After an exhausting week of barely being able to post recaps, I was super excited to see an update from Iris Riis, Media Relations Specialist, at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in my inbox yesterday. Please read below to see what important work they’ve been doing since last year and please join me in making a donation to a service organization I’ve directly benefited from.
What was your organization’s biggest win(s) in 2017?
One of our biggest wins in 2017 was expanding access to essential health care despite how hostile the current environment is to reproductive health care. In October, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin opened a new, state-of-the-art health center in Milwaukee. The new space is beautiful, inclusive and reflects the dignity our patients deserve.
What has been your organization’s biggest challenge(s) in 2017?
Our biggest challenge this year was the constant threat of defunding. This measure would have blocked Planned Parenthood from participating in the Medicaid program. A proposal like this would have been devastating for our patients – 50,000 of whom are Medicaid eligible. Defunding would have a disproportionate impact on those who already lack access to health care. There isn’t another ready provider who would be able to absorb Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s patients, which is why we worked so hard to defeat this proposal. We know the fight isn’t over and that we’re likely to see more attempts to block vulnerable patients from care, but defeating defunding was huge victory for women’s health in Wisconsin and across the country.
Please share a story about one individual in your state who has truly made an impact this year who you’d like the rest of the world to know about.
Our patients have stepped up to share what Planned Parenthood means to them in a way we’ve never seen before. Many have gone from silent supporters to some of our strongest advocates because they want to make sure everyone has access to care. Their voices are what helped us defeat the defunding attempts we’ve battled all year. One of those patients, Lori, had never shared her Planned Parenthood story publicly until this year. Since she started speaking out, she has become one of our most vocal supporters. You can see her story here.