As we look back at Planned Parenthood victories for women’s health and rights in 2014, there’s one consistent theme: the unyielding dedication of Planned Parenthood supporters. Planned Parenthood's doors stay open because bold people stand up for women’s rights. Here are just 14 victories from 2014 that are worth celebrating — and which supporters like you made possible.
1.) Women Reaped Big Benefits from Obamacare
To encourage enrollment in Obamacare, Planned Parenthood supporters and staff reached out to 1 million people and held hundreds of community education events. It paid off. This year we celebrated a lovely two-year anniversary with Obamacare, which gave more than 48 million women nationwide access to basic preventive care without copay (including birth control, well-woman exams, and cancer screenings). What’s more, the no-copay birth control benefit helped women save hundreds of millions of dollars!
2.) Advocacy Volunteers Came Out in Unprecedented Numbers
An unprecedented voter turnout effort for women’s health in the midterm elections looked like this: Staff and supporters of Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations knocked on more than 2 million doors and made more than 2 million phone calls.
So many of you spoke out, volunteered, voted, and stood strong for women's health. And lest you think it's always been this way, it hasn't. This is new. This is different. This is what advocacy looks like.
3.) Fearless Activists Voiced Their Dissent
More than 250,000 Planned Parenthood supporters signed the Join the Dissent petition just after the deeply unpopular Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby. The ruling gives bosses at corporations like Hobby Lobby the legal right to deny their employees insurance coverage for birth control. Petitioners made it crystal clear that they care about standing up for women's health and rights, and we have you to thank.
4.) Pushing NBC to Air Non-Censored Ads for Obvious Child
Planned Parenthood Federation of America collected more than 13,000 signatures on its petition telling NBC to knock off the censorship of the word “abortion” in the ads it was airing for the romantic comedy Obvious Child, which involves an abortion as a central plot point. In a huge step toward more honesty about women and abortion in TV and movies, NBC ended the censorship of the word. Hoorah!
5.) The Next Generation Brought Energy to the Reproductive Rights Movement
Young people across the country took charge in the fight for reproductive freedom, building intersectional power in the movement. In just one example, this summer Planned Parenthood Generation Action and partners in the reproductive justice movement brought together more than 1,000 youth activists nationwide between the ages of 15-25 — with more than 40 percent representing communities of color — for the 2014 Power Tour.
6.) Peace Corps Volunteers Gained Equitable Abortion Coverage
Most women who work for the federal government have had an exception to the federal funding ban on abortion in cases of rape, incest, or a life-threatening pregnancy. However, Peace Corps volunteers have not had the same protection in their health care coverage — until now. Strong supporters of women’s health and rights called for equitable abortion coverage for Corps volunteers, and it worked. Corps volunteers who have been assaulted and get pregnant as a result now have coverage for safe, legal abortion.
Our wins weren’t just at the national level.
In states across the country, supporters of women’s health and rights helped beat back extreme anti-abortion laws and protect women’s access to the health care they need.
7.) Colorado & North Dakota Rejected ‘Personhood’ Amendments
Your hard work on Election Day showed at the ballot box in Colorado and North Dakota, where women’s health supporters defeated so-called “personhood” initiatives. These politically motivated ballot initiatives would have banned abortion and could have interfered with personal decisions about birth control. Their resounding defeat shows what we already know: that the vast majority of voters want women to make their own personal medical decisions without interference from politicians.
8.) Arizona & Indiana: Women’s Right to Medication Abortion Protected
The Supreme Court let stand a preliminary injunction blocking an underhanded Arizona restriction that could have ended access to medication abortion in the state. Meanwhile, a dangerous Indiana law that put medically unnecessary restrictions on a Planned Parenthood Health center that provides medication abortion was ruled unconstitutional. That’s two wins for women’s access to safe, legal medication abortion.
9.) North Carolina: Mandatory Ultrasound Law Struck Down
In another major victory for women (and another loss for lawmakers who want to push invasive, medically unnecessary, and unconstitutional restrictions on women's rights) the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down North Carolina's invasive and unconstitutional mandatory ultrasound law. “Transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes," the judges wrote in their opinion.
10.) Alabama: Anti-Abortion Admitting Privileges Law Ruled Unconstitutional
In Alabama, a federal court struck down a law that would have shuttered at least three of the state’s five health centers that provide abortions. The medically unnecessary law would have forced doctors who provide abortions to have staff privileges at a local hospital — privileges that these physicians cannot obtain for reasons that have nothing to do with quality of medical care.
11.) Texas: New Health Center in Dallas
This year an appellate court order forced many abortion providers to stop providing abortions overnight, which would have made it nearly impossible for thousands of women in Texas to access safe and legal abortion. Fortunately, the Supreme Court stepped in, allowing the providers to reopen, and — what’s more — a brand new Planned Parenthood health center opened in Dallas. It just goes to show that the anti-abortion movement cannot keep this organization down!
12.) California: Prop 46 Rejected
More than two-thirds of California voters rejected a ballot measure that could have raised certain malpractice insurance costs for doctors. And that could have caused OB/GYNs who couldn’t afford it to curtail or stop providing services — a dire situation that would have especially hurt rural areas of the state.
As you can see, supporters of women’s health and rights propelled states to serious victory time and again in 2014. But not every victory was so serious. Some victories were plain fun.
13.) First Women Are Watching Playlist
We teamed up with two legendary DJs to create the first-ever Women are Watching Spotify playlist. MC Lyte, a pioneer for women in hip-hop, and DJ/singer/songwriter Samantha Ronson handpicked some of their favorite songs for what feels like the soundtrack for strong women’s voices.
14.) Star-Studded T-Shirt Campaign
Before the Nov. 4 election, Lena Dunham and more than a dozen of her famous friends (like Mindy Kaling, Amy Pohler, and Janet Mock) posted selfies on Instagram.
Bottom Line: Thank You
Why review our favorite 14 successes from ’14? Because they truly are OURS. Thank you for your steady support, and for never giving in.
Now that our opponents have taken control of Congress, we've got a lot of work ahead in 2015 to protect women's health and rights. It's going to take everything we've got to fight back. In the coming year, we can expect more attacks on the women, men, and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood for compassionate, affordable health care.
We've faced some tough times before, and we've learned a thing or two about our Planned Parenthood family: There is nobody stronger or more resilient. When the fight gets harder, we get fiercer. That's the dedication and commitment that make us strong. That's what we're going to need for the next two years, and beyond.
We know we can count on you to keep standing right here with us, whatever comes next. Help make sure we're ready for what's coming by making a gift to Planned Parenthood Action Fund today.