Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania Launches Transgender Health Services

Posted on July 5, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 5, 2017
CONTACT:   Leah Tucker 215-351-5510 (O)/256-609-9330 (C) or leah.tucker@ppsp.org 

Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania Launches Transgender Health Services

Philadelphia, PA – Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP) is launching Transgender Health Services at two of our locations: the Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center™ at Locust Street (June 26th), and the Pottstown Health Center (July 2017).

PPSP proudly celebrates the resilience, strength, and activism of LGBTQ communities by joining efforts to stand up, push forward, and organize for change. As we continue to fight back against those who wish to undo the progress of the last half century, we stand with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people in the struggle for full equality — many of whom turn to Planned Parenthood for health care, information and education.

Planned Parenthood is the second largest provider of transgender hormone therapy (HT) services in the United States, and the provision of these critical services reflects the core of our mission to protect and enhance reproductive freedom, to increase access to reproductive health services and information, and to promote sexual health.

HT, also known as medical transition, is one way for transgender individuals to feel and look more like the gender with which they identify. Some, but not all, people also pursue surgical options as a component of medical transition. HT is a component of a medical transition that is used to change the body’s endocrine system to more closely match the person’s gender identity. HT can include testosterone or testosterone-blocking agents along with female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.

“As Planned Parenthood celebrates its 100th Anniversary, we are thrilled to extend our services to the transgender community. At Planned Parenthood, we are committed to improving the way transgender people and gender non-conforming people receive health care in our region, and we proudly work together with the community to eliminate barriers to care.” — Dr. Joel Lebed, DO, Medical Director, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania

Transgender individuals experience major disparities accessing health care, and these challenges grow significantly for transgender people of color. According to a 2011 survey of 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming people from across the U.S.:

  • 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.
  • Transgender people face double the rate of unemployment: Survey respondents experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population at the time of the survey, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
  • Health outcomes show the devastating effects of social and economic marginalization, including:
    • High HIV rates: Respondents reported over four times the national average of HIV infection, with rates higher among transgender people of color.
    • Refusal of care: 19% of this sample reported being refused medical care due to their transgender or gender non-conforming status, with even higher numbers among people of color in the survey.

(Source: Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of The National Transgender Discrimination Survey.  National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force)

New services:

PPSP will be offering gender-affirming Hormone Therapy (HT) on an informed-consent basis; self-injection training; and resources & referrals for our transgender patients to a full range of transgender services, including legal and medical services.  Services are on a sliding scale fee basis and costs will be discussed when the appointment is made. PPSP strives to keep the cost of our services as affordable as possible.

Offering transgender health services to our communities in southeastern Pennsylvania helps ensure that those we serve have access to high-quality affordable health care delivered in a respectful and inclusive manner.” — Dayle Steinberg, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania

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PPSP provides high-quality reproductive health care services for more than 45,000 patients at our eight health centers and four surgical centers, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status. PPSP also provides sexuality education programs to youth and defends women’s health and reproductive rights.

 

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