I think that Planned Parenthood is amazing, and they do a lot more then you might realize. Planned Parenthood combines health centers all over the country with amazing national and local advocacy and education. Planned Parenthood is running TV ads on Health Care, and running really great campaigns like this one where you can send a letter to your elected officials telling them not be let anti-choice activists hijack health care reform. The DC office attends White House meetings advocating for young people and advocating for choice and women’s rights and comprehensive sex education.
The health centers provide affordable and sometimes free birth control to literally millions of people, and they provide safe, affordable abortion services to women all over the country. If a friend tells me that they want to get on birth control, I tell them to go to Planned Parenthood and I know that they will be taken care of, treated with respect, and that everything will be confidential. If I know someone who has had unprotected sex and is scared and needs advice, information and tests, I know that I can tell them to go to Planned Parenthood and trust that they will get everything they need. I am so grateful that this organization has invested so much providing services to young people and Planned Parenthood is a great example of living up to the message of Rights, Respect, Responsibility message that Advocates For Youth talks about. Check out this video of Planned Parenthood supporters, patients, and staff talk about why reproductive health care services are important in their lives and communities:
Planned Parenthood does amazing local work with lobbying, grassroots organizing, and education. I was trained by Planned Parenthood two years ago to become a peer educator (in their Teen Voices program), where I was paid to take a 30-hour class on sexual health, STI’s and HIV/AIDS, safe sex, mental health and eating disorders, and drug use among young people. I then had to make 30 “contacts” where I shared all this information with my friends and peers at school. This class is offered in both English and Spanish, and the outreach to the Latino community in North Carolina is much needed and highly commendable.
Planned Parenthood was central to in passing the Healthy Youth Act, which was a law that will put comprehensive sex education in all NC public schools next year. They had a grassroots organizer who led phone banks, lobby days and E-campaigns that made a huge difference. They did research and polls in North Carolina, and organized young people and activists to make their voices heard.
Planned Parenthood is doing so much work to better the lives of young people, and right now they are one of the few sane voice in the debate on Health Care Reform. if you are looking for a group to donate money too, I would defiantly put Planned Parenthood on the top of the list.
*Just a quick note, I do not work for Planned Parenthood and am only writing about this as an individual who appreciates the work that PP does.