Planned Parenthood Responds to Komen Decision to Cut Funding
January 31, 2012

Planned Parenthood “Deeply Alarmed” by Komen Foundation Succumbing to Political Pressure

HOUSTON– Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) today expressed deep disappointment in response to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to stop funding breast cancer prevention, screenings, and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Anti-women’s health groups have repeatedly targeted and boycotted the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings and news articles suggest that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation ultimately succumbed to these pressures.

“As a leading health care provider in our community, Planned Parenthood is trusted to help women identify breast cancer early. We are deeply alarmed that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure from a vocal minority”, said Peter J. Durkin, President and CEO of PPGC. “For years, opponents of women’s health have waged an aggressive pressure campaign aimed at the Susan G. Komen Foundation at the expense of women’s health and lives.”

While not directly affected by the Komen Foundation’s decision making, PPGC is deeply concerned about the troubling precedent of putting politics before women’s health. Over the past couple of years, PPGC provided more than 41,000 women in our communities with breast health exams.

“In these tough economic times, more women than ever need access to essential health care services like lifesaving breast cancer screenings. Politics should never get in the way of a woman’s ability to access health care. We want to assure women who count on us for breast health, that we are still here for them,” said Durkin.

The Komen-funded Planned Parenthood programs have been instrumental in helping women, especially in rural and underserved communities, get breast health care and detect breast cancer early.

Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers with Komen program funding have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals.

Planned Parenthood’s quality, accessibility and affordability make it a leader in identifying breast cancer early when there is the best chance of successful treatment. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings annually, offering risk assessments, breast exams, breast health information and education, and diagnostic and surgical referrals.

In the last few weeks, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has begun notifying local Planned Parenthood programs that their breast cancer initiatives will not be eligible for new grants (beyond existing agreements or plans). The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s leadership did not respond to Planned Parenthood requests to meet with the Foundation’s Board of Directors about the decision.

One in five women in America has come to Planned Parenthood at some point in her life. More than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood health care services are preventive in nature, including lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, testing for and treatment of STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, and sexual health education and information.

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Since 1936, PPGC has been the most trusted provider of reproductive health care for women and men in the Gulf Coast region. Planned Parenthood provides birth control, annual well-woman exams, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical exams, sex education and advocacy for reproductive rights. With a network of thirteen health centers in Houston, southeast Texas and Louisiana, we help people get the health care they need so they can live and love the way they want to.

Houston and Louisiana Planned Parenthood Affiliates Merge
September 2, 2010

(News Release)  Announce New Name – Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. 

(Houston, TX)— At midnight September 1st, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas, Inc. (PPHSET) and Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, Inc. (PPLAMD) fully merged their operations and became Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. (PPGC).

“Our affiliates in Houston and Louisiana have been serving the Gulf Coast for a combined 100 years.  We have been committed to this region for a very long time.  Our new name reflects our legacy and our vision for improving lives through affordable health care and medically accurate information, “said Peter J. Durkin, President and CEO of PPGC.

Since 2005, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast, Inc. (PPHSET) and Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, Inc. (PPLAMD) have been working as a merged affiliate but held on to their respective affiliate names.  After five years the affiliates decided to make the partnership complete and change names to reflect the unity of the organization and dedication to the combined service area of Houston, thirty-five counties in Southeast Texas and the state of Louisiana.

“We have made a lot of progress over the past 74 years in Southeast Texas and 26 years in Louisiana, but we have a long road ahead of us.  We will continue working to ensure the women, men and teens of our Gulf Coast region have access to affordable health care and comprehensive sex education,“ said Durkin, President and CEO of PPGC.

PPGC operates twelve health centers- six in the Houston area, two in Louisiana (Baton Rouge and New Orleans) and four in Southeast Texas (Bryan, Dickinson, Huntsville and Lufkin).  They provide basic preventive reproductive health care including well-woman exams, birth control, pregnancy testing, breast exams, Pap tests, treatment for abnormal or precancerous cervical conditions, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV testing and counseling, pregnancy options information, the HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccine and more.

More information about Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. can be found online at www.ppgulfcoast.org.

Senator John Whitmire and Planned Parenthood
March 21, 2009

Texas Monthly has an interesting post about  Texas Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) and his fight to save funding for Planned Parenthood.

http://www.texasmonthly.com/blogs/burkablog/?p=3219

Regardless of how you personally feel about Planned Parenthood it does provides more than funding for abortion services.

Unfortunately, a lot of people can’t see past that controversial issue.

Lot’s of women go there for low cost or free  services:  annual exams, contraception and to seek help after becoming a victim of  a sexual assault.