Looking Back on 2013 with Thanks to People Like You As we get ready to ring in the New Year next week, I wanted to take a moment to look back on some of the highlights from 2013.
I’m thrilled to report that it’s been a good year for the people who depend on Planned Parenthood of Nassau County (PPNC) and trust us to provide quality, affordable health care. In our health centers, we’re on track to provide more patients than ever with essential services including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, prevention and treatment of STDs, breast health services, pap tests, abortion care, and prenatal care.
Equally important, under the Affordable Care Act, we are helping people get affordable insurance by providing information about the plans available in the New York health insurance marketplace; and, if they are not eligible, we are providing them with services…no matter what.
We are also working to keep New York a safe haven for reproductive health care in addition to mobilizing our advocates to speak out against attacks in other states across the country.
Meanwhile, our sex ed programs are making a real difference, as well. Indeed, since 2006, the teen pregnancy rate declined in Roosevelt by 30% and in Hempstead by 17%.
So many of these accomplishments are possible only because of your generosity and support. On behalf of the tens of thousands of women, men and teens who rely on Planned Parenthood to lead healthy lives, please accept my warmest thanks, as well as my best wishes for a most joyous and prosperous New Year.
JoAnn D. Smith President & CEO
Wondering About Obamacare? PPNC Can Help!
It's been hard to escape the relenting naysayers’ chatter about the Affordable Care Act since the open enrollment period began on October 1—but, contrary to what you may have heard, demand for low-cost health insurance is actually quite high. In fact, according to the New York State of Health, the state’s official health plan marketplace, to date over 421,900 New Yorkers have completed an insurance application and more than 188,500 people have enrolled for coverage.
At PPNC, we know that many of our patients and the people living in the at-risk communities we serve will benefit from the Affordable Care Act, either through expanded Medicaid eligibility or one of the subsidized plans offered through the marketplace.
To let people know about the marketplace, this fall we launched a large-scale outreach, education and enrollment assistance campaign, generously funded in part by the Pritchard Charitable Trust and the Empire Justice Foundation.
Our education and public affairs staff—Planned Parenthood’s "face" in the community and trusted sources of information—are providing information about the marketplace and enrollment services during health fairs, workshops, street outreach, door-to-door outreach and community canvassing. During these efforts, they distribute bilingual materials and answer questions about the benefits of Obamacare and the plans available on the marketplace. We even hung a banner from our Hempstead health center encouraging people to enroll!
In addition to building awareness, several of our health center staff have been trained to provide patients with on-site enrollment assistance. We know that, through these efforts, we can spread the word to as many people as possible about the benefits of the new health care law, as well as how and where to enroll in a plan and access services.
Get in the Holiday Spirit with the Help of Uncle Sam
Holiday shopping can be a hassle, but here’s one way to give a gift that won’t put a damper on your holiday spirit: the IRA Charitable Rollover.
But don’t miss out, because the American Taxpayer Relief Act—legislation which allows individuals who are at least 70½ years old to make outright charitable gifts from their traditional or Roth IRAs, without incurring federal income tax or early withdrawal penalties—is set to expire on December 31, 2013.
Here’s how it works:
You must be 70½ or older.You may transfer up to $100,000 per year.
Married individuals can each use their own accounts, doubling their family’s possible gifts up to $200,000.
Your gift will count toward your required minimum distribution.
You cannot claim an income tax charitable deduction.
To learn more about the IRA Charitable Rollover, call PPNC’s Development Department at 516-750-2660, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fun and Hip New Video Encourages Teens to Get Checked Out
A visit to the doctor can make anyone a little nervous – so just imagine how a young person coming for their first STD test, birth control or GYN exam may feel: embarrassed, uncomfortable, concerned about confidentiality and cost, and more.
In reality, a trip to Planned Parenthood is nothing to be worried about, which is why PPNC’s Teen Advocate Project (TAP) peer educators created a humorous, teen-based video demystifying a health center visit.
The TAP teens first participated in a series of workshops to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to develop and write the script. Next, they all had a hand in the filming, either on-camera as actors or off-camera, helping with casting, production or styling.
The final product is a fun yet informative video debunking many of the myths that teens have about coming to Planned Parenthood for health care. The video is set to premier by the end of the year and will be shown to young people through social media and in the middle and high schools of PPNC’s targeted communities of Hempstead, Roosevelt and Westbury.
Finding a New Way to Engage the Next Generation of Supporters
As always, Planned Parenthood is leading the charge to protect and defend women’s health and rights, including access to abortion. And the future of our work depends on engaging and inspiring the next generation of activists—many of whom, unfortunately, experience a disconnect when we reach out to them using the traditional “pro-choice” and “anti-choice” labels.
To address this issue, PPNC launched Not in Her Shoes, a college-based campaign geared towards raising young people’s awareness about the threats to safe and legal abortion and inspiring them to speak out and take action in support of abortion access.
The Not in Her Shoes campaign, which is funded in part by a grant from the Women’s Fund of Long Island, uses messages based on research conducted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America on how to talk about abortion in a way that truly connects with young women and helps motivate advocates. One of the central and most effective messages is: “It’s just not that simple. We don’t know a woman’s specific situation—we are not in her shoes, so we can’t describe them.”
Our public affairs staff, college student interns and key student advocates have all received training on how to talk about reproductive rights advocacy with young people using language that resonates. Now, we are taking the “not in her shoes” message on the road to engage young people through activities including on-campus events, workshops and presentations, tabling and outreach.
Sisters United in Health Educators Recognized as Health Care Hereos
PPNC is thrilled to congratulate Angelica Medina and Naomi Cunningham, breast health educators from Sisters United in Health, on being named Long Island Business News Health Care Heroes!
