Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 38 / 21 September 2017
 

Stand with Planned Parenthood

Guest Opinion


Planned Parenthood Northern California CEO Gilda Gonzales
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As a trusted health care provider in northern California for nearly a century, Planned Parenthood's strength and commitment are built on the diversity of our staff, the patients we serve, and the community where we live and work. Simply put, we believe that every body deserves expert care.

We open our doors to all people, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We welcome patients of all income levels, insurance coverage, and immigration status. We refuse to be driven backward into fear, discrimination, and hate. We stand with people of color and marginalized communities in the struggle for full rights, equality, and justice.

We are resolute.

This is nothing new for us. In the 1980s, we were the first Planned Parenthood affiliate in the nation to provide HIV testing and counseling. As early as the 1970s, we developed groundbreaking programming such as parent/child sex education workshops. In 1929, we began offering health services in San Francisco. We now serve patients from San Francisco to Mendocino to Eureka. We are one of the strongest and most innovative Planned Parenthood affiliates in the United States.

We're proud to offer gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy for transgender patients. We see this as a service that goes to the heart of our mission. In fact, from 2013 to 2015, there was an 80 percent increase in Planned Parenthood affiliates around the country that reported offering HRT for transgender patients. We were among the first in the nation to offer that essential care.

We continue to lead by expanding our capacity to conduct much-needed research. A recent survey of female family planning patients about their understanding of, and attitudes toward, pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for HIV is a great example. We aim to improve our delivery of PrEP and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV infection, and to share our knowledge, even as we expand access to infertility services for our patients along with fast, mobile apps for treatment of urinary tract infections and access to birth control.

We know that there are individuals and groups who are vehemently opposed to our work – but that is nothing new. That has been the case since the day that Planned Parenthood came into existence.

That is why we persist at Planned Parenthood. We stand against white nationalism and domestic terrorism with the people of Charlottesville, Virginia. We march at Pride and hosted our biggest contingent ever this year in San Francisco. Hundreds of patients, volunteers, and local supporters showed their love for our city and 19 other northern California counties.

Great challenges are not only familiar to us, they strengthen our resolve. We will stay true to our mission, protect each other, and defend those who would be hurt the most by attacks on their bodily integrity, health care or freedom.

We will continue to honor and fight for the health and lives of all people by providing access to high quality, nonjudgmental, and compassionate health care and education. No matter what.

Here are some ways to help Planned Parenthood Northern California:

Visit http://www.ppnorcal.org online to book an appointment or call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526) to visit one of our 20 sites in northern California. Chat online or text PPNOW to 774636 (PPINFO) to get answers to your health questions.

Condoms, safer sex supplies, birth control, HIV and STD testing and treatment, and cancer screening are always available. We offer PrEP and PEP, gender-affirming hormone therapy, and counseling. With or without insurance, we've got you covered. We offer all our patients expert and confidential services and care. No matter what.

You can follow Planned Parenthood Northern California on Facebook and Instagram with @PPNorCal. The Planned Parenthood Northern California Action Fund, a separately incorporated organization, is on Twitter. While on social media, you can:

1. Join our network.

2. Donate to Planned Parenthood Northern California at http://www.ppnorcal.org.

3. Join us on the front lines locally.

4. Speak out against hate: Wherever you are (online or in real life), declare your rejection of hate and your solidarity. Show that you believe every single person is deserving of respect, dignity, and equal rights under the law.

5. Show your solidarity on social media with #IStandWithPP.

 

Gilda Gonzales is the chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Northern California.






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