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Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America issued the following statement in light of ongoing allegations of inappropriate sexual advances by members of Congress and continued revelations of misconduct by leaders in the public, business, entertainment and media sectors.

Victims of sexual harassment and survivors of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence seek care at Planned Parenthood health centers every day. We understand firsthand the impact this has on countless individuals, and we trust and believe the people who continue to come forward to hold accountable the business and industry leaders, celebrities, and elected officials who have abused their positions of power. We also know that many survivors continue to carry their stories silently, and we are only hearing a small percentage of voices from our communities. The time when people could subject others to inappropriate sexual advances or abusive language without consequence must end.

Statement by Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Whether you’re the president, a member of Congress, or an elected state or local official, you have a special responsibility to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct. If you fall short of those standards and violate the trust of your constituents by engaging in sexual misconduct, you should take full responsibility for your actions and step aside. Congress in particular should move immediately to enforce a zero-tolerance policy within its ranks, creating a system that quickly and transparently adjudicates sexual harassment complaints. 

“For over 100 years, Planned Parenthood has fought for a world where women are equal and in control of their own bodies. We will not stop until all women are treated with dignity and respect in the workplace, in accessing health care, and in their everyday lives.” 

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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.