In the Community
African Americans for Planned Parenthood works to strengthen the entire community in three main ways:
- 1. Health
Planned Parenthood health centers provide quality health care for all communities. In 2012, 15 percent of Planned Parenthood patients were African Americans —390,000 people. Between 2002 and 2012, the number of African-American patients increased by 20 percent, with a 141 percent increase in African-American male patients. Planned Parenthood provides many different health services including birth control information and services, pregnancy tests, STI tests, Pap tests, and breast exams. Birth control services and information alone comes to 2.1 million patients, including nearly 270,000 African-American women.
- 2. Education
Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of sex education in the country. We provide accurate, non-judgmental sex education and information both in person and online. Planned Parenthood affiliates deliver in-person sex education to over 1 million people each year. We are also creating innovative new ways to reach people where and when they need information and resources the most. Our goal is to improve the sexual health of young people (15-24), particularly African American and Latino youth, through engaging, culturally appropriate, online and mobile education projects. For example, Planned Parenthood's chat and text program has reached over 160,000 people since its initiation. These digital projects supplement the wide array of excellent education offerings Planned Parenthood affiliates offer in their communities.
- 3. Advocacy
People deserve quality health care. Advocates know the importance of action in making that a reality for individuals. Advocates know the importance of speaking up. Planned Parenthood organizations promote and defend policies that protect and expand African-American's sexual and reproductive rights and their intersection with other social justice issues. Planned Parenthood is deeply committed to the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. We believe that respect and value for diversity in all aspects of our work are essential to our well-being.
Highlights from Our Past Work:
A Vital Service
As part of our advocacy work we produced the compelling documentary, A Vital Service: African-American Stories of Reproductive Health Care. Produced by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, it provides a powerful glance at the clinicians, educators, patients, activists, and supporters in African-American communities. The film includes personal stories from the women and families who have benefitted from having access to the critical health services offered at Planned Parenthood health centers. The film aims to spur a dialogue on topics that are often seen as taboo or difficult, particularly in the African-American community. The film can be used to build support for important services, such as cancer screenings, Pap tests, affordable birth control, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. And it can help eliminate the stigma associated with talking about sexual and reproductive health.
A Vital Service premiered nationally in Washington, DC, New York, NY, and Atlanta, GA, and on over 70 college campuses (including several historically black colleges and universities). The film is still equally compelling and during Black History Month 2013 we are encouraging showings of this moving film.
Watch the full film (20 minutes)
Actor and activist Gabrielle Union participated on a panel to discuss the attacks on women's health at a luncheon on January 27, 2012, in New York City. The event was a special event of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Gabrielle was joined on the panel by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, CindiLeive, editor-in-chief of Glamour, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, and actors Julianne Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and America Ferrera. (Photo: Actors Julianne Moore, America Ferrera, and Gabrielle Union).
Actor Tamara Tunie (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and New York City Councilmember Letitia James co-hosted a screening of the documentary, A Vital Service: African-American Stories of Reproductive Health Care on February 27, 2012, in New York City. Screenings were also held in Washington, DC, and Atlanta, and on dozens of college campuses around the country, including several HBCUs. (Photo: NYC Councilmember Letitia James, Dr. Vanessa Cullins, PPFA Vice President of External Medical Affairs, and actor Tamara Tunie).