Planned Parenthood was founded over 100 years ago on the revolutionary idea that women have the right to access the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives. Today, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) fights to protect that right — often in the face of extreme politicians trying to take it away.
In 1978, Faye Wattleton became the first female president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America since Margaret Sanger — and the first president of color. During her tenure, U.S. President Ronald Reagan passed policies opposing reproductive rights, including the devastating Global Gag Rule. Meanwhile, violent attacks against health centers escalated: Planned Parenthood facilities and health centers around the country became targets of arson, bombs, and other acts of violence.
By the late 1980s, it was clear to Wattleton that Planned Parenthood must become more political to keep its doors open and to preserve abortion rights writ large. Wattleton launched PPAF in 1989 as Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s advocacy arm. Since then, PPAF has led the Federation through the country’s toughest political battles over reproductive rights.
Who We Are
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is a nonprofit, non-partisan group. We are backed by more than 10 million activists, donors, and other supporters all working to advance access to sexual health care and defend reproductive rights. While PPAF works at the national level, local Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations are fighting to defend reproductive rights in states across the country.
There is much to defend — but we’re up for the task. From the time Margaret Sanger opened the country’s first birth control clinic (only to be arrested), Planned Parenthood’s staff and supporters have been pioneers in reproductive rights and self-determination.
Today, we see the fruits of both their labor and their resolve: Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider of sex education.
An estimated one in five American women visits a Planned Parenthood health center in her lifetime.
And Planned Parenthood’s more than 600 health centers nationwide deliver high-quality, supportive health care to 2.4 million people each year.
What We Do
We at PPAF fight back when anti-abortion politicians and their extremist allies try to outlaw abortion, take away access to affordable birth control, and block patients from care at Planned Parenthood health centers. We fight alongside our partners when the basic human rights of our patients, volunteers, supporters, activists, and staff of all races, faiths, genders, and identities are under attack.
To advance reproductive rights, we:
- Educate and organize the public
- Register, inform, and mobilize voters
- Promote policies that help people access health care
- Work with reproductive health champions in federal, state, and local legislatures
- During elections, promote political candidates who advocate for Americans’ reproductive rights
- Stand in solidarity with social justice partners to fight back against hate and discrimination
Fighting for Planned Parenthood Patients
Many of Planned Parenthood’s patients are people who have historically faced barriers to quality health care. Often, those patients are people of color, people who live in rural areas, LGBTQ people, people with low incomes, and people without health insurance. Without Planned Parenthood health centers, many of these patients may have no other place to turn to access safe and legal abortion — or preventive care like birth control, well-woman exams, and lifesaving cancer and STD screenings.
Planned Parenthood patients are the inspiration for the work that we at PPAF do to advocate for:
- Inclusive sex education, as well as STD- and unplanned pregnancy-prevention
- The right to safe and legal abortion — without government interference
- Other key issues across different communities around the world
Join the Fight
There is uncertainty ahead of us. The country; Planned Parenthood health centers; the people of all races, genders, faiths, and backgrounds who make up Planned Parenthood’s community; and reproductive rights as a whole all face renewed attacks.
But one thing is certain: We will never back down. We will never stop fighting to protect the access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers that so many people across this country depend on. We will fight to make sure that people in this country can access reproductive health care no matter their zip code, income, sexual orientation, race, religion, gender, country of origin, or immigration status. We will not give up, and we will not be silenced. Please join us in this fight.