On this day, 97 years ago Margaret Sanger opened the nation’s first family planning clinic in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Women lined up for birth control information. Nine days later, Sanger was arrested for violating the Comstock obscenity laws, which banned dissemination of information about contraception. Although the clinic was shut down a movement that revolutionized women’s ability to plan their families, improve their health and pursue their dreams was born. In 1923 Sanger opened the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau in Manhattan, later known as the Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, where physicians dispensed contraceptives and studied their health impact. A few years later Sanger assisted by courageous and prominent New Yorkers, opened additional clinics in Manhattan and the Bronx. Then known as “Mothers’ Health Centers,” they later became branches of Planned Parenthood. Because of Sanger’s courage and determination, Planned Parenthood has become a place for over three million people each year in need of high quality, affordable health care. Planned Parenthood has been able to grow to so much more then birth control, covering a wide range of preventive health care services including lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment for STIs, and health education and information. We are proud to keep moving forward, not roll back, on women’s health. Thank you Margaret for all you have done for women’s health.
In celebration of World Vasectomy Day, Planned Parenthood of Collier County hosts a viewing of the newly released documentary, “The Vasectomist” featuring the world’s most prolific vasectomist Dr. Doug Stein. Vasectomies are a viable family planning option and Planned Parenthood of Collier County is the leading provider of affordable vasectomies in our community.
Dr. Doug Stein a Florida-based urologist, as well as Planned Parenthood of Collier County’s vasectomist, has devoted his life to “speaking the gospel of vasectomy”. He believes that for sexually active heterosexual men who no longer want to have children, getting a vasectomy is their best option. Dr. Stein has performed over 30,000 vasectomies throughout the US, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Part dreamer and part visionary, Dr. Stein is committed to the impossible quest of lowering population on the planet, one vasectomy at a time. As he travels the world, Doug confronts the difficult ethical questions surrounding birth control and the reluctance of men to be involved in family planning.
“The Vasectomist” shares these difficult and divisive issues, crossing cultural, religious and political taboos. The film provokes a new conversation about over-population, over-consumption and the planet’s environmental tipping point.
Please join us October 29, 2013, as we view the documentary “The Vasectomist”, enjoy wine and cheese and comments from Dr. Doug Stein at Naples United Church of Christ, 4:30pm. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Tickets are $25 a person, please call 239-262-8923 ext. 300 to reserve your seat!
Women, we all have them… so why be scared of them!
Whether you have big, small, flat, saggy, perky, saline or silicone it’s so important that you take care of the breasts you have. Breast cancer is a serious health concern. After skin cancer, it’s the most common type of cancer among American women. About 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S. and 40,000 women will die from it. In Florida an estimated 11,850 new cases of breast cancer in women will be diagnosed.
Breast cancer screenings, such as breast exams or mammograms help to detect cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. These breast cancer detection tools can save lives. Some women may put off breast cancer screenings. They may be afraid of being diagnosed with breast cancer, they might not know they should be screened, they may have a hard time finding the right health care provider, or they may have concerns about the exams. It’s important not to let these fears and concerns get in the way of your health because knowledge is power!
Breast self-awareness is an important part of a woman’s breast health. This includes knowing what your risks are for breast cancer as well as knowing what is normal for your breasts. At Planned Parenthood of Collier County we offer education, counseling and referrals based on a woman’s risk for breast cancer along with financial help to those who qualify for discounted or free diagnostic or screening mammograms. Call to make your breast health screening appointment today, 239-262-0301!
A few weeks ago during a very overdue “girls’ night” my friend started to cry when taking about her recent Pap test results. She is a single mother with no insurance, and was told she had precancerous cells. She was told that she would need a LEEP treatment in order to stop the precancerous cells from turning into cancer cells or spread. The cost with her OBGYN was astronomical and she had no idea how she would be able to afford it.
After consoling her, she discussed further how Medicaid rejected her and her son from coverage because “she made too much money”. For her and her very active four year old, paying the bills was a stretch each month and to add the cost of private insurance was just not feasible. She was scared that she would never be able to come with the money and the “unknown” of what could happen frightened her and myself.
Once I heard this I did a little research. I came to work the next morning and checked out our pricing for LEEP treatments and was overwhelmed with the price difference from her OBGYN office and our clinic. I called her immediately squealing, yes that’s right squealing, that we could offer this to her at such a low cost and she could get this done and leave all of this stress behind her. She cried on the phone and couldn’t thank me enough. I cried back to her, “This is what we stand for, what we are here for and this is why I come to work every day and fight to keep our doors open.”
I can’t even begin to think, if we weren’t here offering these services what would happen to not only my friend but women all over the country. Because of our work and dedication there is now no question “To ‘LEEP’ or not to ‘LEEP’”.
