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Ad Urges the Senate to Reject House Plan to Shred the Nation’s Family-Planning Program and Bar Planned Parenthood from All Federal Initiatives, Including Medicaid   

The Planned Parenthood Action Fund today launched a new TV spot highlighting the lifesaving health care provided by Planned Parenthood and featuring the real-life story of Carolyn Smithers.

During the 30-second spot, the Sarasota, FL, mother recounts how a Planned Parenthood health center saved her life.  Like millions of American women, Smithers relied on Planned Parenthood for basic preventive care when she was a young student lacking health insurance.  A Pap test she received at age 19 showed that she had developed cervical cancer.  Because it was diagnosed early, she got the treatment she needed to survive it.  Her own daughters are now Planned Parenthood patients. 

The TV ad will air on network and cable TV in the Washington, DC, media market.

View the ad here.

The ad is running while the Senate considers recent efforts by the House leadership to eliminate the nation’s 40-year-old family planning program (Title X) and bar Planned Parenthood from providing any federally reimbursed services, including Pap tests, breast exams, annual visits, birth control, and STI and HIV tests.

“Carolyn’s story is the story of women we see every year,” said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.  “The proposal to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for preventive health care would have a devastating impact on women like Carolyn. That’s why we are urging the Senate to reject this extreme proposal.”

Each year, three million patients rely on Planned Parenthood for preventive health care. One woman in five has received care from Planned Parenthood at some point in her lifetime.

Every year, Planned Parenthood’s doctors and nurses carry out nearly one million lifesaving screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams.  Its health centers also provide affordable birth control to nearly 2.5 million patients and perform nearly four million tests for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.


Read the Ad Backup here.

Carolyn: I am a mother of two.

Carolyn: I was diagnosed early with cervical cancer because of Planned Parenthood…

[on screen: Carolyn Smithers, Cancer Survivor, Diagnosed by Planned Parenthood]

Carolyn: …and I’ve been a survivor for the last 30 years.

Carolyn: Planned Parenthood fills a huge gap for women like myself and my daughters, who need someplace to go.

[on screen: 830,000 Breast Exams, 1 Million Cancer Screenings, 500,000 HIV Tests, 2.5 Million Birth Control Visits]

VO: The Senate should stand with Carolyn and Planned Parenthood, and put the lives and health of women above Washington politics.

[on screen: The Senate Should Stand for Women’s Health, PlannedParenthood.org, PAID FOR BY PLANNED PARENTHOOD ACTION FUND]

Carolyn: Without Planned Parenthood, I wouldn’t be here today.


The House Appropriations Committee’s FY11 continuing resolution completely eliminates the national family planning program (Title X), which supports comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Gutting Title X would deny preventive care to five million American women.

In addition, the House recently passed Rep. Mike Pence’s (R-IN) amendment to the House Republican spending plan.  The amendment would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funding from Medicaid, from HIV screening and infertility prevention grants, or from maternal and child health grants.  It would also block funding to provide women with breast and cervical cancer screenings.  This proposal passed the House of Representatives, even though these programs have wide bipartisan support and do not include abortion services.  Unless the Senate reverses it, this unprecedented, ideological attack on a specific health care provider will eliminate the primary and preventive health care that millions of American women rely on.