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Planned Parenthood
of New York City:
A Series of Firsts

Margaret Sanger opens the nation's first family planning clinic in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Women line up for birth control information. Nine days later Sanger is jailed for violating the Comstock obscenity laws. The clinic is shut down, but a movement is born.

Margaret Sanger opens the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in Manhattan, later known as the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, where physicians dispense contraceptives and study their health impact.

Margaret Sanger, assisted by courageous and prominent New Yorkers, opens additional clinics in Manhattan and the Bronx. Then known as "Mothers' Health Centers," they later become branches of PPNYC.

The American Medical Association recognizes birth control as an essential health service, lending influential credibility to Margaret Sanger's work of the past two decades.

PPNYC helps to reverse the Department of Hospitals of the City of New York's long standing policy against providing birth control information to all patients.

Planned Parenthood centers in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn merge to become Planned Parenthood of New York City.

PPNYC leads the fight to legalize abortion in New York State. Three years later the nation follows with the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade.

PPNYC's Manhattan clinical facility merges with the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau and is renamed the Margaret Sanger Center. The Margaret Sanger Center International (MSCI) is formed to assist and collaborate with family planning organizations overseas.

Congress passes the Hyde Amendment, banning the use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion unless the pregnant woman's life is endangered. PPNYC successfully fights to preserve New York State Medicaid funding for abortions sought by low-income women.

PPNYC pioneers the use of paid advertising to educate the public on policy issues. Early ads focus on teen pregnancy, poor women's access to abortion and extremist attacks on reproductive privacy.

PPNYC opens the Hub Center in the South Bronx, reaching high-risk youth with clinical services, sexuality education and vocational programs.

PPNYC partners with the New York City Board of Education to develop a comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education curriculum for the City's schools.

The New York State Department of Health designates PPNYC an HIV/AIDS trainer and care provider. Project Street Beat, PPNYC's mobile clinic, takes to the streets of the South Bronx at night, providing health care information and services to homeless teens at risk for HIV/AIDS.

The Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan upholds the "Gag Rule" restricting doctor-patient communication in federally funded family planning clinics. PPNYC refuses funding rather than comply and campaigns for legislation to overturn the "Gag Rule." (President Clinton in an executive order rescinds the rule in 1993.)

With funding from its first capital campaign, PPNYC renovates a building at 26 Bleecker Street in Manhattan for its new administrative home.

PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center International launches its Southern Africa Initiative, to address deteriorating reproductive health conditions for women and their families in eight countries.

PPNYC launches the Clinician Training Initiative (CTI) to address the critical shortage of abortion providers, and within three years trains 62 practitioners in first-trimester abortion and family planning counseling.

New York City becomes the largest U.S. city to enact a Clinic Access Law, allowing police to protect the safety and free access of individuals seeking to visit clinical facilities.

PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center becomes the nation's largest participant in a major research project offering medication (non-surgical) abortion.

The Margaret Sanger Center is relocated to a state-of-the-art reproductive health care facility at 26 Bleecker Street, the home of PPNYC's administrative headquarters.

PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center International opens its Africa Regional Office in Johannesburg, South Africa. PPNYC launches the Othmer Institute, a think tank devoted to promoting reproductive freedom and healthy sexuality through innovative programs and ideas.

PPNYC starts to provide medication abortion at all three of our health centers shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it, following years of advocacy by PPNYC and sister organizations.

Under the auspices of Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Global Partners initiative, PPNYC forms a "global partnership" with the Family Life Movement of Zambia, exchanging visits, resources, and best practices.

PPNYC begins a pilot program of offering health and educational services for males in our Bronx Center and within a year extends the program to our two other health centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The Village Voice praises PPNYC in its "Best of New York 2003" issue for helping eligible women to obtain publicly funded birth control. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recognizes PPNYC's Project Street Beat for its "commitment to excellence" in working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

After bringing 3,000 New Yorkers to the national March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC, PPNYC organizes a local version of the March for Women's Lives in New York City that draws 25,000 people to emphasize the importance of reproductive health and rights in the national dialogue preceding the presidential election.

