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New York, NY — This Immigrant Heritage Month, as a leading U.S. health care provider and global health advocate, Planned Parenthood Federation of America will celebrate immigrants in the United States and around the world by calling for health equity for everyone everywhere.

With the Trump administration’s efforts to strip both women and immigrants of their rights, it is no surprise that immigrant women are caught in the crosshairs. Attacks on immigrant rights and reproductive health care – and providers like Planned Parenthood, which many immigrants have come to rely on for care – make the already difficult maze of barriers to accessing care nearly impossible for undocumented immigrants to overcome. (Congress is currently considering an Affordable Care Act repeal bill that would block Medicaid recipients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers - a move that would endanger lives and increase unintended pregnancies.)

At Planned Parenthood, we believe that the ability to migrate with dignity and access health care without fears of deportation or detention due to one’s immigration status, is an integral part of what it means to have a healthy and complete life,” said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Part of honoring immigrant heritage in this country is to ensure that we advance health equity so that everyone is able to live a life of dignity — no matter what.

Targeting preventive health care services at Planned Parenthood disproportionately impacts people with low incomes and people living in medically underserved areas, including undocumented immigrants. Because undocumented immigrants are barred from accessing affordable health coverage through the health insurance marketplaces and federally funded programs like Medicaid – a harmful and unfair policy that Planned Parenthood does not agree with – people who are undocumented often depend on health care providers like Planned Parenthood that are willing to work with them to provide affordable primary and preventive health care.

As one of the country’s leading health care providers, at Planned Parenthood we see firsthand how harsh immigration enforcement can stand in the way of families accessing health care in this country,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “No one’s health should be compromised because of their immigration status. We know what happens when communities who already face barriers in accessing health care are driven further into the shadows – they will forgo the care they need to preserve their own safety and economic security for their families.

“Defunding” Planned Parenthood – and thus reducing the availability of quality, trusted health care providers – would strike yet another blow to undocumented immigrants’ already limited access to reproductive health care.

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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 more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood affiliates 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.