center opens in York City. Staffed entirely by volunteers and one paid physician.

1936
- The first family planning clinic in Monroe County opens in basement of the Stroudsburg jail.

1937 -
Lackawanna County’s second birth control clinic opened in Peckville.

1938 -
Lackawanna County’s third birth control clinic opened in Moosic. 

1942 -
The National Birth Control League becomes Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

1948 -
Maternal Health Center opens its own office on Orange Street in Lancaster. 

1962 - 
Harrisburg’s Maternal Health Center accepted as a member of the National Planned Parenthood Federation under the leadership of James H. King, 
Esq.Staffed by volunteers, Harrisburg Hospital donates its facilities for weekly clinics.

1964 -
Harrisburg’s Maternal Health Center opens its own clinic, still staffed by unpaid volunteers. Financial support comes from then Board President, James 
H. King,Esq.and his successor, Dr. Walter Kirker and his wife, Jeanne.

1972 -
Harrisburg’s Maternal Health Center is reorganized as a federally-funded Title X agency under the name Tri-County Family Planning Services and is 
now staffed by paid employees.

1972 -
Planned Parenthood of Lancaster County purchases its first building and opens a center on 37 South Lime Street, Lancaster.

1973 -
Roe v. Wade, guaranteeing a woman's right to choose abortion, is decided by the Supreme Court.

1975
- St.Luke’s Episcopal Church temporarily houses Lackawanna County family planning clinic after a fire. Ten months later the center moves into its new 
location in the Bank Towers Building and a grant from the Scranton Area Foundation allows the establishment of The Family Life Education Center for 
developing sexuality education in the community.

1976 - 
Northampton County’s second family planning center opens on Lehigh University campus.

1978
- Lehigh County’s first family planning center opens on 13th Street in Allentown.

1981 - 
Luzerne County’s second family planning center opens in Hazleton. 


1982 -
Kate Michelman, later the national leader of NARAL, appointed CEO of Tri-County Family Planning Services.

1983 -
Planned Parenthood of Northampton County and Planned Parenthood Association of Lehigh County merge to become Planned Parenthood of the Lehigh Valley.

1985 -
Elephants Trunk Consignment Shop opens in Emmaus to help raise funds for Planned Parenthood.

1985 -
Lancaster County Planned Parenthood launches first capital campaign, resulting in construction of a new, expanded facility on 31 South Lime Street, 
Lancaster. 

1985 -
Planned Parenthood of Lackawanna & Wyoming County and Planned Parenthood of Luzerne County merge to become Planned Parenthood 
of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

1987 - 
Planned Parenthood of North East PA is created through the merger of four existing affiliates: Planned Parenthood of Berks County, Planned Parenthood 
of the Lehigh Valley, Monroe County Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood of Northeastern PA.

1989
- HIV testing and counseling launches at clinics throughout northeast PA.

1989 - 
Lancaster Planned Parenthood opens 31 South Lime Street Clinic.

1989 - PPFA establishes the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a separate 501(c)(4) organization, for lobbying to preserve the right to reproductive choice.

1990 -
Tri-County Family Planning Services becomes Planned Parenthood of the Capital Region in May.

1993 -
Planned Parenthood of Lancaster County suffers major arson attack. Services are never interrupted, but building reconstruction lasts six months.

1995 -
Planned Parenthood of Lancaster County merges with Planned Parenthood of the Capital Region to form Planned Parenthood of the Susquehanna Valley with the administrative offices located in Harrisburg. 

1996 - 
Bethlehem Health Center relocates to the grounds of St. Luke’s Bethlehem.

1998
- Reading Health Center offers first trimester abortions.

2006 -
Planned Parenthood Federation of America appoints new head: Cecile Richards, political activist and daughter of Texas Governor Anne Richards.

2008 -
Planned Parenthood of the Susquehanna Valley and Planned Parenthood of North East Pennsylvania merge to become Planned Parenthood 
of Northeast and Mid-Penn.

2012 -
Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn and Planned Parenthood Association of Bucks County merge to become Planned Parenthood of Northeast, Mid-Penn & Bucks County. 

2013
- Planned Parenthood of Northeast & Mid-Penn and Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania merge to become Planned Parenthood Keystone!


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