New York, NY — On October 16, 2016, Planned Parenthood turns 100. To commemorate its Centennial, the organization is kicking off #100YearsStrong, a year-long effort of action, sharing, and celebrating the progress Planned Parenthood has driven for women and families over the last 100 years. More than 150 community events worldwide will take place, including an event in New York City this weekend to commemorate the opening of the first clinic by Margaret Sanger in 1916.
“We’re thrilled to be 100 years strong. We’ve made incredible gains during our first century and we’re just getting started,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We will build on our proud legacy and launch our second century with as much passion, courage, and conviction as our first.”
For the past century, Planned Parenthood has transformed women’s health and empowered millions of people worldwide to make informed health care decisions, forever changing the way they live, love, learn and work. From a single clinic in Brooklyn, Planned Parenthood has now grown to approximately 650 health centers across the country and is part of the fabric of American society in all 50 states. Founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives, Planned Parenthood has helped women and families fulfill their dreams.
"Over the last 100 years, Planned Parenthood has played a critical role in advancing public health in this country," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association. "For a century, their leadership and dedication to increasing access to the full range of reproductive health services has not wavered. Planned Parenthood is an integral part of our nation’s health system."
Planned Parenthood has been at the forefront of epic fights to create and expand opportunities for women, from legalizing birth control to ensuring the availability of safe and legal abortion, and getting women covered for preventive care and birth control under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Women now have opportunities that were unimaginable in 1916. They’re in every major profession and job category in the United States — serving in our military and in law enforcement, practicing medicine and law, in education and major corporations, in professional sports and managerial positions.
“We could not have made it to 100 without the work of our partners in the reproductive health, rights, and justice community. We share our progress and achievements together, and are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder as we work toward the next 100 years of progress,” said Richards.
Highlights from Planned Parenthood’s first 100 years:
1916: America’s first birth control clinic opens. Margaret Sanger — together with her sister Ethel Byrne and fellow activist Fania Mindell — opens a birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Nine days later, police raided the clinic and shut it down. Less than a month after opening their storefront, all three women were charged with crimes related to sharing birth control information. Sanger refused to pay the fine, instead spending 30 days in prison, where she shared birth control information with other inmates. Today, there are approximately 650 Planned Parenthood health centers across the country and 99 percent of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives.
1970: Planned Parenthood of Syracuse, New York, becomes the first affiliate in the nation to provide legal abortion after New York state, following the lead of Hawaii, repealed its state law criminalizing abortion. Today, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures and nearly 1 in 3 women will have an abortion at some point in their lifetime.
1971: Planned Parenthood’s international work begins with a grant to improve reproductive health care around the world. Today, 1 million individuals are reached with information and services by more than 100 Planned Parenthood Global partners in 12 countries across Africa and Latin America in a single year.
1979: Planned Parenthood develops its National Education program to ensure teens had access to medically accurate information and confidential health care services. Today, 1.5 million young people and adults are reached through Planned Parenthood’s educational programs and outreach in a single year.
1989: Planned Parenthood Action Fund is established to engage in public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, legislative and electoral advocacy. Today, Planned Parenthood has nine million activists, supporters, and donors working to protect sexual and reproductive health, safety and fundamental rights.
1996: Planned Parenthood Federation of America launches plannedparenthood.org. Today, 72 million people visit Planned Parenthood online for sexual and reproductive health information in a single year.
2000: Planned Parenthood establishes its first campus group to organize students around reproductive health and rights. Today, Planned Parenthood organizations work with more than 275 campus groups to help build the healthiest generation ever.
Learn more about Planned Parenthood’s services here: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are
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
October 11, 2016