Monday, March 30, 2009


Check out this press release sent on March 27th:

HOUSTON, TX - Tonight, Planned Parenthood Federation of America <> (PPFA) proudly honored reproductive health and rights advocates who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women's health care through their work promoting prevention and family planning, and presented its highest honor, the PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Secretary Clinton received this award for her unwavering support of women's health and rights throughout her public service career. Actor America Ferrera co-hosted the event with PPFA President Cecile Richards.

"It was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in accepting the award. "It's part of a movement which is about economic and political progress for all women and girls. It's about making sure that every woman and girl everywhere has the opportunity she deserves to fulfill her potential, the potential as a mother, worker and human being. The overarching mission of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the cause of reproductive freedom that you continue to advance today is as relevant in our world now as it was 100 years ago. So, I thank you."

"Throughout her public service career, as first lady of the United States, as a U.S. senator, and now as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has blazed a path to make health care affordable and available to all Americans," said Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards. "We are honored to work alongside such a champion of health care reform to meet the needs of women, men, and families across the country."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Planned Parenthood Applauds Federal Court Ruling on Plan B

Very exciting news! Check out this press release:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) applauded today’s ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordering the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to expand access to emergency contraception (EC), also known as Plan B.

“Today’s federal court ruling puts women’s health ahead of politics,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We must do everything we can to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and protect the health and safety of all women.”

Specifically, the court ruled that the FDA must make Plan B available over the counter to women age 17 and older within 30 days. Currently, Plan B is available over the counter to women age 18 and older, and with a prescription to women younger than 18. The court also ordered the FDA to reconsider whether minors under age 17 should be permitted to obtain emergency contraception over the counter.

“It is appalling that the U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among the most developed countries in the world. Approximately 750,000 teens will get pregnant this year, and this ruling can help reduce this alarming statistic,” added Richards. “Studies show that teenagers use emergency contraception responsibly and don't rely on it as a regular method of birth control."

The court ruling criticizes the FDA’s decisions regarding Plan B, saying that it was infected by “political considerations, delays, and implausible justifications for decision making,” “pressure emanating from the White House, and the obvious connection between the confirmation process of two FDA Commissioners and the timing of the FDA’s decisions.”

Research shows that increased access to contraception does not increase or encourage sexual activity among teens.

Emergency contraception (EC) pills contain hormones that reduce the risk of pregnancy when started within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. The sooner EC is administered, the better it works, making timely access critically important. And studies show that women do not rely on emergency contraception as a regular method of birth control.

Monday, March 23, 2009

VICTORY! Affordable Birth Control Restored!

FINALLY! It's about time!

On Wednesday, March 11, President Obama signed into law the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations package (HR 1105), which – among other things – included the language to once again permit pharmaceutical companies to immediately offer nominally priced drugs to all Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as other family planning clinics and college- and university-based health centers, should they choose to do so.

To assure pharmaceutical companies that they may once again offer all Planned Parenthood health centers nominally priced drugs if they so choose, we asked Senators Stabenow (D-MI) and Baucus (D-MT) to submit a colloquy (a conversation for the record, demonstrating congressional intent) to that effect. We have provided this information to CMS and been in conversations with them regarding implementation.

This victory was two years in the making. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard for this fix!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Let's Say Goodbye to Abstinence Only Funding!

Here's what we know: Each year, the federal government spends $176 million on failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs through Title V.

Here's what we're hoping: Since the Bush Administration is gone, and President Obama is a supporter of comprehensive, medically accurate, age-appropriate, sexuality education, that that abstinence-only mess will be halted and its money used for what research shows works much better: Comprehensive Sex Ed!

Speaking of that, here's another thing we know: Research indicates that teenagers who receive information about both abstinence and contraception, including condoms, are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners and use protection when they do become sexually active.

Oh, and one more important thing we know: We need to let our elected officials know that America wants comprehensive sex education in schools. Over 80% of parents want sex education to include information on abstinence AND contraception.

So, call Senators Stabenow and Levin today- and let them know that you want our teens to be safe and informed!

Sen. Stabenow:(202) 224-4822
Sen. Levin: (202) 224-6221

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

White House Council on Women and Girls

Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced that, via executive order, it is setting up a White House Council on Women and Girls. This panel's charge is to address women's issues, and specificaly now, with the current economic crisis, women's role in the American economy.

“The mission of the council will be to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronted by women and girls and to ensure that all Cabinet and Cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families,” a White House official said (

I am excited to see that the myriad of issues we face as women are getting attention as they relate to and effect us. There are so many things that I care about that may possibly be included in this council- obviously, reproductive health issues, but also domestic violence, sexual assault, work place discrimination, the affect of environmental degradation on our health, body image issues, ... and the list goes on!

