This week, Planned Parenthood turns 95, and let me tell you, we’ve never looked better.
Earlier this year, Americans from all walks of life — and all political parties — gave us the best birthday present ever: a drink from the fountain of youth.
When Planned Parenthood’s ability to provide health care was under grave attack from congressional leaders this past spring, more than 1 million people stood up to defend the essential health care provided by nonprofit Planned Parenthood health centers in communities throughout this country.
Their motivation was clear. One in five women in the United States has relied on a Planned Parenthood center for quality health care.
This is preventive health care many people would not receive if not for Planned Parenthood. Like Abigail from Maine, a young college graduate struggling to find work who relies on Planned Parenthood for the health care she needs. Or Lindsay from Wisconsin, a young woman who was uninsured when she became pregnant and then turned to Planned Parenthood for the resources she needed to have a healthy pregnancy.
But it’s not just the millions of patients like Abigail and Lindsay who visit Planned Parenthood health centers who know what we are all about. Online, Planned Parenthood websites, including Planned Parenthood En Espanol, receive an estimated 2.6 million visits each month from people seeking real health care information in real time. On top of that, through Planned Parenthood mobile, text and chat, we are the go-to source for health information that helps young people make responsible decisions, 24/7.
So when we say Planned Parenthood is 95 years young, we aren’t kidding. And we had better stay young — because even as millions of people count on Planned Parenthood, there are some politicians working to turn the clock back when it comes to women’s health. They are working to take away women’s access to birth control, cancer screenings and other essential health care.
But we are here to stay.
Last year we provided birth control services to more than 2.3 million people. We provided more than 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections. We served young women and young men. And when the going got tough, young women and men stood up for the health care provider they depend on.
Planned Parenthood was founded to make sure women could plan their pregnancies. Ninety-five years later, we are still committed to a world where all people are empowered to live healthy lives, without fear of unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, a world where young people can delay pregnancy until they are ready to support a family.
In short, a world with Planned Parenthood.
Ninety-five years ago, life really began to change for American women and we haven’t looked back. Together, stronger—and younger — than ever, we have the power to shape a healthier future.
Cecile Richards is the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and was named to Time magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She can be reached at email@example.com.