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For Immediate Release: October 10, 2016 

Contact: Katie Rogers, Communications Manager, 206-328-7705

Planned Parenthood Is 100 Years Strong ­ 

Organization Celebrates a Century of Providing Reproductive Health Care and Protecting Those Rights

SEATTLE — On October 16, 2016, Planned Parenthood turns 100. To commemorate its Centennial, the organization is kicking off #100YearsStrong, a year-­long effort of acting, sharing, and celebrating the progress Planned Parenthood has driven for women and families over the last 100 years.

For the past century, Planned Parenthood has transformed women’s health and empowered millions of people worldwide to make informed health care decisions, forever changing the way they live, love, learn and work. From a single clinic in Brooklyn, Planned Parenthood has now grown to approximately 650 health centers across the country and is part of the fabric of American society in all 50 states. Founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives, Planned Parenthood has helped women and families fulfill their dreams. 

“We’ve made incredible gains during our first century and we’re just getting started,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We will build on our proud legacy and launch our second century with as much passion, courage, and conviction as our first.” 

For the past 100 years, Planned Parenthood has been at the forefront of epic fights to create and expand opportunities for women – legalizing birth control, ensuring the availability of safe and legal abortion and getting women covered for preventive care and birth control under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

While the national organization celebrates its 100th anniversary, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) is celebrating more than 80 years of care and activism. 

“This is a momentous time in our history, and a significant celebration of care for the millions of women, men and teens we have seen over the last century. We are boldly looking to the next 100 years and revolutionizing innovative approaches to get people the information and care they need to stay healthy and reach their life goals,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “Across Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Western Washington we feel incredibly honored to be part of this progress and we will not rest until access to health care and rights are a reality for all people.” 

Across the country, Planned Parenthood affiliates and supporters are celebrating, acting, and sharing as part of the #100YearsStrong effort. More than 100 community events will take place, including an event in New York City to commemorate the opening of the first clinic by Margaret Sanger in 1916.


Background on Planned Parenthood’s Centennial

- 1916: America’s first birth control clinic opens. Margaret Sanger — together with her sister Ethel Byrne and fellow activist Fania Mindell — opens a birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Nine days later, police raided the clinic and shut it down. Less than a month after opening their storefront, all three women were charged with crimes related to sharing birth control information. Sanger refused to pay the fine, instead spending 30 days in prison, where she shared birth control information with other inmates. Today, there are approximately 650 Planned Parenthood health centers across the country and 99 percent of sexually active women have used birth control at some point in their lives.

- 1970: Planned Parenthood of Syracuse, New York, becomes the first affiliate in the nation to provide legal abortion after New York state, following the lead of Hawaii, repealed its state law criminalizing abortion. Today, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures and nearly 1 in 3 women will have an abortion at some point in their lifetime.

- 1971: Planned Parenthood’s international work begins with a grant to improve reproductive health care around the world. Today, 1 million individuals are reached with information and services by more than 100 Planned Parenthood Global partners in 12 countries across Africa and Latin America in a single year. 

- 1979: Planned Parenthood develops its national education program to ensure teens have access to medically accurate information and confidential health care services. Today, 1.5 million young people and adults are reached through Planned Parenthood’s educational programs and outreach in a single year.

- 1989: Planned Parenthood Action Fund is established to engage in public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, legislative and electoral advocacy. Today, Planned Parenthood has nine million activists, supporters, and donors working to protect sexual and reproductive health, safety and fundamental rights.

- 1996: Planned Parenthood Federation of America launches plannedparenthood.org. Today, 72 million people visit Planned Parenthood online for sexual and reproductive health information in a single year.

- 2000: Planned Parenthood establishes its first campus group to organize students around reproductive health and rights. Today, Planned Parenthood organizations work with more than 275 campus groups to help build the healthiest generation ever.


Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands is the region's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. The organization operates 28 health centers in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Western Washington and provides medical services and sexuality education for thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and relies heavily on charitable donations to ensure our patients' ability to determine their own destinies and receive the health care they need.