Planned Parenthood Campaigns to Promote Women's Health

6-18-09, 10:21 am

Community health centers should play a key role in ensuring affordable, universal access to quality care, especially for women, according to a new multimedia campaign launched by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America this week.

Planned Parenthood provides key health services, such as breast and cervical examinations, contraception, immunizations, STD and cancer screenings for millions of American women each year.

To emphasize the special health care needs of women, the PPFA's campaign, which includes TV ads, Web ads and outreach to social networks like Twitter and Facebook, will try to educate the American public about the services Planned Parenthood provides.

The campaign will try to refocus the national debate on health care reform to include the special needs of women. “Women’s health care must be a priority. As a trusted health care provider, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand how critical it is to expand access to health care, including reproductive health care,” said Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards in a statement accompanying the release of the ads.

“Planned Parenthood has more than 850 affiliate health centers across the country, providing primary and preventive care,' Richards added. 'Every year, they provide nearly one million cervical cancer screenings, more than 850,000 breast exams, contraception to nearly 2.5 million patients, more than three million tests and treatments for STDs, including HIV, and nearly 50,000 colposcopies.”

According to surveys of women who frequent Planned Parenthood clinics for these types of services, most remain loyal to the clinics and identify them as their primary source of care. Typically, the high cost of care at hospitals and other health care facilities play a factor on this point.

“Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers are part of an essential network of community providers that serve as a critical entry point into the health care system for millions of women,' Richards explained. 'For many of these women the only doctor or nurse they see is one they visit at a health center like Planned Parenthood. Often times, women come into a center for information and end up seeking preventive care that could potentially save their lives.'

The PPFA campaign will also show that adult women spend 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, usually linked to reproductive health-related needs. One in four women who receives contraceptive care does so at a women’s health center. One in six women who obtain a Pap test or a pelvic exam does so at a women’s health center, as do one-third of women who receive counseling, testing or treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

Ultimately, the campaign seeks to ensure that health care reform proposals include coverage for access to community health centers like Planned Parenthood that provide essential services.

See the PPFA ad here: