Dear 2014 Luncheon Attendees:
Thank you for supporting Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona’s 2014 I Stand luncheon. We are tremendously grateful for the wonderful feedback we have received about the event — as well as all the generous donations. Thank you for helping us “Make it Happen in 2014”!
This year’s event was unashamedly political. That focus, and our speakers’ urgency, is driven by today’s reality. For many of the 45,000 women, men, and young people who come to Planned Parenthood Arizona each year — and many thousands more like them across our state — the challenges to access accurate health information and medical services are real and increasingly insurmountable.
I want to address our Republican supporters who may feel personally criticized when Planned Parenthood Advocates and I take aim at Republican legislators who are leading the assault on women’s health care. This is not the Republican party of the past. I was raised in a Republican family. My 83-year-old mother was an elected Republican author of the modern Illinois state constitution when, in 1970, she successfully defeated a proposal to include an abortion ban. My hope is that we will again see a day when candidates on both sides of the ballot support Planned Parenthood’s vision and values.
Most of us who support Planned Parenthood are motivated by our interest in providing hands-on health care and education. When we think of Planned Parenthood, we think of hope-filled futures in which young women and men can complete educations, get jobs, and raise healthy families. The gritty reality of working in the political trenches wasn’t in our plans.
I am grateful that Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona has endorsed Felecia Rotellini, Terry Goddard, and Fred DuVal because these individuals clearly recognize the crossroads at which Arizona finds itself with respect to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
In my remarks at the opening of these events, I cited my profound concern for the health and futures of the 96,000 young Arizonans who will enter their teens in 2014. I know that you share my concern. Thank you for standing with Planned Parenthood.
Bryan S. Howard