Celebrities Join New Planned Parenthood President in Call for Normalizing of Planned Parenthood Services
NEW YORK, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood launches “This is Health Care,” a national awareness effort aimed at reinforcing that reproductive and women’s health services are standard medical care.
Reproductive health care is health care. Women’s health care is health care. And health care is a basic human right,” said Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “For more than 100 years, providing quality health care and education has been at the center of Planned Parenthood’s mission. As a doctor, I know that services like cancer screenings, well-woman exams, and the full range of reproductive health care — including birth control and abortion — are standard medical care. They should be treated just like any other aspect of medical care and available to everyone — regardless of their income, ZIP code, or identity.
With the arrival of Dr. Leana Wen, the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, the organization is reiterating that it is well past time that women's health care — including birth control, cancer screenings, abortion, and STD testing and treatment — is recognized for what it is: standard health care.
Annually, Planned Parenthood health centers provide more than 9.5 million reproductive health care services, including more than 660,000 cancer screenings, 2.7 million birth control services, more than 700,000 HIV tests, and more than 4.4 million STD tests total. Planned Parenthood provides transgender hormone therapy in 17 states.
For many of Planned Parenthood’s patients, Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care.
The launch of “This is Health Care” comes as voters made clear in the midterm election that they are unhappy with the Trump administration's attacks on health care and politicians debating whether or not women have a right to basic health care services. Less than 24 hours after voters spoke at the polls, the Trump administration released new rules that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage.
The effort launches with marketing assets and support from celebrities across the country.
Currently, many people in the U.S. face barriers to health care, especially people of color, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ people. Eliminating barriers to health care is critical to improving public health overall.
Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons, like treating endometriosis. One in four women in America will decide to have an abortion by age 45. At a time when politicians are still debating whether women have a right to basic health care like birth control and abortion, Planned Parenthood is doubling down on its commitment to change the culture around reproductive health care and support patients.
Actor, writer, director, and producer Issa Rae said in support of the effort, "They've done so much for our community, for women, for everybody. When I had questions in my adolescence, in my teenage years, when I had scares and issues, Planned Parenthood was the safest place to go.”
Actor and comedian Chelsea Handler shared that, “The idea that I would have a child at 16 years old and raise it by myself, when I couldn’t even find my way home at night, was ridiculous. My parents recognized that, so they took me to Planned Parenthood to be educated, to get birth control, and to have an abortion. When it was over, I was relieved in every possible way. I’m grateful that I was able to get an abortion legally without risking my health or bankrupting myself or my family.”
Actor Laura Gomez said, “When I first came to this country as a young Dominican immigrant with big dreams and little resources, I was a struggling actor. I relied on Planned Parenthood for my health care. They found a cyst in my breast and they offered me high-quality treatment that I could afford.”
Other celebrities sharing their stories in support of Dr. Wen’s message include Andrea Navedo (Jane the Virgin), Selenis Leyva (Orange Is The New Black), Ashley Blaine Featherstone (Dear White People) and Jennifer Fox (The Tale).
The vast majority of people in this country believe women should make their own personal health care decisions, and they support the right to access abortion safely and legally, without interference from politicians. Seventy-two percent of Americans —including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned.
Yet, in the last seven years, politicians have passed more than 400 new state abortion restrictions that shame, pressure, and punish women who have decided to have an abortion. No matter what one’s personal feelings on abortion are, we can all agree that it is not the place of politicians to make health decisions for someone else.
Said Dr. Wen, “The ways in which reproductive health care, and women’s health care, is singled out in this country is unacceptable. These services are standard medical care. Politics has no place in the exam room and politicians should not be interfering in patients’ personal decisions about their health.
To find a Planned Parenthood health center near you or to learn more about Planned Parenthood services, visit plannedparenthood.org.
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 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.