I stand for healthier women, men, and families. I stand for healthier communities. I stand with Planned Parenthood.

Cory Booker
Dec 3, 2015 · 3 min read

Supporting an organization that provides life-saving healthcare services to 2.7 million Americans each year is vital.

There is after all an undeniable and incontestable connection between equitable access to health care services and empowering families, communities, and our country to succeed.

From preventative screenings to filling in gaps in health education, Planned Parenthood health centers across America provide women, men, and families with the resources they need to live healthier lives.

In my home state of New Jersey, 26 Planned Parenthood health centers serve over 100,000 New Jerseyans. In 2014 alone, New Jersey Planned Parenthood health centers performed 36,339 cancer screenings, potentially saving thousands of lives.

Supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood that expand access to life saving health services isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Despite this simple truth, Planned Parenthood is yet again facing politically-motivated efforts in Congress to end its federal funding — efforts based on misinformation. Among other lies being spread about Planned Parenthood, federal funds are already banned from being used for abortion services.

Defunding Planned Parenthood will jeopardize the future of a healthcare provider that one in five American women have utilized at some point during their lifetime.

A loss of funding for Planned Parenthood health centers would mean restricting millions of Americans from receiving care like lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, STD testing, and family planning services.

For many women — but especially women who can’t afford to travel far or pay exorbitant out of pocket prices — Planned Parenthood’s doctors and nurses are often the only health care providers they see. In one of every five counties served by Planned Parenthood, they are the only safety-net family planning provider. Cutting off federal funding to safety-net health providers like Planned Parenthood would increase costs for many of our country’s vulnerable patients and threaten the availability of countless necessary health services for millions of Americans.

Planned Parenthood centers often step in where school sexual education programs fail, providing critical information, education and programming to teenagers, their families, and their communities.

When it comes to advocating for better health options and outcomes, we know that there’s a connection between inadequate, incomplete, or absent sexual education and increased rates of teen pregnancy, STI’s, sexual assault, as well as higher rates of substance abuse and depression in LGBTQ youth. While U.S. teen pregnancy and birth rates have declined to a historic low, America continues to have one of the highest teen pregnancy rates among comparable countries, with disproportionately high rates among minority teens. It’s essential that young people have access to the full information they need to protect themselves and to lead safe and healthy lives.

I am proud to stand up for women’s health and for community health.

I am proud to stand up for Planned Parenthood.

The efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and the critical services it provides are rooted in the kind of political point-scoring and game-playing that Americans are tired of seeing in Washington.

The only sure result is poorer health outcomes for women, men and children across America.

It’s time to turn the page and focus on expanding healthcare access and affordability for women and families, not restricting it.

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