PPNC Newsletter | Winter 2012  

A Monumental Victory for Women's Health and Rights

President & CEO JoAnn D. Smith headshot.jpg It has been a difficult fall, with so many in our area facing significant challenges as a result of Hurricane Sandy, and my heart goes out to everyone who was affected.

In the aftermath of the storm, in the midst of downed trees, long gas lines and thousands without heat, power and homes, we also faced one of the most important elections in our lifetimes.

Indeed, there was much at stake this past Election Day—to me, and I’m sure to many of you as well, it felt like the very future of women's health and rights was on the line. What a relief to wake up the next day knowing that a woman's ability to make her own personal medical decisions, without interference from politicians was protected!

Not only am I thrilled that voters had rejected the anti-women's health agenda that some in Congress had pursued for the last two years, but I am overjoyed at what the results will mean for our patients. More women in Nassau County (and across the country) will have health insurance and access to life-saving cancer screenings, well-woman visits, birth control and other preventive care with no co-pays or deductibles through the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act . And, of course, as a trusted provider of health care, Planned Parenthood will be there to provide this essential care.

It is thanks to supporters like you—who spoke out each and every time politicians tried to meddle in women's personal medical decisions—that made this victory possible.

But, despite our success, we know that our opponents will persist in pushing their anti-women's health agenda forward. We also know that Planned Parenthood can count on you to stand with us when facing future attacks, and for that I am very grateful.

Again, many thanks for all you do for Planned Parenthood of Nassau County and the women, men and teens in our community who rely on us for essential health care and education. If you haven't already done so, please consider making a year-end donation today.

Best wishes for peace, joy and a wonderful holiday with family and friends.
JoAnn D. Smith
President & CEO

Congress Considers Changes to Charitable Deduction in 2013

The charitable tax deduction may not be the main motivation for most people to give generously—but it is an important component of financial planning.

That's why we wanted you to know that, as part of the current deficit reduction negotiations, Congress is considering caps on important charitable deductions. One likely change would be the return of the "Pease Rule," a little-known tax provision that had been repealed for the years 2010-2012. If action is not taken, the rule would go into effect on January 1, 2013. The Pease rule imposes limits on most types of itemized deductions, including charitable donations, once income exceeds a given threshold.

It is highly recommended that you seek advice from a certified financial planner if you think you may be affected by these changes.

Advocacy Wrap-Up: Championing Women's Health & Rights in 2012

Speaking Out for Women in the Sunshine State
In the weeks leading up to the election, our advocates spent hours on the phone encouraging Florida voters to oppose Measure 6, a ballot initiative that would have replaced the state's abortion laws with more restrictive federal language, leaving the floodgates open for politicians to interfere with women's personal health care decisions. We were thrilled that these efforts were a success and the ballot initiative was defeated—a major victory for women's health and rights.

Engaging Students in the Political Process
YOPI_2012In October, PPNC organized a group of college students from Hofstra University's Black Student Union, led by a PPNC intern and our Public Affairs Coordinator, to attend the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Youth Organizing and Policy Institute in Albany. The attendees (pictured left) received in-depth training on how to strategically organize, build coalitions and lead students in effective social justice campaigns, and they came home with a concrete plan of action to educate and inspire their peers to speak out in support of women's health and rights.

Staying Vocal on the Reproductive Health Act
On October 24, two of PPNC's key advocates held a house party called "Take A Minute, Make A Difference." Throughout the morning, 30 advocates stopped by for breakfast and coffee and wrote letters to Governor Cuomo and Senator Jack Martins urging them to pass the Reproductive Health Act, a bill that is essential to ensuring that New York remains pro-choice, pro-woman and pro-family.

Although the Legislature did not pass the Reproductive Health Act this year, events like this helped build momentum and keep the legislation on the front burner. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice also spoke out about the need for New York to update its abortion laws in a recent article in Newsday.

From Nassau County to South Africa

TAP_World_AIDS_Day_2012 Youth Educators Bring Attention to Fighting HIV
On Saturday, December 1, PPNC's Teen Advocate Project (TAP) peer educators commemorated World AIDS Day at an event hosted by PPFA, featuring actor and advocate Alex Newell, who you may know for his role as Unique on Fox's Glee.

