University of Arizona VOX: Summer Travelogue

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University of Arizona VOX students represent Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona in Washington, D.C.

Earlier this summer, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona sent four University of Arizona students to the annual Youth Organizing and Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The conference brings together hundreds of young people from around the country who support the mission of Planned Parenthood and seek to bring awareness around sexual health and reproductive rights to their college campuses. The forum provides an opportunity for young people to learn from each other, share experiences and ideas, and become familiar with the top issues impacting sexual and reproductive health across the country.

Apart from the obvious benefit — getting out of the 100-plus-degree weather here in Arizona — this conference is also a perfect venue to inspire and remind young people about the important role they play in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement.

We wanted to take a moment to share some of highlights — from our VOX students — about the conference so you, too, can be inspired as we kick off the fall semester.

From Nancy …

Although I have been a youth volunteer with Planned Parenthood for five years now, this was the first time I was able to attend one of these wonderful conferences. The 2013 Youth Organizing and Policy Conference brought together like-minded people and encouraged us to speak out about reproductive justice, equal pay, and health care. Not only was it powerful to listen to advocates from around the country share their stories, but it helped me to understand how just a few voices can change the outlook of elections and large policy decisions.

My favorite part about the conference was being able to walk through the Capitol and speaking with our Congressmen and women about issues we found important. I also thought it was mind-blowing how many young people there were behind the scenes running our governmental offices! It’s encouraging to know that when we reach out to our representatives, we are also reaching out to people of our age who help them in office. Overall I had a great experience in Washington, D.C. I walked away with many new ideas for outreach and also a renewed sense of optimism about our continued fight for our civil liberties.

From Zoe …

My experience at YOPC was truly inspirational. We were able to see and meet so many amazing people. My favorite part of the conference was lobby day, when we were able to meet with five Arizona congressmen and women to discuss issues important to young people and Planned Parenthood. Those who were involved in planning the conference did an incredible job, and I hope that I can attend another conference like this in the future!

From Georgia …

Attending the Youth Organizing and Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., was such an eye-opening and inspiring experience. We were so lucky to be able to meet with five supportive Congressional representatives from Arizona, which really gave me insight into what the lobbying process is like in Congress. While we were pretty exhausted after running around on Capitol Hill all day, the experience itself was extremely energizing and it felt awesome to be able to actively participate in the political process.

The rest of the conference was just as awesome, and incredibly encouraging. In a time when it seems like there is a new anti-choice or anti-woman bill passed every day, it was amazing to see all the great work that is being done to push back across the country. I found it especially heartening to hear from students from states like Texas, North Carolina, and Florida, who are putting up an amazing fight against the choice-limiting legislation that is coming out of their states.

Overall, I came back from the conference motivated and ready to implement what I learned with our VOX chapter next semester.

We all wish the UofA VOX crew best of luck on campus this year and look forward to seeing what they do! To find out about a VOX chapter near you, check out Planned Parenthood’s website.

Planned Parenthood Arizona Reopens Central Phoenix Health Center

Central PhoenixPlanned Parenthood Arizona is the leading sexual health organization in Arizona, and has been serving Arizonans for 76 years. Annually, we provide health care, education, and outreach services to more than 90,000 men, women, teens, and parents. Planned Parenthood Arizona operates health center locations statewide in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott Valley, and Yuma.

We are excited to announce the reopening of our Central Phoenix Health Center at 5651 N. 7th Street. After six months of preparation, the opening day has finally arrived — the doors opened to the public on February 27. The Central Phoenix Health Center will meet the needs of patients in the central Phoenix community.

Walk-ins are welcome any time during business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Central Phoenix Health Center accepts most major health insurance plans.

“We first started to think about it six months ago, and then it just really started to pick up momentum,” says Dr. DeShawn Taylor, medical director at Planned Parenthood Arizona, in regard to the building’s reopening. “All of our staff are really excited for it, and we’re looking forward to serving patients in our neighborhood.”

The Central Phoenix Health Center will provide all of the services Arizonans rely on Planned Parenthood to provide, such as full-service contraception, reproductive health exams, HOPE (hormonal option without pelvic exam), STD testing and treatment, education and counseling, colposcopy, and vaccinations.

Appointments can be made for the new health center by calling 602-277-7526. For additional information on Planned Parenthood Arizona, visit ppaz.org.

Will You Be Attending the Roe Luncheon?

Volunteers at the 2010 Roe Luncheon in Tucson

Volunteers at the 2010 Roe Luncheon in Tucson

This post refers to the 2011 Roe Luncheon. Information about this year’s event can be found on our website.

This year marks the 38th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which recognizes a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona invites you to join us for our annual Roe v. Wade anniversary luncheon.

