Gov. Wolf, First Lady, Montco Commissioner Arkoosh offer first video testimonials as part of series to support Planned Parenthood

Posted on September 19, 2017

CONTACT: Sari Stevens

Gov. Wolf, First Lady, Montco Commissioner Arkoosh offer first video testimonials as part of series to support Planned Parenthood

Project will compile videos over several weeks, send to elected officials to show support for continued access to reproductive, vital health-care services

BLUE BELL, Montgomery County (Sept. 19, 2017) – Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf, along with Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, offered the first testimonials as part of a weeks-long project to capture video that will be compiled and sent to elected officials to showcase support for Planned Parenthood and ensure continued access to the vital health-care and reproductive services offered at health centers across the commonwealth.

“As the U.S. Senate continues to consider changes to the American health care system, we need to reject flawed amendments and support bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans, including preserving funding for Planned Parenthood,” said Governor Wolf, a longtime supporter and, along with his wife, Frances, a former Planned Parenthood volunteer.

“It’s particularly important that we fight to oppose any legislation that limits access to health care for all,” he said. “I am committed to doing all that I can to make sure Pennsylvania is a place that celebrates individual choice, liberty, and personal freedoms.”

The First Family offered their video testimonials after a forum moderated by Arkoosh, who shared her own story of support. The forum featured a Planned Parenthood health-care provider and advocates who shared personal stories about how Planned Parenthood’s services helped them stay healthy. Planned Parenthood last year served about 90,000 patients in Pennsylvania and provided nearly 170,000 screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, over 9,000 cervical cancer screenings and 11,000 breast wellness exams.

“I see patients walk into our health center every day, and I hope that the Governor’s visit will shed light on their stories and their needs,” said Sunday Gold, a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood’s health center and a student at Montgomery County Community College. “They are not here to make a political statement — they are looking for affordable care in a non-judgmental environment.”

In Pennsylvania, nearly 50 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are in medically under-served areas of the state. That means efforts to defund Planned Parenthood would disenfranchise people of color, those with low incomes and people in rural areas the most. Moreover, more than 70 percent of the counties that Planned Parenthood serves already have a shortage of health care providers.

Over the next several weeks, Planned Parenthood will collect additional video testimonials recorded by patients, providers and community partners. The videos will be compiled and sent to elected officials to show Pennsylvania’s support for the health-care services offered at Planned Parenthood.

Several efforts are under way at both the state and federal levels to “defund” Planned Parenthood — or, to deny the ability for Planned Parenthood to be reimbursed for services provided through the Medicaid program or participate in the federal family planning program. These misguided efforts jeopardize access to reproductive and lifesaving preventative care and put at risk women and families who rely on the services to stay healthy.

Blocking patients from Planned Parenthood will lead to disastrously poor financial outcomes. Every dollar spent on family planning services saves the government almost $8 in associated costs.

“No one who is sincere about protecting women’s health would advocate for measures that put women at risk by denying them access to basic health-care services,” said Sari Stevens, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates. “Governor Wolf has been a steadfast champion for women’s rights in Pennsylvania. He understands how important it is for women to have access to reproductive care and vital health-care service — no matter where they live, no matter how much money they make.”



In partnership with the three Planned Parenthood affiliates in Pennsylvania, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, the state public affairs office in Harrisburg, works to achieve maximum public, governmental and media support for reproductive health care – including family planning – by developing, implementing and facilitating a statewide strategy.

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