Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, regarding Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
“Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is proud to commemorate the amazing life, mission, and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this January 17, 2011. Dr. King worked tirelessly in the fight against racial injustice and inequality in employment, education, housing and voting rights. Dr. King also spoke passionately about the need for equity in health care, and said in 1966, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.’
“With the passage of health care reform in 2010 this nation is a step closer to a system that is more equitable for African Americans, Latinos, and others who experience higher rates of many chronic conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer, and higher death rates from these conditions compared to whites. More than 7 million African Americans and more than 15 million Latinos were without health insurance in 2009, which prevented many of them from getting the preventive care or treatment they need for chronic conditions. The Affordable Care Act is the single greatest advance in making health care, including prevention, affordable and accessible to all Americans no matter their income or background.
“Planned Parenthood is opposed to racism and prejudice of any kind and is fully committed to ending racial disparities in health care, including reproductive health care, that disproportionately affect African Americans, Latinos and others. More than 90 percent of the health services provided at Planned Parenthood health centers is preventive in nature, including lifesaving breast exams, Pap tests, contraception, and physical exams at an affordable cost.
“In 1966, Planned Parenthood presented Dr. King with the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, the organization’s highest honor, in recognition of his excellence and leadership in furthering reproductive health and rights.
“Martin Luther King Jr. Day serves as a reminder of how much we have accomplished and how much we have yet to achieve. Making affordable health care available to all Americans will ensure that Dr. King’s dream of health care justice is fulfilled.”
January 14, 2011
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 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 media office: 212-261-4433
January 14, 2011