Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens issued the following statement in light of allegations of inappropriate sexual advances by business and industry leaders, celebrities, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Senate candidate Roy Moore from Alabama, and other unnamed members of Congress.
"Today’s news is yet another reminder of an epidemic in this country that has gone unaddressed for far too long. Every industry, political party, and institution is implicated, and this behavior has to end.
“At Planned Parenthood, we trust women. Survivors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual violence deserve to be heard and treated with dignity and respect. In this moment, people who felt like they couldn't speak out for decades are now feeling empowered to do so — and they are being heard. We also know that many survivors continue to carry their stories silently, and we are only hearing a small percentage of voices from our communities.
“As part of our national reckoning with sexual harassment in the workplace, Congress must step up and address its culture and outdated sexual harassment policies that have allowed these behaviors to go unacknowledged and have dissuaded women from being able to speak out.
“We are encouraged that proposals are being made in Congress to ensure staff and lawmakers are trained on consent and anti-sexual harassment behaviors. It's long overdue for the House and Senate to join the 21st century and reform their policies — both in order to prevent sexual harassment in the first place and to quickly and effectively address reports of inappropriate conduct."
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.