I hope they set up a website for this, like they have for other important issues the President is working on, so that women can participate by sharing their stories and ideas. I know we here at PPAM, and all of our volunteers and supporters, would have a lot of things to share!

Although many women's groups have been advocating for a Cabinet level office specifically for women, I think this non-cabinet council is still a step in the right direction. For the last 8 years we didn't have anything at all!

President Obama's signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, his signing of the SCHIP expansion, his repeal of the Global Gag rule- and now this Council, all in his first 50 days as president, show his commitment to women and young girls' health and well-being.

Friday, March 6, 2009


We are so close to having affordable birth control BUT WE NEED YOU TO MAKE SURE IT HAPPENS!

On Wednesday we were made aware of an attempt by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) to strip this provision out of the bill calling it an "earmark" directly supporting the efforts of Planned Parenthood. But the fact is this fix does not provide funding to Planned Parenthood - or anyone else! It would simply fix a mistake in the law that put up a roadblock for pharmaceutical companies that wanted to offer cheaper drugs to health clinics.

Once we defeat this amendment for good, we will need to take credit for this monumental win.

PPFA has posted a video ( on why affordable birth control is important and we need your help! Please follow the link and create your own video why affordable birth control is important.

We are looking for stories and videos that answer the question: Why is affordable birth control important to YOU? For example, as college students you can talk about the cost textbooks, food, tuition, ramen noodles - anything - and hammer in the point that you are doing your part to pay for college, now it is the government's turn to make sure you can continue receiving this basic health care without losing other key essentials to succeed in college.

PPFA hopes to post as many videos on YouTube before Wednesday, March 11. And be sure to include the state of residence – these videos will be sent to your Congressperson.

After two years of hard work by YOU - our VOX members and Planned Parenthood staff members - we are SO CLOSE to restoring access to affordable birth control. In total, 50,000 postcards from all across the nation asking YOUR elected officials to pass affordable birth control legislation were collected. VOX students from around the country have been lobbying key officials on the hill and making a huge impact with senate leadership. You have written letters to the editor, op-eds, and media outreach in local and college papers, highlighting the importance of needing this legislation passed. And last fall almost 300 campuses in forty five states across the country participated in our Affordable Birth Control Week of Action, urging their community members to support affordable birth control.

This is your time to tell Congress and the President why affordable birth control is important to you! Please share your story on YouTube ( and let everyone know why affordable birth control is commonsense basic healthcare!

If you post a video on YouTube please let us know,, that way we can alert the national PP office to watch it and pass it on to your Congressperson.

Thanks for the quick action!!!

PP at Obama's Health Care Summit

The White House Health Care Summit was the first step in what will inevitably be great health care reform, where more Americans have access to health care, including preventative care, like what we here at Planned Parenthood are famous for.

Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President, was a featured speaker in the only breakout session that aired live on TV.

In addition, Cecile was one of the select few who was asked to speak during the summit. She highlighted PP’s important role as a safety net provider to millions of women and families, not just to the White House, but also to congressional leaders, media and a national TV audience.

You can watch her comments here:

Click here for more information on the White House Health Care Summit and to make your voice heard visit:

Doesn't it feel good to be moving in the right direction when it comes to something as important as health care!?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Vitter Amendment- Seriously?!

This is one of those moments I'm not proud to say I'm from Louisiana. Usually, I declare my birthplace with a smile, but lately, Sen. Vitter is really getting on my nerves. At least he's not my Senator, but what he's trying to do could affect women, men, and teens across the U.S.

Just this week he's announced an Amendment to the Appropriations Act that would keep Planned Parenthoods across the country from receiving Title X (that's the nation's family planning funding) money. He's tried these stunts before in the name of his "pro-life" values, but yet again, they don't really make sense to me.

So, let me get try to get this straight: You, Mr. Vitter, are going to take away money that PREVENTS unintended pregnancy (and has nothing to with abortion because Title X cannot be used for abortions) from the organization that is the LEADING reproductive health care provider in the nation? ... the very organization that prevents the most unintended pregnancies, and therefore abortions, in America? How does this achieve your supposed goal of lessening the number of abortions again? And how does this make sense when more people than ever find themselves with out health insurance or enough money to go to the doctor?

Oh, wait. It doesn't. And most people get that. Again, women's healthcare is being thrown under the bus for political gain.

There are almost 900 Planned Parenthoods from coast to coast, and we provide over 5 million people a year with family planning services. To take this option away from people at a time like this is not only non-sensical, it's immoral.

Take Action: