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Washington, DC -- Tonight President Donald Trump addressed the joint session of Congress, stating his administration wants to “work with members in both parties to… invest in women’s health.” 

Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, issued the following statement:

“If this Administration and Congress want to invest in women’s health, they should listen to women. All across the country, women have spent the last week telling members of Congress they don’t want access to birth control and cancer screenings taken away. Investing in women’s health means ensuring all women have access to affordable, quality care -- that includes a full range of reproductive health care and the ability to make decisions about their health and their lives without the interference of politicians. That includes the decision about whether or not to have an abortion.   

“Investing in women’s health means ensuring women have the ability to choose a health care provider that meets their needs. It does not mean eliminating the Affordable Care Act, which has enabled 55 million women to access no-copay birth control and is directly tied to our nation’s 30 year low for unintended pregnancy. Investing in women’s health absolutely does not mean preventing women from turning to Planned Parenthood for basic health care. 

“Access to health care is fundamental to any person’s overall health and wellbeing. We know what happens when communities that already face barriers in accessing care are driven further into the shadows by policies designed to sow fear among them — they forsake the care they need to preserve their own safety. Planned Parenthood opposes forcing immigrants, Muslims, and people of color to live in fear.

“Yet, tonight, this Administration reaffirmed its agenda to increase harsh immigration enforcement efforts, impose faith- and nationalization-based restrictions on refugees seeking to enter the US designed to target Muslims, and target Black communities with unjust proposals.

“Reproductive freedom will never be achieved until all communities have access to quality education, economic opportunity,  the ability to migrate with dignity, and can live without fear of deportation or systemic violence.   

“Planned Parenthood health centers are proud to provide high-quality care to everyone regardless of race, gender, country of origin, faith, immigrant and refugee status, or to those who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for health care. Planned Parenthood will continue to listen to women and families, and our doors will remain open, no matter what.”

Tonight, Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President for Public Policy of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England,attended the joint session as a guest of Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Ruth-Ellen Blodgett, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley,attended as a guest of Representative Sean Patrick Maloney. Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD)brought Ola Ojewumi, a community organizer and Planned Parenthood patient and supporter who was able to receive lifesaving medical care thanks to the Affordable Care Act.      

Tomorrow Planned Parenthood patient Ola Ojewumi, Ruth-Ellen Blodgett and Jennifer Frizzell will join 150 Planned Parenthood patients and providers from across the country that will travel to Washington, D.C. this week. These advocates will hold over 200 meetings with members of Congress to share their personal stories and highlight the devastating consequences that ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood would create for their communities.

NOTE: On Wednesday, March 1, at 11 a.m. ET, Planned Parenthood will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill to highlight the “We Are Planned Parenthood” Capitol Takeover Day. 150 Planned Parenthood patients and providers from across the country will travel to Washington, DC, to share their personal stories with Members of Congress through over 200 meetings and highlight the devastating consequences that ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood would create for their communities.


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


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


February 28, 2017