At a SXSW panel later today, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, and David Karp, the founder and CEO of Tumblr will be discussing the launch of an initiative to garner support for Planned Parenthood from the tech community, using #TechStandsWithPP as their rallying hashtag. Karp is a board member of Planned Parenthood, and last month Tumblr employees donated $80,000 to the organization.
Planned Parenthood is currently under pressure from the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress, which have pledged to eliminate the significant support the health care nonprofit receives from the federal government.
When Planned Parenthood was founded a century ago, it was illegal to even hand out information about birth control. Thanks to generations of brave women and men who formed secret societies, challenged unjust laws, and started Planned Parenthood health centers in their own towns, we’ve come a long way since. Millions of people, regardless of income or insurance coverage, now have access to birth control, cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment. Each year, Planned Parenthood proudly provides health information to nearly 70 million people online and 1 million people in classrooms and communities across the country. Today, America is at a 30-year low in unintended pregnancy and a historic low in teen pregnancy.
But all of that progress is a reminder of how much women and men in America now stand to lose. Extreme politicians at every level of government are doing everything they can to block millions of people from coming to Planned Parenthood, deny access to affordable health care, and roll back women’s rights over their own bodies. We are facing a national health disaster, especially in our most vulnerable communities.
That’s why we’re calling on the tech industry to join Tumblr in standing with Planned Parenthood and standing up for access to health care.
A 100-year-old health care provider and the platform powering 335 million blogs may seem like an unlikely pair. But over the last few years, Tumblr and Planned Parenthood have teamed up to provide information and organize communities in support of reproductive rights. We’re proud of all we’ve accomplished together and with overwhelming support from the Tumblr community.
Technology has become instrumental in the fight for fairness and equality across a range of issues. It has the power to influence public debate, mobilize communities, and — most importantly — offer creative solutions to help people receive better care, no matter where they live or who they are. Finally, the tech industry owes its success to the brilliant people it employs and the communities it serves — and we cannot take their health for granted.
It won’t be easy, but doing nothing isn’t an option when lives are at stake. We need to work together to break down barriers to care and information for the millions of people desperate to take ownership of their sexual and reproductive health, and tackle disparities in health care access and outcomes.
Now is the time to be vocal, visible, and active in your support of Planned Parenthood — starting with the #TechStandsWithPP hashtag to share stories about how Planned Parenthood has touched your life, or the life of anyone you know. Call on your co-workers and peers to do the same.
In health care, education, and nearly every industry, we’re doing things that would have been unthinkable a century ago. Think of all we can achieve together in the decades to come if we combine the creativity, innovation, and energy of the tech community with Planned Parenthood’s commitment to helping people everywhere — no matter what.