Issues

For information about the issues Planned Parenthood works on nationally, visit the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Where we stand:

On a federal, state, and local level we work to ensure access to family planning, reproductive healthcare and choice. It is vital that public policies support personal childbearing decisions with medically accurate reproductive health information, including sex education, access to contraceptives and safe, legal abortion. Issues we work on include:

  • Family planning
  • Sex education, abortion
  • Emergency contraception
  • Pharmacist refusals
  • Minor’s health
  • Affordable and accessible health care

Family Planning Funding

Each year more than 400,000 low-income women in NYS access family planning services through clinics that receive public funding from state programs. These women are predominantly young, poor, and uninsured. Publicly subsidized family planning services allow them to get cancer screenings, STI testing, pap tests, and other basic health services. Also included are contraceptive services and family planning counseling, which prevent thousands of unintended pregnancies and abortions each year.

Despite overwhelming public support and the social and economic benefits associated with family planning services, these programs have remained significantly underfunded. While the number of women seeking these basic health care services, and the cost of providing them continues to rise, the funding for family planning in New York has remained level funded for the last several years, creating an unjust two-tiered health care delivery system.

Sex Education

85% of Americans support responsible, age-appropriate, medically accurate sex education in schools; Planned Parenthood believes that it is critical that our young people have access to accurate information and services.

Medically-accurate programs acknowledge that individuals have the right to choose when they want to become sexually active. Those who decide to engage in sexual intercourse should receive honest, accurate and responsible safer sex information. This kind of curriculum has been proven to delay the onset of intercourse, reduce the frequency of intercourse, and increase contraceptive use.

Abortion

Planned Parenthood believes that women have the right to obtain a confidential, medically safe, legal abortion under the standards set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

In contrast to New York, the US Congress has singled out certain classes of women (low-income women, federal employees, military personnel serving overseas, residents of the District of Columbia, and women in federal prisons) and restricted their access to legal abortions because their health care is funded in part by the federal government. New York provides state dollars to fund abortion services for women who cannot afford them, even though there is no federal participation in funding.

Planned Parenthood believes that in all cases a woman in consultation with her doctor should be able to make decisions about the best way to protect her health. Anti-women’s health organizations have tried to erode the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision (which ensures a woman's constitutionally protected right to choose) by advancing vaguely worded and deceptive bans on abortion procedures without an exception for the health of the woman. The ban on so-called partial birth abortion is an example. Such bans have been found to be unconstitutional by numerous courts, including the Supreme Court, specifically for failing to protect a woman's health.

PPNCAF works to ensure that New York maintains its pro-women’s health legacy by strengthening the state’s abortion laws in order to protect women’s health and safety. Equally important, PPNCAF works tirelessly to oppose any efforts to restrict access to abortion services in this state or nationally.

Emergency Contraception

In 2006, the FDA approved over-the-counter sales of emergency contraception (EC), also known as "the morning after pill” for women and men age 18 and older. In New York, we have worked every day to increase access to EC to women and men 17 and younger.

As of July 22, 2013, the FDA granted market exclusivity to Teva Pharmaceuticals for over-the-counter Plan B One-Step®. This means that there is now one emergency contraception product available over the counter for women younger than 17. All other EC products remain prescription-only for women younger than 17. Lifting the age and point-of-sale restrictions on Plan B One-Step® emergency contraception is a major breakthrough for access to birth control and will help many more women prevent unintended pregnancy.

EC is a high dose combination of oral contraceptives that if taken within 120 hours of unprotected sex, can safely prevent a pregnancy from occurring. EC does not affect an established pregnancy. (NOTE: EC is not the abortion pill.)

Pharmacist Refusals

Planned Parenthood believes that pharmacists have a duty to dispense drugs and devices lawfully prescribed by a provider. Some pharmacies and/or pharmacists refuse to fill valid legal prescriptions for EC and other birth control pills. Although Planned Parenthood does not oppose pharmacy policies that permit accommodation of a pharmacist's genuinely held religious beliefs, any accommodation that would undermine the patient's ability to access her prescription in-store, without discrimination or delay is unacceptable. We support policies that require patient’s prescriptions be filled in-store, without discrimination or delay.

Minors' Health

Planned Parenthood believes that minors, as well as adults, should have confidential access to reproductive health services, including family planning, disease prevention, and abortion.

Affordable, Accessible Health Care

Planned Parenthood’s health centers are an integral part of New York State’s health care safety net. Many women, including the majority of our patients, do not have a general practitioner and rely on us as their primary source of health care. Ensuring that care is adequately funded and available to those in need is important for all of our communities.

We want everyone to have access to health care. At Planned Parenthood, we are working hard to ensure that millions more Americans will have access to the health care they deserve through the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, opponents of the law are still spreading misinformation and working to make it harder for women to get the care they need. Show your support for Obamacare today.