Planned Parenthood Announces New Breast Health Initiative

Activist and actor Gabrielle Union and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards speaking at Planned Parenthood's NYC headquarters on August 20, 2012.Activist and actor Gabrielle Union and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards speaking at Planned Parenthood's …Anna Maltby, SELF magazine

It's been a wild year for Planned Parenthood -- first, Susan G. Komen for the Cure decided to pull funding to the organization for breast cancer screenings; then, Komen apologized and said PP will be eligible for future grants. In between, more than 75,000 supporters united to pour in about $3 million in donations to make up for the newly missing funds. (Nice work, everybody!)

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Now, Planned Parenthood has announced it will use that money to launch a breast health initiative focused on education, risk assessment and expanded screenings. The deets:

  • Planned Parenthood will help provide patients with specialized follow up services (we're talking imaging and biopsies)
  • They'll boost their online presence and help young women access breast health info digitally
  • Their Latina-focused promotores program will be expanded, too
  • They'll create a special tool for doctors and nurses at their health centers to assess patients' breast cancer risk

We say this is a huge win for women everywhere -- you probably know that about 95 percent of Planned Parenthood's work is focused on preventive care (that's providing birth control, cancer screenings, STI tests and prenatal testing), but what you might not know is that Planned Parenthood provides about 750,000 clinical breast exams to women in the United States each year. Many of those women are uninsured or underinsured and have few (if any) other options for healthcare. Basically, it's life or death.

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This new initiative lets PP take that in-clinic work even further and expands the efforts beyond the walls of their clinics by helping get crucial, clear information about breast health to women everywhere.

We attended a special event today at which Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, activist and actor Gabrielle Union and others explained why this new initiative is so important. In light of all the controversy the group has endured this year, we think Gabrielle said it all:

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"There's no political agenda to saving lives and helping women."

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