Massapequa Park, NY—More than 30 Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC) and Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic (PPHP) volunteers, advocates, peer educators and staff members rallied outside of Congressman Peter King’s Massapequa Park office on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 to protest his attempts to defund family planning and deny women access to preventive health care.
“In the debate over the federal budget, Congressman King not only voted to defund Planned Parenthood and leave millions of women without essential, life-saving health care, but he co-sponsored a bill to raise taxes for people and small businesses whose health coverage includes abortion care.” said PPNC’s President & CEO, JoAnn D. Smith.
The demonstration took place on the busy street in front of King’s local office on Park Boulevard in Massapequa Park. Advocates wore pink t-shirts and held signs saying “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” and “Don’t take away my birth control” while many cars passing by honked in support. A few advocates were allowed inside, where they spoke with a member of the Congressman’s staff about the importance of supporting family planning.
A Planned Parenthood patient, Dixie Escolero, spoke to the crowd, saying “When I found out about this rally, I felt like it was my responsibility to come. I turn to Planned Parenthood for health care like exams and birth control, and if Congressman King wants to take that away from me, he needs to take care of the bill for those services too—without Planned Parenthood’s sliding fee scale, I wouldn’t be able to get the care that I need.”
According to PPHP’s President/CEO, Reina Schiffrin, “Locally, Planned Parenthood’s 9 health centers provide care to over 30,000 patients each year. Defunding Planned Parenthood would have left more than 15,000 patients on Long Island with nowhere else to turn for health care.” She continued, “As more and more states across the country try to eliminate certain public funds from going to Planned Parenthood, we must let our representatives here in New York know that this is simply unacceptable.”
Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC) is one of 84 affiliates of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and operates 3 health centers in Nassau County. In 2010, PPNC provided services to more than 13,000 patients during 26,000 visits. We conducted education workshops and street outreach to 28,000 teens and families, and mobilized approximately 5,500 advocates to protect reproductive health care rights. PPNC has served the community for 78 years, and is dedicated to educating and empowering individuals to make responsible choices regarding their sexuality and sexual health. For more information about PPNC’s services and programs, visit www.ppnc.org.
Sarah Miller (516) 398-7183
September 06, 2011