June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) celebrates immigrants in Connecticut and around the world by calling for health equity everywhere.

 

“At Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, we believe that access to health care and education, without fears of deportation or detention due to one’s immigration status, is an integral part of what it means to have a healthy and complete life,” said Gretchen Raffa, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy with Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “Part of honoring immigrant heritage in this country is to ensure that we advance health equity so that everyone is able to live a life of dignity – no matter what.”

 

The Trump administration is focused on stripping both women and immigrants of their rights. Attacks on immigrant rights and reproductive health care make the already difficult maze of barriers to accessing care nearly impossible for undocumented immigrants to overcome.

 

Access to health care and education are basic human rights. However, undocumented immigrants in Connecticut cannot access the institutional aid they pay into at state colleges and universities. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England boldly supports CT Students for a Dream and its “Afford to Dream” campaign to pass Senate Bill 17 and House Bill 7000: Equalizing Access to Student-Generated Financial Aid, because education attainment is one of the key components to reducing reproductive health disparities.

 

PPSNE and fellow members of the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance (CIRA) will be standing side-by-side with CT Students for a Dream daily at the state house in Hartford until the legislative session ends June 7. PPSNE and coalition partners urge lawmakers to not let another year go by without passing this important policy. Together with CIRA we will continue to fight threats to the immigrant community, including community defense initiatives and sanctuary policies. We will continue to support efforts that strengthen state laws to protect immigrants from deportation threats.

 

“We know our patients don’t just need sex education, birth control, or cancer screenings – they need a living wage, access to quality education, to live in communities free of violence and without fear of harm from discriminatory policies,” said Raffa. “This legislation will directly impact the patients who rely on us for vital health care services. No one’s health should be compromised because of their immigration status.”

 

The doors of PPSNE are open to all people regardless of country of origin, faith, immigrant and refugee status, or to those who may otherwise have nowhere else to turn for health care. We are a trusted, local resource for convenient and confidential services, including STD/STI testing, HIV testing and counseling, all FDA approved birth control methods, pregnancy testing and counseling, emergency contraception and more. We offer medical interpretation services for non-English speaking patients; have a sliding fee scale based on one’s income and participate in many insurance plans.

 

For more information or to make an appointment visit ppsne.org or call 800-230-PLAN.