Alex, the TAP teens (pictured above) and other teens from the New York metropolitan area gathered to watch a Planned Parenthood webcast live from South Africa. The webcast, called "Fighting for the Healthiest Generation," included a panel discussion led by young women activists working to fight AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Following the webcast, Alex hosted a Q&A, talking to the TAP teens about "being yourself no matter what" and the importance of young people engaging their peers in honest conversations about sexuality, gender and HIV--which is particularly important considering the fact that, worldwide, young people make up about 40 percent of all new HIV infections.

Programs like PPNC's Teen Advocate Project are just one way that we're helping young people prevent the spread of HIV here in Nassau County. In addition to facilitating workshops, the TAP teens are often known as a go-to source of real, honest and accurate information about sexual health in their schools and neighborhoods. They answer all kinds of questions from their peers about safer sex and STD prevention, and make sure that teens know they can come to PPNC for testing as well as the full range of reproductive health services.

In addition, college students receive free HIV testing on our Plan Van, which makes visits to college campuses throughout Nassau County.

Are You in the Know?

Cutting-edge Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy & STIs
These days, it's hard to find a teenager who isn't glued to his or her mobile phone, making traditional ways of communicating about pregnancy prevention and sexual health difficult.

So we decided to reach teens through their favorite means of communicating, texting and social media, with a new campaign called "NowUKnow." The campaign is funded by the New York State Department of Health as part of our Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (CAPP) program. NowUKnow is a collaborative effort between PPNC and three other Planned Parenthood affiliates in the downstate region that uses text messaging and social media to educate teens about pregnancy prevention and help them access family planning services.

The campaign features two teen-friendly entertaining videos—one on sexually transmitted infections and one on teen pregnancy—posted here on YouTube and other websites popular with teens. Young people who view these spots are encouraged to sign up to receive a series of educational text messages from the fictional characters in the video. The NowUKnow campaign also seeks to take these conversations to a more personal level using Facebook and Twitter, as well as connect young people to the nearest health center.

Our Teen Advocate Project (TAP) peer educators have played a big part in the NowUKnow campaign. Not only have they hit the streets to encourage their friends and schoolmates to sign up, but one of the TAP teens even starred in the STD video!

Since we launched the campaign in September, the videos have been viewed 2.5 million times, and more than 800 teens have opted in to receive educational text messages.

Supporters Stand Up for Planned Parenthood at Annual Luncheon

PPNC friends and supporters gave a rousing ovation to Carol Markman, longtime board member and champion of women's health and rights, at this year's Annual Luncheon, which was held on November 14 at The Carltun in Eisenhower Park.

"Carol is a committed and skilled professional whose leadership helped PPNC weather many storms and remain strong," PPNC's Board Chair, Miranda Meyer, told guests at the luncheon. "Her passion for our mission and for the people we serve is evident in all that she does."

2012_Luncheon_boardThe luncheon also featured a keynote speech by President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Cecile Richards. Cecile gave a lively and passionate speech about the recent political battles over women's health, applauding both supporters in the room and advocates across the country for standing up and speaking out in support of access to reproductive health care and comprehensive sexuality education.

Most importantly, the event helped raise over $60,000 for the reproductive health care and sex education programs that PPNC provides to more than 40,000 people annually. Many thanks to everyone who attended, as well as our stellar luncheon chair, Valerie McCarthy, and the entire committee.

Stand Up, Speak Out!

Make your voice heard at the Family Planning Advocates Day of Action in Albany

January 14, 2013

Free roundtrip bus ride will be provided, but space is limited!

Sign up»
Roe v. Wade 40th Anniversary

Join us for a discussion with Jessica Arons, Director, Women’s Health and Rights Program, Center for American Progress

January 23, 2013

More details coming soon!
We Can't Do It Without You

Your support ensures that women, men and young people in the community can rely on PPNC for essential health care and sex ed, no matter what.

Donate now»

PPNC's Annual Gala
Mad Men & Mod Women

April 19, 2013

Carltun on the Green, Bethpage State Park

Marcia Levine & Francesca Laplaige

Donate your used vehicles...
...working or not!
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Click here to donate your car, truck, van, boat, RV, motorhome or bus. Be sure to select "Planned Parenthood of Nassau County" from the charity drop-down box.
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Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, Inc.
540 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, NY 11550
Health Centers: 516-750-2500
Administration: 516-750-2600

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