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New York, NY — This month marks the third annual Immigrant Heritage Month, a nationwide effort to gather and share inspirational stories of immigration in America.  As a leading U.S. health care provider and global health advocate, Planned Parenthood will celebrate immigrants in the United States and around the world by calling for health equity everywhere.

The stakes are high for undocumented immigrants, many of whom forgo care instead of  risking deportation when visiting a health care provider. Due to the many barriers in accessing basic health care and information, immigrants face challenging and life-endangering health care disparities. Many women in immigrant communities are more likely to die from breast and cervical cancers, and some immigrant groups have higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections than other groups in the U.S. — all of which could be screened for, and in some cases prevented, with equal access to care.  

“At Planned Parenthood, we are proud to serve everyone regardless of their immigration status because we believe that everyone deserves high-quality, affordable health care,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We honor Immigrant Heritage Month by calling for the ability of all —  regardless of citizenship status —  to live an empowered life, with access to health care, and without xenophobic rhetoric and the looming fear of harsh immigration tactics, so that everyone has access to live a life filled with dignity — no matter what.”

Removing barriers to health care would increase access to critical health services, helping mitigate health disparities for immigrants such as DREAMers who qualify for DACA, and parents of U.S. Citizen children under DAPA, both of whom are excluded from the Affordable Care Act. We proudly support legislation that ensures citizenship status is not an obstacle to care, including the HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act of 2015 that removes political interference so immigrants are able to fully participate in the health care programs. We oppose harsh enforcement tactics that instill fear in immigrants, particularly the detention and deportation of women and children, which further deters immigrants from seeking critical care. Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of citizenship, have access to quality care, including reproductive health care.

“Planned Parenthood knows that health has no borders — and we work to achieve that vision in both the United States and abroad,” said Latanya Mapp-Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of PPFA. “For the last 40 years, Planned Parenthood has worked globally with partners in Africa and Latin America to provide places of refuge and compassion for those who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for health care. Every day, all around the world, asylum-seeking women and children are fleeing from conflict, violence, criminalization and persecution in their countries of origin and we are proud to work with partners overseas to ensure that they have somewhere to turn.”

Planned Parenthood also partners globally to advance health equity, because we know that not just in the U.S. but around the world, those suffering from systemic oppression including women of color and women in the global south are more vulnerable to health disparities and poor health outcomes.


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


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


June 02, 2016