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Contact: Carrie Mumah, [email protected], 212-274-7294

ALBANY, NY - Today Planned Parenthood of New York City brought nearly 200 activists to Albany to join more than 1,000 sexual and reproductive health and rights advocates from around New York State to lobby legislators in support of keeping the Women’s Agenda in the state budget and funding the state’s Family Planning Grant. Activists, patients, and supporters heard from government leaders and advocates including Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose proposed Executive Budget includes Women’s Agenda provisions that would make a real difference in the health, safety, economic security and equality of women and girls.

“Planned Parenthood of New York City is proud to stand in solidarity today with activists from all over the state to make our voices heard and fight for the future of sexual and reproductive health care,” said Laura McQuade, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City. “As the Trump-Pence administration attacks our freedoms and basic rights, we are here to call on New York to resist this dangerous agenda and to support critical programming that ensures affordable access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health care. New York was once a leader when it came to sexual and reproductive rights. We are here today to reclaim that title and say it’s time to stop playing politics with people’s health.”

The day began with the Planned Parenthood #FightForward rally, with Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, and Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Activists then spent the afternoon lobbying elected officials to keep the Women’s Agenda in the 2018 budget including decriminalizing abortion, improving birth control  access, preventing maternal mortality, and advancing comprehensive sex education. Activists also made it clear that New York needs to fully fund the state’s Family Planning Grant, which connects uninsured and underinsured individuals with essential services including wellness exams, contraception, pregnancy testing, prenatal and postpartum care, health education, abortion, treatment and counseling for sexually transmitted infections, HIV testing and prevention counseling, as well as breast and cervical cancer screening.

"As a clinician at Planned Parenthood of New York City, I know that access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health care services helps people live healthy, empowered lives,” said Sunny Soroosh, RN, MPH, Registered Nurse Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of New York City. "We proudly provide care to every person, no matter what – regardless of your gender identity, your income, your immigration status, or your sexuality, you deserve competent, compassionate care and information. At Planned Parenthood of New York City, we welcome you. Unfortunately, this access is under attack today like never before. We are here today to fight back and to say that reproductive rights will not be stripped away in our city and state.”

"These are challenging days, with the President and both houses of Congress seeking to undermine women’s reproductive rights," State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. "Denigrating women and attacking access to sexual and reproductive health services is wrong. Together, we will speak louder and work harder to fight their extreme agenda and stand behind Planned Parenthood and support women’s right to all health services."

“The landmark Roe v. Wade decision underscored what we in New York have always held to be true: a woman's body is neither the property of others nor a political arena. But more than ever, it is clear that longstanding federal protections and funding are in jeopardy,” said New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. “The Assembly majority will continue fighting for both funding for critical women’s healthcare programs, as well as for women’s right to make their own decisions regarding reproductive choice and family planning.”

“New York State has been a national leader in the fight for women’s rights and equality. With what is happening in Washington, our state must again step up and serve as an example to the nation in the fight for women’s health care rights,” said Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “The Senate Democrats are proud to stand with Planned Parenthood to demand action, and we will continue to fight for women’s rights, protections, and equality.”

For photos and more information, please contact Carrie Mumah at [email protected] or 212-274-7294.