The time between last year’s Thanksgiving and this one has been an interesting ride for Planned Parenthood, to say the least. The past 12 months have seen a nonstop legislative assault on women at all levels of government, making this one of the most difficult times in our organization’s history.
Thank you for standing strong in the face of unprecedented challenges. Thank you for raising your voices loud and clear for women and against attacks on their health. Thank you for signing our petitions and attending our rallies, whether they be to pass sex education legislation on the state level or protect birth control nationwide. Thank you for your 1,102 postcards to legislators, your 11,047 volunteer hours, your 1,373 campus activities, your 35,619 phone calls activating supporters, the 453 doors you’ve knocked on, and the 35,000 new supporters who’ve joined our ranks this year. Thank you for showing us – and the world – that the Planned Parenthood family is stronger than ever.
The numbers alone say enough about how lucky we are to have you standing with us. But to put those numbers in perspective, here’s what all of your hard work has allowed us to accomplish this year:
- Expand our health services. Over the past year, we’ve introduced the nonsurgical permanent birth control Essure in our Aurora center, increased access to long-lasting methods such as the IUD and Implanon, expanded our cancer screening services and began offering ella, an FDA-approved emergency contraception pill.
- Upgrade our health center facilities. In September, we unveiled a new and improved Wicker Park center, renovated to accommodate more patients than ever, and have launched plans to do the same for our center in Champaign.
- Improve access to care. This past year saw a spike in enrollment in the Illinois Healthy Women program for African American and Latina patients, up 64% from 2010. With a greater need than ever for affordable care for low-income women, we’ve remained committed to our role as a quality health care provider for all.
- Improve young people’s health education. We worked with Chicago Public Schools’ Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, held Teen Clinic Days for our community education staff to work with teens directly. Our teen volunteers were active themselves, with central Illinois’ Teen Awareness Group providing peer education, participating in lobby days and letter-writing campaigns, and even attending PPFA’s Public Policy Conference in Washington, DC this past July.
From all of us here at Planned Parenthood of Illinois to you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving – you deserve it!