Washington, D.C. – Just now, a federal district court permanently blocked a Florida law that threatened access to care for thousands of Planned Parenthood patients. This ruling protects access to birth control, cancer screenings, STI tests, and other preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Find a copy of the order here and more details on the case in this backgrounder.
With the emerging Zika crisis, Governor Rick Scott has faced renewed and intense scrutiny for signing this law, which would have blocked access to critical care. Medical experts, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), agree that family planning should be the primary strategy to reduce the Zika-related pregnancy complications. More than a third of Florida counties don’t have an ob-gyn provider. Florida is already tied for last when it comes to women’s health and well-being, and is facing some of the highest cervical cancer rates in the nation. Florida has the third highest number of gonorrhea infections and the highest number of annual HIV diagnoses in the nation.
In the last year alone, politicians in 24 states have tried to block women from cancer screenings, STI tests, birth control and other care at Planned Parenthood.
Quote from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Thanks to this decision, our patients can continue to get the care they need. They can get birth control to plan their pregnancies and their future, and get STD tests that can save lives. Women’s access to health care is under attack across the country, and the threat of Zika across the Gulf region underscores why this care is so important. We will keep fighting until every person has access to the health care they need and deserve.”
Statement from Lillian Tamayo, CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida
“We are grateful the court stepped in to stop Rick Scott in his tracks and protect access to health care. If this law had gone into effect, it would have made a bad situation even worse. With the threat of Zika growing by the day, this care is even more critical. It’s time to stop political attacks on women’s basic health care.”
Statement from Barbara A. Zdravecky, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida
“This is a victory for thousands of Floridians who rely on Planned Parenthood. For many people, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can turn to. We may be the only place they can go in their community, or the only place that offers the screening or birth control method they need. No one should have their basic health care taken away.”
The plaintiffs are represented by James K. Green, P.A., Lawyers, West Palm Beach, as well as lawyers from PPFA.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With over 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
August 19, 2016