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Proposal would censor widely accepted language and promote stigma

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Planned Parenthood condemns the U.S. State Department’s proposal to prohibit U.S. diplomats around the world from using the terms “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education.” This proposal erases critical pieces of people’s health and lives and bans widely accepted language. The unprecedented move further promotes stigma related to sexual and reproductive health care services — including contraception, testing and treatment for HIV and other STIs, safe and legal abortion, and sex education.  

Statement by Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global:

These attempts to control the language and restrict the words U.S. diplomats are permitted to use threaten the vital work our foreign service officers and technical experts do on the ground every day to promote health and human rights. In my time with USAID, I saw firsthand the influence the United States wields in countries around the world, including our ability to define and determine how the world talks about certain issues — or doesn’t. The Trump-Pence administration’s flagrant censorship needlessly endangers the health and rights of anyone who seeks to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, especially women, young people, and the LGBTQ community. We will not stand by as this administration works to undo decades of global progress for health care access and human rights.

The proposed change was reported by Politico and follows the Trump-Pence administration's relentless attacks on reproductive health and human rights around the world, including:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America will continue to monitor the proposed changes.

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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.

For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.