Sisters United in Health is a coalition that educates and empowers low-income, medically underserved women of color on Long Island to take charge of their breast health. The program was founded by PPNC in 2001 by our former Director of Education, a woman of color herself, who wanted to make an impact on the disproportionately high rates of breast cancer mortality in her community. Knowing that we needed to work together with other groups to effect change, she spearheaded the formation of Sisters United in Health, which now has 13 members and reaches more than 5,000 women annually.
As Sisters United in Health educators, Angelica and Naomi travel from one end of the island to the other, helping women address the barriers that contribute to breast cancer disparities. Their efforts include facilitating breast health workshops, conducting outreach at health and wellness events, and referring uninsured and/or undocumented women for free or low-cost breast cancer screenings.
Both Angelica and Naomi are passionate about what they do and the women they help, and they are truly deserving of this honor. Kudos to them both!
While things have been relatively quiet on the federal level over the past few months, women’s health and rights advocates in states across the country have been fighting an array of dangerous laws aimed at restricting access to abortion, birth control and reproductive health care. A few of the most egregious examples are below:
Supreme Court Tackles Birth Control Mandate
The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear claims made by two for-profit corporations that they have a right to deny their employees birth control under their health insurance plans. These are cases that, based on the employer’s personal beliefs alone, could deny millions of women access to affordable birth control and set a dangerous precedent allowing businesses to deny their employees a whole host of other medical procedures and treatments to which they are legally entitled. Oral arguments will likely be held in March with a ruling expected by late June.
Standing with Texas
This summer, Texas Senator Wendy Davis made headlines with her 11-hour filibuster against a dangerous package of abortion restrictions—which passed despite her heroic attempt. Although a federal district court struck down one provision of the enacted law that would have required all abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reinstate the injunction.
This ruling means that the Texas law will continue to take effect while we challenge it in court. In November, a federal appeals court fast-tracked our case – and attorneys for Planned Parenthood, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and the ACLU have been hard at work preparing for oral arguments in January.
Nevertheless, until this ruling is repealed, women in most parts of Texas are without access to safe and legal abortion. In the meantime, to help women deal with the impact of this law, the staff of the nearly 50 Planned Parenthood health centers that remain open around the state are working around the clock to keep their doors open and provide essential services to the women of Texas.
Respect ABQ Women
This November, advocates in Nassau County rallied behind women in New Mexico and helped defeat a dangerous ballot measure that would have banned abortion after 20 weeks. PPNC recruited 16 volunteers to join other supporters across New York in phonebanking to voters in Albuquerque and urging them to vote against the measure. This effort was part of the nationwide “Respect ABQ Women” campaign to protect women’s access to essential health care, and thanks in part to our efforts, voters resoundingly rejected the law.
Women’s health and rights advocates in Michigan have been fighting against the Abortion Insurance Ban, a politically-motivated piece of legislation which eliminates coverage for abortion in all health insurance plans, unless purchased through an additional rider. This policy has no exemptions for rape, incest, or health of the woman – making it one of the most extreme bans in the nation. Unfortunately, last week the Michigan state legislature invoked a rarely-used, veto-proof maneuver to pass the ban, which is opposed by doctors, women and the state’s governor.
Planned Parenthood is currently working with allies and its legal team to determine the best next steps, which might include repealing the law by placing it on the 2014 ballot.
Planned Parenthood will continue to fight these dangerous and extreme laws and challenges at all levels, using every tool we have—including urging Congress to pass stronger federal protections for women's health under the Women's Health Protection Act. Please contact our Public Affairs Department, 516-750-2665, for more information and to learn what you can do to help preserve and protect our reproductive freedoms.
Supporters Stand Up for Planned Parenthood at Annual Luncheon
PPNC friends and supporters gathered to honor Barry Osborn, former board member and longtime champion of women’s health and rights, at this year’s Annual Luncheon, which was held on October 24 at Carlyle on the Green at Bethpage State Park.
Mrs. Osborn was given the Margaret Sanger Award in recognition of her dedication and commitment to Planned Parenthood, women’s reproductive rights and volunteerism. As a former PPNC board member, Mrs. Osborn’s wisdom and counsel has been instrumental in helping fulfill our mission of ensuring that the people in our community have access to essential health care and information.
The luncheon also featured a keynote speech by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and social critic, Anna Quindlen, whose astute commentaries on everything from women’s issues to public policy to presidential elections appear in the world’s most influential newspapers and magazines. Ms. Quindlen’s witty and inspiring speech highlighted the importance of supporting Planned Parenthood and how family planning has empowered women to pursue their dreams.
Most importantly, the event helped raise nearly $100,000 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 to our stellar luncheon chairs, Betsy Blattmachr and CeCe Haydock, and the entire committee.
We Can't Do It Without You
Make a difference in your community by making a donation to PPNC today. Your support helps women get the care they need to be healthy, helps teens learn how to make responsible decisions and helps protect and defend women's health and rights.
Day of Action Join us in Albany on January 27, 2014 for the Family Planning Advocates Day of Action.
It's your chance to meet with elected officials on critical issues such as family planning funding and access to reproductive health care.
Participation is free of charge but space is limited, so RSVP now!
Save the Date
PPNC's Annual Gala April in Paris
Friday April 25, 2014
Carlyle on the Green, Bethpage State Park
Honoring Jane & Marty Schwartz
For more information, call 516-750-2663
Attention Amazon.com Shoppers
Before you buy anything on Amazon.com, go to www.ppnc.organd start your Amazon shopping from the box on the bottom of our home page. A percentage of your order will automatically be donated to PPNC—it's that easy!
Donate your used vehicles...
...working or not! Help support Planned Parenthood and get a tax deduction.
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.