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What’s in a name?

November 21, 2012

I’ll never forget an incident at a tabling event in my first year at PPHP.  First, a woman said something terrible to me that I’ve since forgotten – some mean statement that was intended to make me feel ashamed of myself for speaking to people openly about sexuality, reproductive health, and contraception – and then another woman came to the table. I’m sure this person intended to be kind, and considered herself a supporter of Planned Parenthood. She had overheard the previous mean person’s comment.  She said to me, “You know if you just changed your name, you wouldn’t be such a target.”

I was floored.  Change our name?  I said the first thing that popped into my mind: “But I love our name!  Planned Parenthood – it’s all about being able to plan whether and when to become a parent.  Why on earth would we ever change it?”

It seems so self-explanatory to me.  Planning your parenthood… that’s a good thing.  And the ability to access the health care services it takes to plan your parenthood is a right that every person deserves.

A lot has changed in the five or so years since then.  We’ve seen a lot more protesters, and way more legislative attacks on women’s ability to access contraception as well as abortion.  Some crazy people tried to take away our funding for cancer screenings, birth control, and testing and treatment of STDs.  Way more politicians seem to think they can step right into the exam room with a woman, even though no one invited them.  We’ve also seen a greater outpouring of support in the face of these attacks than ever before – and for that I thank you.

Well, one more thing has changed.  We’re certainly keeping the name – because we know it’s awesome.  But Planned Parenthood has a new logo, and a great new tagline, too.

As a health care provider, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic promises that we will always care, no matter what.  This tagline is who we are and what we do.  It’s our promise as a health care provider, educator, and advocate to truly care, no matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter what you do.  It expresses our belief that all people deserve high-quality, affordable health care; our resolve to educate and inform people so they can make their own health decisions; and our commitment to fight for women to get the reproductive services they need.  We believe that when people are truly cared for, they will make their lives, their families, and even the whole world, healthier and better.

If you read this blog regularly or are otherwise involved as a volunteer with a Planned Parenthood somewhere in the U.S., you may already be aware that there are separate advocacy and political organizations affiliated with Planned Parenthoods. This blog, for example, is a project of the PPHP Action Fund, the political and advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, the health care provider that serves more than 30,000 women, men, and teens across Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties in New York.  The new tagline for our advocacy organizations is, “Act. No Matter what.”  This tagline communicates that it takes action to ensure that women, men, and teens get the health care they need and Planned Parenthood health centers can continue to provide, no matter what.  “Act. No Matter what.” is not partisan.  It’s a call to act because that’s what it takes to support people’s ability to make their own decisions about their health and their futures.

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