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Our History

92 Years and Counting

On June 13, 1932, 23 pioneers in the fight to secure reproductive rights signed the Articles of Association of the Maternal Health Association of Missouri, now Planned Parenthood Great Rivers. The goal of these brave women and men was to address the issue of maternal health among the poor by improving access to family planning information and services. They substituted common fear with common sense, creating strong families and meeting family needs.

100 Years of Care

1916 - America’s First Birth Control Clinic Opens

1932 – The St. Louis Maternal Health Association (forerunner to PPGR) is formed, serving only married women

1971 – The Planned Parenthood Association of St. Louis clinics expand service to include pregnancy testing, abortion referrals, and service to minors

1993 – Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region begins offering HIV testing and counseling

1995 – Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region begins providing reproductive medical services to men

2008 – Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region forms a partnership with the CHOICE Project to provide abortion care patients with their choice of highly effective, long active reversible contraceptive method. Almost 1,000 women participate during the first year.

2011 – After a historic tornado destroys much of Joplin, Planned Parenthood’s Joplin health center provides free care and medication to all clients with support from the Missouri Foundation for Health and individual donors

2017 - The Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt paves the way for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLRSWMO) to challenge Missouri regulations. The affiliate publicly announces their intention to provide abortion in Springfield and Joplin health centers.

100 Years of Advocacy

1943 - The National Clergyman’s Advisory Council is launched to coordinate relations between Planned Parenthood and the religious community

1968 – Planned Parenthood Federation of America votes to support legal abortion as a matter of personal choice

1993 – Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region (PPSLR) Board approves filing preliminary documents to create a 501(c)(4) corporation to help education voters about candidates’ positions on reproductive rights and services

1999 – Planned Parenthood Votes – St. Louis, a political action committee (PAC) is formed to provide financial support for pro-choice, pro-family planning candidates

2013 - PPSLR establishes the Affordable Care Act assister program to help patients and community access affordable health insurance through the ACA marketplace.

2015 - The Policy Department partners with Teen Advocates for Sexual Health (TASH) to successfully lobby the Missouri legislature to pass a new law updating and improving sex education in Missouri public schools to include information on the dangers of "sexting" and online dating.

2016 - In Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that two provisions in a Texas law — requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards — violate the Constitution.

Comprehensive Sexual Health

Most clients were fitted for a diaphragm and counseled on its use: a simple but controversial service that revolutionized women's ability to plan their families. The staff and board also opened a public lending library to give women, health care providers and social workers factual information about birth control and sexual health.


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