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Our History

On June 13, 1932, 23 pioneers in the fight to secure reproductive rights signed the Articles of Association of the Maternal Health Association of Missouri, now Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri. The goal of these brave women and men was to address the issue of “maternal health among the poor” by improving access to family planning information and services. They substituted common fear with common sense, creating strong families and meeting family needs.

Most clients were fitted for a diaphragm and counseled on its use – a simple but controversial service that revolutionized women’s ability to plan their families. The staff and board also opened a public lending library to give women, health care providers and social workers factual information about birth control and sexual health.

For more than 75 years, Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri has continued to add health services, improve education and health care programs, and make services more accessible for our region’s diverse communities. Today, we serve tens of thousands of women, men, and teens every year. Our commitment to healthy sexuality is a value shared by our Board of Directors, staff, clients and supporters.


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