Ah, Planned Parenthood. Few organizations have evoked such intense reactions, whether positive or negative. And with reproductive rights under threat, Planned Parenthood is often at the center of the sexual health / reproductive rights debate. With so many different sources and so many different opinions, it’s not always easy to tell what’s true and what’s not. So, in the interest of clearing the air and arming voters with information, here are seven things you probably didn’t know about Planned Parenthood.
1. Planned Parenthood is over 100 years old. Nurse Margaret Sanger opened America’s first birth control clinic in Brooklyn in October 1916. She grew up in a family of 11 children and saw firsthand the effect frequent pregnancies had on a woman’s health. When the clinic opened, educating people about contraception was illegal.
2. Planned Parenthood offers many services besides abortion. While Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services, that’s far from the only thing they do. Patients can also access birth control, emergency contraception, general health care, HIV testing, LGBT services, men’s health services, pregnancy care, STI testing and treatment, and routine gynecologic care.
3. Planned Parenthood is America’s largest provider of sex education. They’re also our leading sexual and reproductive health care provider. Topics include human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, society and culture, and resources for parents and educators.
4. Planned Parenthood has gone international. Across the globe, over 200 million people lack access to, and information about, sexual and reproductive health services. For the last 45 years, Planned Parenthood Global has provided tens of thousands with health services and information.
5. There’s no such thing as a stupid question. You know that really embarrassing question you want to ask but are too afraid to? There’s an app for that. The Roo app allows users to anonymously submit their questions about sexual and reproductive health and get answers from health professionals. Plus, it’s free.
6. Planned Parenthood offers delivery services. With the Planned Parenthood Direct app, users can get their prescriptions delivered right to their front door, improving access to health care.
7. Abortion rates have reached a record low. According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion rates in America are at their lowest since 1973. This is likely due to a lower rate of pregnancies overall and the passing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
So there you go, seven more things you now know about Planned Parenthood. Go forth and vote!