PPNYC launches "Planning is Power," a bilingual public education campaign to promote awareness about contraception. Appearing in English and Spanish in subways, buses, community billboards, and radio spots, the campaign features a range of people who use birth control -- women on their own, couples, and parents -- and explains how planning helps them to take charge of their lives and achieve their future goals.

To mark the 90th anniversary of PPNYC, the Mayor, City Council, and Brooklyn Borough President issue proclamations declaring October 30th to be "Planned Parenthood of New York City Day." City and state elected officials speak at a reception celebrating this day and the completion of a major renovation of our Boro Hall Health Center in Brooklyn.

PPNYC connects with media outlets that engage a younger and increasingly diverse audience. We launch our own blog, "'NYC Unrated and Unfiltered," write a regular guest column in the Spanish newspaper El Diario, make "friends" through our pages on the social networking websites Facebook and MySpace, and post our videos on the popular video-sharing website, YouTube.

PPNYC's Margaret Sanger Center International receives the Ruth Mott Rawlings Award from Planned Parenthood Federation of America for our work in the Dominican Republic, including the release of our research study, "Con un Pie en Dos Islas: The Sexual and Reproductive Health of Dominican Women in Santo Domingo and New York City," which garnered extensive press coverage in the New York Times, El Diario, and other media.

PPNYC's Project Street Beat pilots the "Healing Our Women" intervention for its first implementation on the East Coast. The program helps women of color who have experienced trauma to reduce their HIV-risk behaviors, increase HIV treatment adherence, and decrease symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. With the success of the pilot, Project Street Beat continues to offer the HOW intervention and trains other HIV-prevention organizations to do so as well.

PPNYC begins to offer much-needed reproductive health services in New York's underserved borough of Staten Island.

When anti-choice federal legislators try to de-fund the nation's family planning program, Title X, and Planned Parenthood, PPNYC organizes a rally in Manhattan that draws 6,000 supporters to "Stand Up for Women's Health." It is the largest rally in the nation to support Planned Parenthood and successfully stave off the attacks.

Promotores de Salud, a new program, is established by PPNYC to train neighborhood residents to serve as peer health educators and advocates in their communities. They will seek to increase access to sexual and reproductive health care centers for Latinas in New York City.

Following up on our prior advocacy for health care reform, PPNYC goes all out to support the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, creating and distributing a variety of materials to inform our clients.  Ten of our Entitlement Counselors train as Certified Application Counselors so they can help clients choose and enroll in health insurance through the New York State Marketplace.

Together with five community partners, we launch "Building Healthy Futures: The Campaign to Prevent Unintended Pregnancy in New York City," a major social marketing initiative to encourage women in their 20s to use birth control.

PPNYC opens the Diane L. Max Health Center, a state-of-the-art health and education center in Long Island City, Queens, thereby realizing our long-held dream of serving every borough in New York City.

Planned Parenthood celebrates its Centennial!  From its origins as a storefront clinic in Brooklyn in 1916, the organization has grown into a nationwide federation of affiliates like PPNYC that are leaders in health care, education, and advocacy.

PPNYC expands new services we began offering in 2016: vasectomy, transgender hormone therapy, and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill that can prevent HIV infection.

We continue to expand the health care we offer to New Yorkers with Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), an emergency medication people can take within 3 days of being exposed to HIV.  We also introduce online appointment scheduling, enabling our patients to easily make appointments on any electronic device in real time, often for the same day. 

PPNYC becomes the provider for the Planned Parenthood Direct (PP Direct) telehealth app for people throughout New York State. Using this app on their phone, individuals can get low-cost birth control mailed directly to their home, or have their birth control or medicine for a urinary tract infection prescribed directly to the pharmacy of their choice.