Statement from Ludwig P. Gaines, Esq., Director of African American Leadership and Engagement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Regarding Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
“Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is proud to celebrate the remarkable life, mission, and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Just a few months ago, Planned Parenthood stood with the nation's civil rights leaders on the National Mall in Washington, DC, to commemorate the historic dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. It was a proud day for our nation and a proud day for Planned Parenthood. We were, and continue to be, honored to share Dr. King’s message of universal access to quality, affordable health care as an urgent social, civil and human rights issue.
“Dr. King spoke passionately about the need for equity in health care, and said in 1966, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.’
“In 2012, inequities in access to quality health care and health disparities continue to disproportionately affect communities of color. The chronic rates of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer, HIV, and higher death rates from these conditions are cause for great alarm. In the face of this, Planned Parenthood remains unwavering in its mission to provide quality, affordable care to communities nationwide, and our doors are open to everyone.
“Planned Parenthood is opposed to racism and prejudice of any kind and is committed to ending the racial disparities in health care, including reproductive health care, that disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos and so many others. Our services improve women's health. More than 90 percent of the health services provided at Planned Parenthood health centers are preventive, including lifesaving breast exams, Pap tests, contraception, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
“In 1966, Planned Parenthood presented Dr. King with the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, the organization’s highest honor, in recognition of his excellence and leadership in furthering reproductive health and rights. Despite the many gains in health care equity since that time, we again face unprecedented attacks on access to basic health care services. With so much at stake, we need to remember Dr. King’s dream of health care justice, and work to ensure that quality care is accessible and affordable for all.”
January 16, 2012
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
January 16, 2012