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(Hawthorne, NY) — Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP), along with the national organization Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), hosted a Capitol Hill day on Thursday, July 16. Nine PPHP representatives joined more than 300 other Planned Parenthood staff, board members and volunteers from across the country to discuss with members of Congress the importance of making women’s health a priority in health care reform.

PPHP President/CEO Reina Schiffrin, along with PPHP public affairs and education staff met with Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Tim Bishop, Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Steve Israel, Peter King, and John Hall.

“More than 36,500 patients count on us for basic, preventive health care every year,” said Reina Schiffrin, President/CEO, PPHP.  “We know firsthand the importance of health care reform, and that is why we are taking our case to lawmakers.  It’s time for Washington to learn what millions of American women have known for a long time — women’s health care is basic health care.  More than 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood health centers do is preventive and primary care. Planned Parenthood health centers are essential community health care providers.”

Today’s lobby day was a huge success.  Planned Parenthood staff, board members and volunteers made nearly 250 visits to members of Congress and delivered two main messages: any health care reform effort must include access to comprehensive reproductive health care, and women’s access to essential community providers must be protected. This ensures that basic prevention care, such as contraception, Pap tests, and other cancer screenings are covered and that women are able to access trusted health care providers in the communities where they live.

“Women must not be worse off after health care reform than they are now,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards.  “That means we need commonsense proposals that give women access to comprehensive reproductive health care and the opportunity to go to their provider of choice.”

With the worsening of the economy, more and more women have turned to community health centers such as Planned Parenthood as a source of high-quality health care at costs they can afford.  For many of these women, Planned Parenthood serves as their primary or sole health care provider.  A recent Guttmacher Institute study found that more than six in 10 patients who receive care at a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood consider it their primary source of health care.  These community health centers are an integral part of the nation’s health care system.

Today’s lobby day is a part of the Planned Parenthood 2009 Policy and Organizing Summit, a three-day event with a focus on PPFA’s ongoing campaign to ensure that women’s health is a priority in health care reform.


Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, Inc.



Beverly Katz (914) 467-7341



July 16, 2009