Planned Parenthood of New York City Patients Share Powerful Testimonies on Why It’s So Important to Fight the Domestic Gag Rule

PPNYC Action Fund
May 25, 2018 · 5 min read

On Thursday, May 24th, Planned Parenthood of New York City hosted a Rally for our Reproductive Health in protest of Trump’s domestic gag rule with community partners at City Hall Park. The domestic gag rule is part of the administration’s larger attempt to attack Title X (the nation’s only program for affordable birth control / reproductive health care) and defund Planned Parenthood. This proposed rule is unprecedented in the U.S. and does three things: first, it would impose new rules that are designed to make it impossible for patients to get birth control/preventive care from reproductive health care providers funded by Title X; second, under this rule, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and community health centers would no longer be able to refer their patients for safe, legal abortion; and lastly, it removes the guarantee that you’re getting full and accurate information about your health care from your doctor.

At PPNYC, we believe that everyone, regardless of race, gender, income, or immigration status, deserves quality, compassionate care and medically accurate information from their doctors so they can make the best choices for themselves and their futures.

Below, check out some testimonies from our incredible patients about what Planned Parenthood and the Title X program means to them, and why it’s so important to protect our right to health care. They shared their stories in front of the 500 people who attended our rally to stand up for reproductive health, and we’re so grateful that they want to use their voices to fight back. We will never stop fighting for our patients and working to provide the care we know all New Yorkers deserve. To learn more about us and how you can #StandWithPP, check out our website at You can also share your own PPNYC story and tag us at @ppnycaction!

“Before the ACA, I had a great job with wonderful health insurance. During my yearly, my pap came back abnormal and the doctor told me that I had pre cancerous cells, the worst kind, CIN 3. It was really scary. They treated me and told me in no uncertain terms that I should come back in 6 months for my follow up. But 6 months later, I didn’t have that job or insurance. They actually phoned me for my appointment and I couldn’t keep it because it was a posh Park Avenue office. The office told me that I really needed to make a follow up someplace to make sure I was still doing okay. I ended up at Planned Parenthood and I was able to be treated there. It was such a huge relief because I knew I didn’t have the option to not get tested. Of course Planned Parenthood took care of me. I was treated. I was given a sliding scale option. And I continued going to Planned Parenthood even after I had health insurance again. Planned Parenthood was there for me. I want Planned Parenthood to be there for other people when they are scared, need medical services and need peace of mind even if they don’t have insurance or steady income.” Rhea Beddoe, PPNYC patient

“Planned Parenthood was there for me when as a 22-year-old, not quite out of college a year and trying to make a life and a career in New York City, I found myself pregnant and in need of options. Planned Parenthood was able to get me an appointment quickly and walk me through my abortion with facts and medical information, never making me feel shameful about my decision. I was able to receive factual information from a trusted professional and make my own informed decision about my body and my future. That decision has allowed me to build a career in this city and rise through the ranks to become an Associate Vice President at a PR agency. It has allowed me to make my life my own, built on my own choices. Planned Parenthood is an absolute necessity if there is ever to be true equality in this country.” Alyssa Jones, PPNYC patient

“I have always been treated like a human being at PPNYC. I always walk away feeling that I was listened to, that my needs were met and that I received quality, compassionate care. It feels good to know that there is a community of practitioners who are truly looking out for me in every aspect of my wellness as a person. Speaking as someone who has benefited so much from Planned Parenthood’s affordable services, I find it shameful that right now, the White House is treating health care like a luxury. The domestic gag rule means that so many low income people won’t get the health care they need. They won’t get birth control, cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, or even general gynecological exams. This hurts women, families, and all people. This stands in the way of people living their dreams and taking control of their futures.” Raquel Friedman Vargas, PPNYC patient

“Easy access to affordable birth control has always meant more to me than just controlling when I decide to have a child. For me easy access to affordable birth control was always an essential tool I needed to accomplish my goals and dreams. When I hear about this new gag rule, I not only think about the physicians it prevents from delivering quality care the people of color and people of low income this rule does not take into consideration, but I also think of small town people who deserve to have an equal opportunity at accomplishing their goals and dreams. Every person deserves to be in control of their sexual and reproductive health. Millions of people all over the United States, representing so many communities, rely on Planned Parenthood for contraception, abortions, wellness exams, hormone therapy, HIV prevention medication, sexual health education, and more. The Title X program serves four million people each year, many of whom would otherwise be unable to access this health care. I promise you — the politicians pushing these anti-woman, anti-reproductive health care policies have no idea how much we need this health care.” Yoshabelle Blanco, PPNYC patient

PPNYC Action Fund

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We're the Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization founded in 1992.