Pride Month

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, an annual month-long observance of LGBTQ history, achievements, community, and activism, celebrated with marches, parties, and other events across the country. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the event that sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement.

At the time leading up to the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ individuals experienced fierce discrimination: police kept records of LGBTQ people, the U.S. Postal Service kept track of their addresses, and establishments known to welcome members of the LBGT community were shut down and their customers arrested and exposed in newspapers (often resulting in loss of employment or assault). Being gay or bisexual was considered a mental disorder, and sexual activity between people of the same sex was criminalized. 

On the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Planned Parenthood reaffirms our commitment to the rights and health of LGBTQ people. Planned Parenthood believes that reproductive rights are deeply connected to LGBTQ rights and is proud to be a provider for so many in the LGBTQ community. We care passionately about helping women, men, and young people lead healthy lives, no matter who they are and no matter where they live. 

In addition to high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination, which has been shown to affect physical and mental health, LGBT people face low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of HIV/AIDS and cancer, and high rates of discrimination from medical providers.  LGBT people of color are at an even higher risk for these disparities.  Studies show that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and an estimate of .3% of adults are transgender (roughly 9 million LGBT Americans).

Planned Parenthood of Collier County health centers offer a wide variety of preventive health care services.  Make an appointment today by calling 239-262-0301 or visit our website at http://www.plannedparenthood.org/collier-county/.

GYT

Responding to the fact that one in two young people will get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by age 25. and most won’t know it, the GYT campaign is a youthful, empowering social movement to reduce the spread of STDs among young people through information; open communication with partners, health care providers, and parents; and testing and treatment as needed.

For a generation accustomed to communicating in shorthand, the GYT acronym presents STD testing in a context that is familiar and relatable to young people. Through GYT’s presence on MTV Networks, the involvement of music and celebrity talent, and special promotions, GYT encourages testing as an act of pride, not shame and promotes an open dialogue about STDs by encouraging young people to spread the word about the campaign.

GYT is developed as part of It’s Your Sex Life, a longstanding public information partnership of MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation, together with Planned Parenthood Federation of America and other national partners.

It’s Your Sex Life focuses on delaying and reducing sexual activity, talking openly about sexual health issues, using protection, and getting tested for HIV and other STDs. The partnership includes targeted public service ads, entertainment and other special programming, news segments, and free informational resources, including an extensive website: www.itsyoursexlife.com. It provides dynamic leadership that strengthens STD Programs by advocating for effective policies, strategies, and sufficient resources and by increasing awareness of the medical and social impact. 

Protecting yourself when you are sexually active isn’t just about preventing pregnancy, it’s about keeping yourself healthy. STDs like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia don’t always have symptoms and HIV certainly doesn’t. So, if you are sexually active, make it part of your annual health check-up to get tested for STDs.

April is the perfect time to start this habit of good prevention! Planned Parenthood of Collier County will be offering FREE STD testing for students of any age (student ID card required) and $50 STD testing for all non-students on April 23 -9am-5pm. Call 239-262-0301 for more information.

Image

 

Girl Rising

Image

What is Girl Rising?

Girl Rising is a global campaign for girls’ education. It uses the power of storytelling, leveraged through partnerships, to share the simple truth that educating girls can transform societies. Girl Rising unites girls, women, boys and men who believe every girl has the right to go to school and the right to reach her full potential. The mission is to change the way the world values the girl.

Why girls?

Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Educated girls stand up for their rights, marry and have children later, educate their own children, and their families and communities thrive. Yet millions of girls around the world face barriers to education that boys do not. Removing barriers such as early marriage, gender-based violence, domestic slavery and sex trafficking means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all.

Change starts with Courage.

Join Planned Parenthood of Collier County, April 8, in viewing the documentary, with nine stories about the power of education to change the future for girls, families, communities and nations.
Limited seating, reservations required, call 239-262-8923 ext. 300.

Ash Wednesday at PPCC

Planned Parenthood of Collier County provides access to quality and comprehensive healthcare for women throughout their lives, from teenage years to post menopause. In fact 98% of what our clinic does includes cervical and breast cancer screenings, sexually transmitted infection testing and support, well women exams, birth control options, and menopausal healthcare. 

However, on March 5, 2014, Ash Wednesday, there were a record number of protesters outside our doors. Over 200 hundred community members, middle school students, teachers, priests, nuns, and others who are anti-women’s health, stood outside our clinic to place judgment on our patients. While they have the right to do this by law, it is important for each person in our community to respect another person’s opinion on any issue. 

We will continue to serve our patients from all areas of our service area including Collier, Glades, and Hendry Counties to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare regardless of ethnicity, nationality, race, gender, and sexual orientation. Our staff is committed to our mission and proud to provide the services we provide through payments from patients, grants, and our wonderful donors.  We also are grateful to have our volunteers who committed 614 hours of their time in the past year.

 

Image

International Women’s Day

On Saturday, March 8, International Women’s Day, Planned Parenthood will respond to a call from the UN for people around the world to define the #WorldWeWant with messages in support of women and young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. (Spoiler: In the world we want, access to health care doesn’t depend on your zip code. Or your gender. Or your sexual identity. Or the language you speak. Or the color of your skin.)

World We Want Manifesto

This is the world we want:

A world where access to health care doesn’t depend on your postal code. Or your gender. Or your sexual identity. Or the language you speak. Or the color of your skin.

A world where politicians don’t come between a woman and her health care provider.

A world where girls are just as likely as boys to stay in school, go after the jobs they want, and become leaders in their communities.

A world with no new HIV infections and where those living with HIV are able to make decisions about their health and lives, just like anybody else.

A world where young people are empowered and trusted with information about sex — so they can prevent unintended pregnancy and protect themselves from STDs.

A world where all people have equal protection and equal benefit under the law.

A world that is free of stigma, discrimination, and violence.

A world where reproductive rights are recognized as human rights.

A world that acknowledges that the only way forward is to protect and expand these rights.

A world where all people control their own bodies and their own destinies. 

“National Condom Week”

Valentine’s Day marked the beginning of Planned Parenthood’s annual “National Condom Week,” an advocacy effort to promote healthy sexual habits. In celebration, we passed out free condoms, safer sex informational materials and Valentine’s Day candy at a local watering hole, promoting safer sex is better sex!

Women and men need to feel empowered and advocate for safer sex. The U.S. has the highest rate of sexually transmitted infections in the developed world; do you want to be part of the statistic?  We know talking about safer sex with your partner can be difficult. But it’s important to communicate. Develop a plan and practice what you will say to your partner. Don’t be shy about communicating your needs and feelings. Send a message that condom use is essential every single time you have sex. A partner, who respects you, respects your health and their health as well.

Today there are so many different types of condoms… why not have some fun and experiment with all the varieties from glow-in-the-dark, flavored, studded, warming, pleasure shaped, kiss of mint, colored and latex free are just naming a few!  

Although we are now at the end of “National Condom Week”, we encourage people to use condoms every time they have sex! Condoms are a good way to feel more relaxed about your sex life. Many people say they find sex more enjoyable when they use condoms because they aren’t worrying about STDs or unintended pregnancy. Come into our health center for free condoms and education on safer sex!

Happy Birthday Planned Parenthood

margaret-sanger-1-sized

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.