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5 Ways to Get Involved with Planned Parenthood Locally
Here are a few ways you can join the fight and get involved locally right here in Massachusetts.
The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund (PPAF) was first formed in 1984 in order to meet the growing need for an advocacy platform exclusively dedicated to the protection and expansion of sexual and reproductive health services in Massachusetts. PPAF’s sister organization, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM), had been a leader of the sexual health revolution since its founding in 1928, providing education and clinical services as well as spearheading grassroots campaigns to defeat anti-choice legislation and pass positive measures that would improve the sexual and reproductive health of Massachusetts residents.
In order to expand the capabilities of PPLM’s advocacy efforts and cross over into the electoral realm, PPLM established PPAF, which is a separate 501(c)(4) organization. Since its inception, PPAF has established itself as a leader at the State House and in civil and political advocacy efforts that protect access to the vital services provided by PPLM health centers across the state and by Planned Parenthood health centers across the country.
Since its founding, PPAF has stayed true to its mission of protecting access to sexual and reproductive health care and continues to engage new supporters and long-time activists in legislative and electoral campaigns through advocacy methods such as lobby days, petitions, media outreach, coalition-building, and social media. PPAF also works with other progressive organizations that help move Massachusetts forward and participates in coalitions such as Prevention First, Coalition for Choice and Mass Alliance.
We are reminded every day how the 2010 elections dramatically changed the politics and priorities on Capitol Hill. The outcome of the 2012 elections could have even a more profound impact on the future of sexual health services and reproductive rights. The elections represent an opportunity for more dangerous and extreme attacks on health care access, but they also represent an opportunity for women’s health advocates to fight back. PPAF is counting on its supporters to help them fight back and preserve access to safe, affordable and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services in Massachusetts and across the country.
Over the last 27 years, PPAF has made great strides to protect and advance comprehensive health care access in the state and across the country. Our more recent accomplishments include:
- The re-election of sexual and reproductive health champions, Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo, as Boston City Councilors at-Large in November 2011. Leading up to the election, PPAF engaged voters through social media, email alerts, and phone banking.
- Won 32 of the 43 races we endorsed in the 2010 elections – ensuring a pro-choice majority in the Massachusetts State Legislature. PPAF also helped re-elect Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Tim Murray, and Attorney General Martha Coakley.
- Secured Expedited Partner Therapy (EPT), an effective strategy to prevent STI infection and reinfection. Thanks to persistent advocacy from PPAF, PPLM, and other community providers, lawmakers passed legislation in 2010 that authorized the Department of Public Health to implement an EPT program that allows health care providers to prescribe or dispense antibiotics for potential chlamydia infections without examining the partners of infected patients. This victory means that patients who don’t come through PPLM’s doors can still access necessary treatment.
- Ensured funding for family planning, teen pregnancy prevention, STI treatment/prevention, & reducing health disparities in the Fiscal Year 2011 state budget, signed by Governor Deval Patrick on June 30th, 2010.
- Spearheaded a rally on the Boston Common, where over 650 supporters gathered to ask Senator Scott Brown to stand with Planned Parenthood. Speakers at the “Defend, Don’t Defund” rally included Reps. Michael Capuano and Niki Tsongas as well as local political and advocacy leaders. After PPAF sent the Senator more than 1,000 postcards, he voted against an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood.
- Advocated for and secured passage of “An Act Relative to Public Safety at Health Facilities” which expanded the buffer zone to a 35 foot perimeter around an abortion clinic’s entrances and driveways. The passage of this vital legislation in 2007 makes the Buffer Zone Law in MA one of the strongest in the nation.