Digging Deeper: In Conversation with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin

Writing about Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin last week was definitely the most personal post of this project. I’m honored that Iris Riis, their Media Relations Specialist, took the time to reply with more about their current challenges and focuses.

“The people of Wisconsin value access to reproductive health care, despite the actions taken by our Republican controlled state legislature.”

Why is it critical to serve the population you support in the state where you are?

There are 336,000 Wisconsin women in need of affordable reproductive health care. PPWI is the state’s largest and most trusted reproductive health care provider. Each year, we serve 60,000 patients who rely on us for high quality, affordable health care. Patients come to us for well woman exams, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, birth control, education and safe, legal abortion care. For many Wisconsin women, Planned Parenthood is the only place they’re able to access these essential health care services. We’re committed to continuing to provide the care necessary to keep our communities safe, healthy and strong.

What will PPWI’s main focus(es) be in 2017?

The divisive nature of how certain candidates talked about Planned Parenthood and the patients we serve is deeply troubling, and we hope that they take a different tone in their governing. It’s clear that the attacks on access to health care are not only dangerous — they’re deeply unpopular. In 2017, we’ll be focused on making clear that we won’t go back. The stakes have never been higher for reproductive rights, and we’re ready to fight to protect access to this essential health care.

While you struggle against serious challenge in a red state, what is something positive that those of us outside Wisconsin should know about the state or its people?

The people of Wisconsin value access to reproductive health care, despite the actions taken by our Republican controlled state legislature. After the election, we saw an outpouring of support from the community. We’re so grateful for all of our volunteers, donors, patients and staff who work every day to improve the health of our state.

Thank you Iris for your answers and to Kris and Jackie who helped connect us! I’m proud to continue to stand with Planned Parenthood for years to come.

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