With the upcoming elections sparking conversation over the cost and quality of health care, ensuring access to reproductive care is a growing concern. Barriers to care are going up in state after state, while much-needed services becoming less, and not more, available to families and vulnerable populations.
Planned Parenthood has continued to fight through adversity to improve the quality and affordability of reproductive and sexual health care. Locally, the organization has launched the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County to serve as the political advocacy arm for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. This independent nonprofit project engages in legislative and electoral activity to make sure comprehensive reproductive and sexual health services are accessible to Angelenos.
Because of his unwavering support and understanding of the need for these services in the communities he serves, Planned Parenthood stands behind Mark Ridley-Thomas (MRT) for city council.
“Mark Ridley-Thomas is a long-time supporter and leader for reproductive health care and reproductive rights”, said Celinda M. Vázquez, Chief Public Affairs Officer at Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County Action Fund. “With the Trump Administration’s attacks on our rights, we need his leadership on the L.A. City Council now more than ever. We are proud to endorse Mark Ridley-Thomas for City Council,” Vázquez said.
At the state level, this long-time support is reflected in MRT’s hundred percent voting record with Planned Parenthood. At the Los Angeles County level, MRT has shown initiative and dedication to providing these services throughout the Second District. Under MRT’s leadership, 12 School-Based Health and Wellness Centers have been built in the second district to provide preventative sexual health services to adolescents as well as other physical, mental, and emotional services and support.
Like Planned Parenthood, these school-based health and wellness centers and the newly-opened Well-Being Center at Hamilton High, also supported by MRT, provide safe spaces for youth to have an active role in their wellness while receiving guidance from experts.
“The Center will provide students with the supportive services they need to cope with trauma they may have experienced at home or in the community, while giving them tools to help prevent the trauma from happening again,” said MRT at the recent opening of the Well-Being Center at Hamilton High.
Access to a comprehensive range of health services and resources for prevention are especially important for communities that have long been disproportionately deprived of such resources. MRT fundamentally understands this and advocates for what these communities need, which is why Planned Parenthood chooses MRT as its champion in City Council.