Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America opposes the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) consideration of a proposal to repeal net neutrality rules, which currently require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. Ending net neutrality could allow internet service providers to make it more difficult and costly to provide or access content online, or even block certain websites or information entirely.
The potential to cut off access to information would threaten to exacerbate existing health disparities and heavily affect those communities that most depend on Planned Parenthood for care. LGBTQ youth in particular are five times more likely to look for sexual and reproductive health information online, four times more likely to search for information about HIV/AIDS and other STIs, and much more likely to use the internet to find health information generally.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Planned Parenthood is committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of income or where they live, have access to accurate, unbiased information about sexual and reproductive health, and access to health care services. Being able to find information on the internet makes that possible. Planned Parenthood opposes any efforts that could limit access to the information and services people need to stay healthy, including the proposal to repeal current net neutrality rules.”
Statement from Leslie Kantor, Vice President, Education:
“For our patients and people seeking factual health information who live in underserved areas, the internet is a lifeline. Failing to protect our patients’ access to information, especially critical health information and services, would hurt the communities that depend on Planned Parenthood — including young people, people of color, people with low incomes, people in rural communities, and people who identify as LGBTQ. Policies should protect and expand everyone’s access to critical information and care, not place it in jeopardy.”
Net neutrality principles are supported by three-fourths of Americans. Most people in the United States have very limited choice in selecting an internet provider, particularly those who do not have access to the internet in their homes and instead must access the internet through public places like libraries and schools. Ending net neutrality could affect the ability of people to access information and educate themselves, as well as the ability of Planned Parenthood patients to access care, including filling out birth control prescriptions and making appointments online.
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers and advocates 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.