The Tucson luncheon is on Thursday, February 17, at the Doubletree Hotel. Our emcee will be David Fitzsimmons, of the Arizona Daily Star. We will be honoring Patti Caldwell, formerly the executive director of Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona, for her years of service. We are very excited to be featuring Amy Allina as the keynote speaker at the Tucson luncheon. Ms. Allina is the Program Director of the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN). Amy is also a founding coordinator of Raising Women’s Voices for the Health Care We Need, a national initiative working to make sure women’s voices are heard and women’s concerns are addressed as policymakers put the new health reform law into action. Continue reading

Planned Parenthood’s Thoughts and Prayers Are with Rep. Giffords

PPAA volunteers, Cheryl Cage, and Nancy Young Wright with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during 2010 campaign season

PPAA volunteers, Cheryl Cage, and Nancy Young Wright with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during 2010 campaign season

Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Bryan Howard, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, on shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:

“The thoughts, wishes, and prayers of the entire Planned Parenthood family are with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and all of the victims of the tragic shooting incident in Tucson, Arizona on Saturday. Congresswoman Giffords is an invaluable and indefatigable advocate and public servant whom we respect for her courageous leadership on behalf of the people of Arizona and women everywhere. She is a fearless champion of health care for all Americans, and she played a vital role in the passage of the most important health care legislation in our nation’s history. She is a close friend of Planned Parenthood, and our staff and supporters in Arizona and across the country fervently hope for her recovery. We mourn all who were killed in this tragedy, and we will keep their families in our thoughts and prayers.”

Please feel free to leave your wishes for Rep. Giffords in the comments section.

Join us for the Annual Roe v. Wade Luncheon

PPAZ_Roe_v_Wade_Silhouette_LadyThis post refers to the 2011 Roe Luncheon. Information about this year’s event can be found on our website.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAA) is proud to present the 38th Annual Roe v. Wade Anniversary Celebrations in Central, Northern and Southern Arizona. During this five-city celebration in the months of February and March, we will recognize the 38th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court victory, and conclude our 75th anniversary in Arizona. Attendees will hear from inspiring keynote speakers, and also honor our very special friends who have advanced a prevention agenda in the state of Arizona.

Funds raised at the Roe v. Wade celebrations will support PPAA’s work toward a prevention agenda at all levels of government during 2011, including local school boards and the Arizona legislature. Donations will also support our strategies to elect pro-choice leaders who will stand up for women, choice, and access to health care.

With each ticket purchase you become a member of PPAA, which includes benefits like primary and general election voter guides, direct candidate support via our Political Action Committee, regular communication regarding our endorsed candidates and women’s health news. Donations to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona are NOT tax-deductible. Contributions from business corporations and unions are prohibited.

We look forward to seeing you at the celebrations below (click on the city for full details and to purchase tickets): Continue reading

Enter Birth Control Matters Video Contest, Win Fabulous Prizes!

birth control matters video contestHave you got mad video skills? Want to make a video that matters and be eligible to win fabulous prizes at the same time?

The Birth Control Matters Video Contest has issued a call for the public to produce a 30-second Public Service Announcement about why birth control is important to them and why it is a vital part of preventive health care. The winning PSA will receive $2,500 and expenses paid for VIP attendance to two of the events where their PSA will be presented.

Submissions should be received via email by January 27, 2011. This contest is open to all Arizona residents and full-time students at Arizona colleges and universities. Contestants must be 18 years or older to enter.

Five PSAs will be chosen from all submissions to be considered for the winner of the contest. The top five PSAs will be loaded on the Planned Parenthood Arizona YouTube channel and will be shown to attendees at Roe v. Wade celebration events during the months of February and March.

Each PSA submission should embrace the following vision:

  • Together we will create the healthiest generation ever by putting sexuality education and sexual health care in the hands of young people — giving them the information and power they need to shape a healthier future.
  • The PSA should also emit the following values: honesty, inclusion, fairness, and respect.

Planned Parenthood Arizona provides vital reproductive health care information and services to tens of thousands of people — young and old — every year. We have been in the community for more than 75 years and access to birth control is central to our mission because it is important to those we serve.

For more information about the Birth Control Matters Contest, please visit us on Facebook.

Why Is PPAA Involved in Arizona Politics?

n1071468739_9926The Legislative session recently began, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona expects challenges similar to those we saw last session. If we are a reproductive health care and education provider, why do we get so involved in politics? Wouldn’t we be better off saving our resources?

PPAA’s president Bryan Howard recently explained why Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona is so involved in the legislative process:

While most supporters tell me they understand the necessity of Planned Parenthood’s public policy involvement, others wish we’d avoid this arena, preferring instead that PPAZ limit its focus to the health care and education that have been the centerpiece of our work for 75 years here in Arizona. Continue reading