***For Immediate Release*** Contact: Erin White
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PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF NEW YORK CITY ANNOUNCES PRIORITIES FOR DE BLASIO TERM
(New York, NY)—Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) announces a set of priorities for Mayor de Blasio and his new administration to support the shared goal of addressing inequities in health care access and outcomes in the sexual and reproductive health of New York’s women, men, and young people.
“Bill de Blasio knows that in many ways we live in two cities and that includes health—one where people can access health care and information and one where people are barred from it due to cost, immigration status, gender identity, lack of information, or other factors. At Planned Parenthood of New York City, we know the mayor is committed to ensuring New Yorkers can stay healthy. We look forward to working with him on addressing these disparities,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City.
As states across the country continue to restrict reproductive health care, it’s more important than ever that New York City provide affordable health care services to all. Unfortunately, far too many continue to struggle to get this care. Every day in our health centers, we see men and women in need of affordable health care from someone they trust. Based on our longtime work with New Yorkers, we’ve identified the following priorities for keeping our city healthy:
• Teach sex education in all middle and high schools, increase the number of school-based health centers, and continue or restore programs that provide comprehensive health care, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment, and opportunities for pregnant and parenting young people to continue their education.
• Prevent unintended pregnancies particularly among women in their twenties, when rates are highest, by investing in education and efforts to reduce stigma associated with contraception and by increasing the availability of long-acting reversible contraception.
• Offer reproductive health services for the more than half a million City University of New York (CUNY) students, on-site or through partnering providers. CUNY is a gateway for many New Yorkers and has the opportunity to connect students to a wide range of services, including sexual and reproductive health services.
• Ensure that comprehensive sexual and reproductive information and health care services are delivered by trained providers to special populations including youth in foster care, the homeless, and incarcerated individuals—all of whom are at higher risk for sexually transmitted disease, HIV, and unintended pregnancy. These groups have complex needs that require special consideration, as well as strong referral networks to stay connected to care when they transition back into their communities.
• Ensure the needs of LGBTQ and transgender people are addressed whether they are in foster care, homeless shelters, or city jails. These individuals often need special accommodations for housing, health care, and transitional services.
• Continue to fund and support safety net providers, including family planning providers, who serve New Yorkers who are excluded or unable to obtain health coverage because of barriers such as confidentiality, immigration status, and cost.
• Protect and expand services for women of color living with HIV/AIDS as well as those at high risk of becoming infected. African-American and Latina women represent 93 percent of new HIV diagnoses among New York City women and many face challenges in getting treatment and care.
• End the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution. Currently, police can confiscate condoms and introduce them as evidence of prostitution. Individuals who carry and use condoms to protect themselves from pregnancy, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections should not have to fear that the condoms will be used as evidence against them.
“Bill de Blasio has been a steadfast champion for comprehensive sex education, access to reproductive health services, and the rights and health of women and men across our city. We welcome him into office and are eager to work with him to make our city an even stronger example and leader in sexual and reproductive health care,” Malin said.
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, life-saving cancer screenings, male reproductive health services, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC is bringing better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for sexual and reproductive health equity, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.