Three clinics located in Bryan, Huntsville and Lufkin Texas are closing in response to new abortion restrictions and funding cuts to Texas’ Women’s Health Program that were passed by Texas state legislature in 2011. Out of these three Planned Parenthood clinics only the Bryan clinic actually performed abortion services.
Upon researching this issue, I was disheartened to find so many articles from Anti-Choice organizations that made completely false and needless to say cruel statements. One of which I found hit me harder than the rest. “They are desperate to stay relevant, to keep up their false image of being a valid women’s health provider,” said Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life.
I’m pretty sure that when Margaret Sanger started family planning clinics and later opened “Mothers’ Health Centers” in New York, she was doing so for women’s health. This is what we stand for, fight for, and work for every day. So I’m sorry Ms. Graham you are highly mistaken.
With these three clinics shutting down the alarming reality is that women in rural and underserved areas will be left with no real options for getting the basic, preventative health care they need.
In these tough times Texas is fighting back, they are merging three regional branches, North Texas, Austin, and Waco into one $29 million per year, 26 clinic mega-organization. This will create a leaner, more efficient organization, especially in the face of reductions in state and federal financing. Although it is refreshing to see positive changes, the reality is that the “unknown” of what is to come for all Planned Parenthood affiliates is frightening to say the least.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month and a chance for all people to make sure they are taking the proper steps to protect their health through vaccines. At Planned Parenthood, we acknowledge this important step and provide vaccines for the most commonly transmitted infection (STI) in the nation – the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV.
While the good news is that HPV rates among teen girls have declined significantly (by 56 percent) since the vaccine was introduced, there is still work to be done. Nearly 79 million Americans are living with HPV. And 80 percent of women will contract a form of HPV before they are 50. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people with HPV are infected while they are teens or in their early twenties. And each year, close to 14 million people are infected with HPV.
The danger of HPV is that it can lead to more serious diseases. In fact, HPV causes 19,000 cancer cases in women each year, including cervical cancer. For men, HPV causes 8,000 cancers, including throat cancer.
The good news is that HPV is very preventable through proper vaccination – and parents can help protect their children’s health. The CDC recommends that both girls and boys ages 11-12 should begin routine HPV vaccination. Routine vaccination is a series of three shots over the course of six months. It is critical that people being vaccinated receive all three shots, on the recommended schedule.
And the medical community, including the American Cancer Society<http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/InfectiousAgents/HPV/HumanPapillomaVirusandHPVVaccinesFAQ/hpv-faq-acs-and-hpv-vaccines> and the American Academy of Pediatrics<http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/vaccine-preventable-diseases/Pages/Human-Papillomavirus-%28HPV%29.aspx>, agrees with this recommendation that will protect young people from HPV. Research also shows that early vaccination does not promote sexual activity.
Planned Parenthood follows these recommendations, and we also educate our patients on the risk factors associated with HPV. As the leading provider of reproductive and sexual health care, we encourage our patients to protect themselves by using condoms, having open and honest communication with their sexual partners and getting a regular Pap test. We also know that this is a good opportunity for parents to talk with their teens about sex and sexual health.
A Pap test alone will not diagnose HPV, which is why vaccination is a key step in full protection against HPV. In 2010, we provided 770,000 Pap tests and more than 34,000 HPV vaccinations. And of our health care services, cancer screenings accounted for 14.5 percent.
Our website – www.plannedparenthood.org<http://www.plannedparenthood.org/> – has a lot of helpful information about HPV. You can also use our online tool to find one of our health centers near you where you can talk to someone about HPV and start the routine vaccination. We encourage every person, including young people, to educate themselves and get vaccinated this month.
Yesterday was the year anniversary of Obama Care’s divisive birth control coverage mandate! Leaders of the House Pro-Choice Caucus it as the “single greatest advancement in women’s health in a generation.” The birth control mandate requires that most employers cover a range of birth control methods in their worker health plans without a co-pay.
Many business owners have objected to this due to their religious beliefs, which let’s be real, is crazy! No one is asking them to personally use the birth control, they should be offering it to their employees that might not necessarily have the same views as them. Furthermore, they shouldn’t not hire someone based on their religious beliefs, why would they deny them something that our government is requiring, should be a done a deal and not a fight! This should be something amazing for women and families and yet again it’s turned ugly.
Slaughter and DeGette said in a statement “Yet once again, these gains for women are under attack this week, as House Republicans plan to vote for the 40th time to repeal, obstruct, and undermine the protections and benefits millions of women receive under ACA,”
Understandably churches and houses of worship can ignore the rules, and religiously affiliated employers will not be required to pay for, offer or facilitate birth control coverage themselves. Luckily in a non-religious situation, a federal appeals court ruled last week that the owners of Conestoga, a private cabinet-making company, could not challenge the contraception mandate because of their personal religious beliefs.
We take one step forward and of course people try to push us two steps back. This is something that is huge for women around the country and we should be celebrating! Haven’t people realized by now how tough women are?