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Celebrated Former Rep. Shirley Chisholm Also Receives Award

Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood of Maryland today congratulate and celebrate Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Senator Barbara Mikulski on her exceptional lifetime of work as a leader in advocating for women. ​ Planned Parenthood ​also applauds this award for former Rep. Shirley Chisholm, an equally strong advocate for women's health.

Statement from Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“Senator Barbara Mikulski has truly embodied what it means to be a tireless, unapologetic champion for women. Not only will the senator leave behind a legacy as the longest-serving woman senator in American history when she retires this term, but she will be celebrated for her fierce advocacy of women’s health, education, and reproductive rights.

“During her tenure in the Senate, Senator Mikulski championed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, helped establish the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, served as dean of the bipartisan Senate women, and has been a stalwart advocate for women’s access to health care throughout the years — which includes being a fierce champion of the services Planned Parenthood provides to millions of Americans.

“Senator Mikulski’s commitment to women’s health was demonstrably present throughout the initial debate over the Affordable Care Act when she fought hard for the inclusion of no-copay preventive care for women, including birth control, and ensuring that family planning providers are recognized as essential for women’s basic health care.

“Congratulations, Senator Mikulski, on receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom for your lifetime of extraordinary leadership and mentorship.”

Statement from Dr. Amina Chaudhry, Interim President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Maryland

"We congratulate Senator Mikulski on this incredible and well-deserved honor. Senator Mikulski has been a steadfast champion of women's rights and health.  In Maryland, we are fortunate to be represented by such a visionary and effective leader and trailblazer.  At Planned Parenthood of Maryland, we want to express our deep gratitude for Senator Mikulski's years of service and for her support to ensure access to essential health care for all."

The late Representative Shirley Chisholm, who will be honored posthumously this year, devoted her career to fighting for racial and social justice. The former New York representative was the first African American woman elected to Congress and during her seven terms, pioneered the Congressional Black Caucus and was an unwavering champion for women’s reproductive rights and access to health care, including abortion. Planned Parenthood lauds the work and the legacy of Rep. Chisholm, and actively recognizes the impact her actions continue to have on the fight for social justice, women’s rights, and accountable representation.


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 approximately 700 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


November 18, 2015