Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. describes itself as the world's oldest and largest voluntary family planning organization. Margaret Sanger (1879–1966) started the first birth-control clinic in Brooklyn in 1916 and organizations she founded eventually merged to become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Women throughout the United States took up the cause and established family planning services that would became a part of the national organization. In 2000, the organization comprised 132 affiliate organizations providing reproductive health care and education in forty-seven states and the District of Columbia.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America provides national leadership for advocacy to increase services that prevent unintended pregnancy, improve the quality of reproductive health care, and ensure access to abortion. The national
In 1998, Planned Parenthood of America affiliates operated 850 health centers and served 2,364,864 clients. Over 79 percent of these clients received contraceptive services and health assessments, including breast and cervical cancer screening. Affiliate health centers also provide testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) testing. Many affiliates offer abortion services, and a growing number of affiliates provide prenatal and primary care, midlife services, and expanded diagnostic and treatment services.
Planned Parenthood affiliates also provide sexuality education and risk reduction programs in their communities, and they advocate for protecting access to reproductive health services at local and state levels.
ROBERTA E. ABER
Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Responsible Choice in Action: 1998–99 Annual Report. New York: Author.