From local restaurants donating profits to sign-wielding protesters on the streets, many in San Francisco are coming together to defend Planned Parenthood from threats of having its funding cut by the new administration and Congress.
Via email, we spoke to Susannah Delano, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood Northern California, about the organization's concerns regarding defunding and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and how locals can help support its work.
What are Planned Parenthood's concerns about the Trump administration?
Everything is at stake for reproductive health in America under the incoming administration. This is nothing new in our 100-year history, but it is cause for serious and immediate concern, even in California.
Abortion is constitutionally protected in California, but access to it is not.
We fully expect the incoming administration will attempt to systematically dismantle the programs that allow tens of millions to pursue their health and plan their families, including Medicaid, Title X, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, and the Affordable Care Act.
What's been the reaction of your clients to the election?
The threats to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act are very real, and have people across the country worried for their health. Since the election, requests for IUDs at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide have gone up 900 percent. Our clients want to make sure their birth control method—if nothing else—works for the next four years.
Those who are already struggling to access quality health care—low-income, people of color, LGBTQI individuals, and those in rural areas—would be disproportionally affected by attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.
Tens of thousands of Californians rely on Planned Parenthood Northern California for care. When they come to our health centers, they are not making a political statement. People from all backgrounds need affordable, quality healthcare. We will never stop fighting to make sure they can access it.
How would the loss of federal funding impact Planned Parenthood patients here in San Francisco?
In San Francisco, we serve more than 11,000 individuals each year, regardless of gender, race, insurance status, immigration status, or ability to pay. More than 90 percent of our San Francisco clients live with incomes at or below the Federal Poverty Level (as of 2015, that's $11,770 for an individual and $20,090 for a family of three).
We offer a full range of family planning and birth control options, STD testing and treatment, HPV vaccinations, medication and in-clinic abortion care, cancer screenings such as Pap smears, colposcopies and LEEP, PrEP and PEP medication to prevent HIV infection, breast health exams, Body Mass Index (BMI) checks, nutritional counseling, and sterilization counseling. We also reach over 4,000 San Franciscans a year with our medically accurate, bias-free, and developmentally appropriate education programs.
Our clients come from all different walks of life, and we are here for them all. For the Trump Administration and Congress to tell them they cannot seek treatment at the provider of their choice means they would need to try and identify another source of care in an already strained healthcare landscape—or in some cases, simply not seek treatment at all.
Will Planned Parenthood be undertaking any particular actions for Inauguration Day or the Women's March?
On January 20th, Planned Parenthood Northern California staff will wake up, go to work, and open the doors of our health centers to provide birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment for anyone who needs us.
We’ll do it again on January 21st, and the day after that—just as we have since our movement began over 100 years ago. This is not the first time we’ve faced opposition, and it is not the last time we will prevail.
Many of our staff and supporters will join in the historic Women’s Marches taking place in San Francisco and beyond on Saturday. We will be working in the weeks, months, and years ahead to lift up the immense support Planned Parenthood enjoys throughout Northern California and beyond, to ensure that all people have access to the care they need.
To donate to Planned Parenthood, visit PPAction.org. Delano also encourages donors to consider purchasing a table for Planned Parenthood Northern California's Acts of Courage gala, to be held on February 16th.
Here's a list of local bars and restaurants that are donating some or all of today and tomorrow's profits to Planned Parenthood and other causes.
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