Stand Up for Women’s Access to Healthcare Services: Oppose all Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood

Media 07.31.15

Recipient: U.S. Senate

View the PDF of this letter here.

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the 99 undersigned civil and human rights and labor organizations, we urge you to oppose all efforts to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). We strongly condemn the distorted and fraudulent campaign against PPFA, a critical provider of vital health services to low-income women and women of color.

As a result of the false claims based on selectively edited videos by the so-called “Center for Medical Progress” infiltration of PPFA, we expect a number of Senate proposals will be offered today at 5:30pm to defund the organization. The group behind this fraud has undertaken 10 separate attack campaigns like this over the last eight years. Their real agenda is now clear—they want to defund PPFA and block access to basic health services, particularly for low-income women, women of color, women with disabilities, and young women. This is also an attack on all women and their basic civil and human right to health care.

PPFA provides affordable, and critically needed quality preventive health care and treatment to 2.7 million women, men, and young people across the country. Their clinics provide routine examinations, cancer screenings, contraceptive services, HIV and STI (sexually transmitted infections) testing. Approximately one in five women in America will rely on PPFA for health care in her lifetime.

For many low-income women and women of color, PPFA is their main health care provider. In 2013, PPFA’s clinics served 370,000 African American patients, which was 14 percent of their overall patients; 575,000 Latinos, which was 22 percent of their overall patients; and 11,500 Native Americans. PPFA services are particularly critical for African American and Latina women who experience the highest mortality rates among women diagnosed with breast cancer and cervical cancer. Access to PPFA for early diagnosis is critical to these women’s health and lives. In addition, over the last ten years, PPFA has significantly increased the numbers of male patients they serve, including from communities of color.

We strongly urge you to oppose all proposals to defund PPFA and stand with the undersigned organizations to protect the right to health care for low income women and women of color.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Nancy Zirkin, Leadership Conference Executive Vice President, at [email protected], or June Zeitlin, Leadership Conference Director of Human Rights Policy at [email protected].


Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Judith Lichtman
Chair, Leadership Conference Board of Directors
Senior Advisor, National Partnership for Women & Families

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President

List of Organizations:

9to5, National Association of Working Women

AIDS United

Alliance for Justice

Amalgamated Transit Union

American Association of University Women (AAUW)

American Civil Liberties Union

American Family Voices

American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

American Federation of Teachers

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Andrew Goodman Foundation

Anti-Defamation League

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC

Association of Flight Attendants – CWA

Association of University Centers on Disabilities

BCTGM International Union


Bisexual Resource Center

CAEAR Coalition

Campaign for America’s Future

Catholics for Choice

Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

Center for Reproductive Rights

Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University

CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers

Central Conference of American Rabbis

Coalition of Labor Union Women

Communications Workers of America

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

DC Vote

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

Equality Federation

Family Equality Council

Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas

Feminist Majority

Freedom to Marry

Gender Action


Global Justice Institute


Human Rights Campaign

Institute for Science and Human Values, Inc.

International Brotherhood of Boilermakers

Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Jewish Women International

Lambda Legal

LatinoJustice PRLDEF

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

League of United Latin American Citizens

Legal Momentum

Marriage Equality USA

Metropolitan Community Churches

Movement Advancement Project


NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc

NARAL Pro-Choice America

National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Council of Jewish Women

National Council of La Raza

National Education Association

National Fair Housing Alliance

National Health Law Program

National Immigration Law Center

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health Salud

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Organization for Women

National Partnership for Women & Families

National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

National Urban League

National Women’s Law Center

New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project


People for the American Way

PFLAG National


Project Vote

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)

Secular Coalition for America


Southern Poverty Law Center

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund


Voices for Progress

Women Enabled International

Women Graduates-USA

Women of Reform Judaism

Women’s Research & Education Institute (WREI)

Women’s Intercultural Network (WIN)

Women’s Media Center

The Workmen’s Circle