Planned Parenthood

New York City

Our History

Planned Parenthood
of New York City:
A Series of Firsts

1916
Margaret Sanger opens the nation's first family planning clinic in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Women line up for birth control information. Nine days later Sanger is jailed for violating the Comstock obscenity laws. The clinic is shut down, but a movement is born.

1923
Margaret Sanger opens the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in Manhattan, later known as the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, where physicians dispense contraceptives and study their health impact.

1930
Margaret Sanger, assisted by courageous and prominent New Yorkers, opens additional clinics in Manhattan and the Bronx. Then known as "Mothers' Health Centers," they later become branches of PPNYC.

1937
The American Medical Association recognizes birth control as an essential health service, lending influential credibility to Margaret Sanger's work of the past two decades.

1958
PPNYC helps to reverse the Department of Hospitals of the City of New York's long standing policy against providing birth control information to all patients.

1966
Planned Parenthood centers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn merge to become Planned Parenthood of New York City.

1970
PPNYC leads the fight to legalize abortion in New York State. Three years later the nation follows with the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade.

1973
PPNYC's Manhattan clinical facility merges with the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau and is renamed the Margaret Sanger Center. The Margaret Sanger Center International (MSCI) is formed to assist and collaborate with family planning organizations overseas.

1976
Congress passes the Hyde Amendment, banning the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion unless the pregnant woman's life is endangered. PPNYC successfully fights to preserve New York State Medicaid funding for abortions sought by low-income women.

1978
PPNYC pioneers the use of paid advertising to educate the public on policy issues. Early ads focus on teen pregnancy, poor women's access to abortion and extremist attacks on reproductive privacy.

1982
PPNYC opens the Hub Center in the South Bronx, reaching high-risk youth with clinical services, sexuality education and vocational programs.

1982
PPNYC partners with the New York City Board of Education to develop a comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education curriculum for the City's schools.

1988
The New York State Department of Health designates PPNYC an HIV/AIDS trainer and care provider. Project Street Beat, PPNYC's mobile clinic, takes to the streets of the South Bronx at night, providing health care information and services to homeless teens at risk for HIV/AIDS.

1991
The Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan upholds the "Gag Rule" restricting doctor-patient communication in federally funded family planning clinics. PPNYC refuses funding rather than comply and campaigns for legislation to overturn the "Gag Rule." (President Clinton in an executive order rescinds the rule in 1993.)

1991
With funding from its first capital campaign, PPNYC renovates a building at 26 Bleecker Street in Manhattan for its new administrative home.

1992
PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center International launches its Southern Africa Initiative, to address deteriorating reproductive health conditions for women and their families in eight countries.

1993
PPNYC launches the Clinician Training Initiative (CTI) to address the critical shortage of abortion providers, and within three years trains 62 practitioners in first-trimester abortion and family planning counseling.

1993
New York City becomes the largest U.S. city to enact a Clinic Access Law, allowing police to protect the safety and free access of individuals seeking to visit clinical facilities.

1996
PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center becomes the nation's largest participant in a major research project offering medication (non-surgical) abortion.

1997
The Margaret Sanger Center is relocated to a state-of-the-art reproductive health care facility at 26 Bleecker Street, the home of PPNYC's administrative headquarters.

1999
PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center International opens its Africa Regional Office in Johannesburg, South Africa. PPNYC launches the Othmer Institute, a think tank devoted to promoting reproductive freedom and healthy sexuality through innovative programs and ideas.

2000
PPNYC starts to provide medication abortion at all three of our health centers shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it, following years of advocacy by PPNYC and sister organizations.

2001
Under the auspices of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Global Partners initiative, PPNYC forms a "global partnership" with the Family Life Movement of Zambia, exchanging visits, resources, and best practices.

2002
PPNYC begins a pilot program of offering health and educational services for males in our Bronx Center and within a year extends the program to our two other health centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

2003
The Village Voice praises PPNYC in its "Best of New York 2003" issue for helping eligible women to obtain publicly funded birth control. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recognizes PPNYC's Project Street Beat for its "commitment to excellence" in working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

2004
After bringing 3,000 New Yorkers to the national March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC, PPNYC organizes a local version of the March for Women's Lives in New York City that draws 25,000 people to emphasize the importance of reproductive health and rights in the national dialogue preceding the presidential election.

2005
PPNYC launches "Planning is Power," a bilingual public education campaign to promote awareness about contraception. Appearing in English and Spanish in subways, buses, community billboards, and radio spots, the campaign features a range of people who use birth control -- women on their own, couples, and parents -- and explains how planning helps them to take charge of their lives and achieve their future goals.

2006
To mark the 90th anniversary of PPNYC, the Mayor, City Council, and Brooklyn Boro President issue proclamations declaring October 30th to be "Planned Parenthood of New York City Day." City and state elected officials speakat a receptioncelebrating this day and the completion of amajor renovation of our Boro Hall Health Center in Brooklyn.

2007
PPNYC connects with media outlets that engage a younger and increasingly diverse audience. We launch our own blog, "'NYC Unrated and Unfiltered," write a regular guest column in the Spanish newspaper El Diario, make "friends" through our pages on the social networking websites Facebook and MySpace, and post our videos on the popular video-sharing website, YouTube.

2008
PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center International receives the Ruth Mott Rawlings Award from Planned Parenthood Federation of America for our work in the Dominican Republic, including the release of our research study, "Con un Pie en Dos Islas: The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Dominican Women in Santo Domingo and New York City," which garnered extensive press coverage in the New York Times, El Diario, and other media.

2009
PPNYC's Project Street Beat pilots the "Healing Our Women" intervention for its first implementation on the East Coast. The program helps women of color who have experienced trauma to reduce their HIV-risk behaviors, increase HIV treatment adherence, and decrease symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. With the success of the pilot, Project Street Beat continues to offer the HOW intervention and trains other HIV-prevention organizations to do so as well.

2010
PPNYC begins to offer much-needed reproductive health services in New York's underserved borough of Staten Island.

2011
When anti-choice federal legislators try to de-fund the nation's family planning program, Title X, and Planned Parenthood, PPNYC organizes a rally in Manhattan that draws 6,000 supporters to "Stand Up for Women's Health." It is the largest rally in the nation to support Planned Parenthood and successfully stave off the attacks.

2012
Promotores de Salud, a new program, is established by PPNYC to train neighborhood residents to serve as peer health educators and advocates in their communities.They will seek to increase access to sexual and reproductive health care centers for Latinas in New York City.

2013
Following up on our prior advocacy for health care reform, PPNYC goes all out to support the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, creating and distributing a variety of materials to inform our clients.  Ten of our Entitlement Counselors train as Certified Application Counselors so they can help clients choose and enroll in health insurance through the New York State Marketplace.

2014
Together with five community partners, we launch "Building Healthy Futures: The Campaign to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy in New York City," a major social marketing initiative to encourage women in their 20s to use birth control.

 

 

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Our History