Press Release

AFT's Women's Rights Committee Stands in Support of Planned Parenthood

For Release: 

Monday, July 27, 2015


Emilie Surrusco
202-879-4134; 202/341-8787 (cell)

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Teachers women's rights committee stands in support of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in the face of the latest round of scurrilous attacks against an organization that provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to millions of Americans, including vital reproductive healthcare to underserved women and youth.

In addition, the AFT's women's rights committee called for an investigation into the Center for Medical Progress—a group of extreme anti-abortion activists that recently released a secretly recorded video they claim shows evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood staff.

"I'm proud that our women's committee stepped up and took action today," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Our members are on the front lines—in our schools and in our hospitals—and they see firsthand how Planned Parenthood protects women, provides high-quality healthcare and saves lives. Standing with Planned Parenthood is the right thing to do."

"For more than 30 years, the AFT—a union made up largely of women and currently led by three women officers—has been a strong supporter of women's reproductive rights, including access to healthcare, birth control and abortion. Planned Parenthood operates 700 clinics nationwide that provide vital services to people in need; 79 percent of Planned Parenthood's clients are at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level," said Marietta English, chair of the AFT's women's rights committee and president of the Baltimore Teachers Union. "As a union of professionals, the AFT champions access to high-quality healthcare for our students (many of whom are low-income), their families and our communities, and we will not stand by while anti-abortion extremist groups do everything they can to compromise this access."

"These attacks are thinly veiled attempts to remove public funding and support from Planned Parenthood affiliates and force underserved populations to forgo services necessary for the health of our communities. We are standing with Planned Parenthood and will continue to stand with them in the face of these outrageous attacks," said Dianne Jackson, vice chair of the AFT's women's rights committee.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.