Five Things You Can Do to Stand With Planned Parenthood

This handy primer comes courtesy of the folks at Planned Parenthood themselves:

What actually happened?
The House of Representatives voted last Friday to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding.  Here’s what that means:
  • Over 800 Planned Parenthood health centers provide primary and preventive care to millions of women, men and teens every year: lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, birth control, HIV testing, STI testing and treatment.  These services account for 97% Planned Parenthood’s work.
  • Certain federal funding streams – Medicaid (reimbursement for services), Title X family planning funding and related 340B drug pricing (loosely speaking, funding for supplies and education) – make Planned Parenthood an affordable, safety-net provider for millions who would otherwise forgo primary and preventive care (which costs all of us more in the long run).  This funding is what Friday’s vote would bar.
  • This funding has nothing to do with abortion: legislation has prohibited federal dollars funding abortion since most of us were children.  Abortion accounts for 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services.  And yet, of course, it has everything to do with abortion: the same people who say they are opposed to abortion are putting massive effort into undermining delivery of vital education and resources that help prevent the need for it.
What is next?
This funding ban is now part of the budget package passed by the House.  We are pretty sure the ban would fail in the Senate on an up-or-down vote- but that’s not how this works.  The real action on the budget is the conference negotiation that takes place behind closed doors, where the fate of Planned Parenthood health centers and the millions of women, men and teens who rely on them will be on the table for political bargaining.
If you have ever benefitted from Planned Parenthood’s services, resources or advocacy work, this is the time to take action.
What can you do?
Five suggestions below.  Doing all five would take 20 minutes.  Or pick three, or even one.
1.  Sign the petition to stand with Planned Parenthood.
Why:   Numbers matter.
How:   Go to and click on “take action” to sign.
Time:  Two minutes, tops.
2.  Thanks & Spanks:  Call your Representative to say “thank you” for your vote against, or “shame on you” for your vote for, the Pence Amendment to defund PP.
Why:   When constituents call, elected officials take note, serious note.  And it is just as important to say “thank you” as the opposite:  When those on our side hear constituents say thank you, it emboldens them to hold the line when the pressure is on to bargain.
How:   Find out how your Rep voted here:
Time: Five minutes, tops.
3.  Call your Senator to say I expect you to stand with Planned Parenthood.
Why:   Same reasons as above.  Do not discount the importance of a call to a supportive Senator.
Time: Five minutes, tops.
4.  Support the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Why:   As a charity Planned Parenthood is very limited in how much it can spend on grassroots lobbying (encouraging the public to contact congress about specific legislation); the Action Fund, however, is the advocacy and political arm of PPFA and as a 501(c)(4) non-profit, it does not have the lobbying limit.  Let go of the tax deduction and give to the Action Fund.
How:   Go to and click on “Donate” in the top right corner.  Give what you spend at Starbucks in a week, or what you would spend going out to dinner this weekend.  The amount does not matter, just give.
Time:  5 minutes, tops (Multi-taskers:  do this while calling the House and Senate!)
5.  Forward this message to friends or repost it on Facebook.
Why:   Help get the word out!
Time:  3 minutes, tops
I have never been prouder to work with this organization.  And it is important to remember that if this amendment becomes law, it is not ultimately Planned Parenthood that will suffer, but the millions of women who will lose access to preventative services and care.
Some articles on the topic:
NY Times:  Editorial – The War on Women (2/26/11)
NY Times:  Planned Parenthood Financing is Caught in Budget Feud (2/17/11)
HuffingtonPost:  Don’t Let them Kill Family Planning (2/10/11)


  1. Lisa Kelleher says:

    Thank you


  1. [...] of many stripes consider maternal death “part of God’s plan.” This is why they not only don’t give a damn that 97% of Planned Parenthood’s care is pre…, but they also don’t give a damn that women WILL DIE if abortion is made [...]

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