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Planned Parenthood activists demonstrate outside of the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 20. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Planned Parenthood activists demonstrate outside of the Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 20. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Planned Parenthood launches its Spanish awareness campaign for the right to sexual and reproductive health

"My Body, My Decision" is the organization's new campaign to join forces with the Hispanic community in the face of government attacks on abortion and…

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It is no longer about being in favor of or against abortion. The Trump administration's decisions to favor its ultra-conservative base undermine the basic rights of all citizens.

One of the organizations most affected by this has been Planned Parenthood, a coalition of nonprofit health centers that offers family planning, reproductive health, and prevention services.

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, these types of organizations have been cornered by the enactment of the "gag rule," which prohibits doctors in Title X - the only program to grant funds for affordable birth control - to perform abortions, offer contraceptive treatments and educate on family planning.

That is why Planned Parenthood has decided to counter-attack with a campaign under the slogan #BansOffMyBody, now with its Spanish version: “Es Mío, Yo Decido.” According to the organization’s statement, the campaign has a “six-figure digital ad buy exclusively in Spanish,” focusing on the serious effect that government policies have on the Latino community in the country.

"Nearly 1 in 4 women will have an abortion in her lifetime," the statement continues, "and a record-high 77 percent of Americans don’t want to see Roe v. Wade overturned, including 67 percent of Latina voters.”

AL DÍA spoke with Johanny Adames, deputy director in charge of the office of Communication and Latino Media of PP on the matter, to investigate a little more about how they have redirected their efforts towards our community.

“The genesis of this campaign is to respect the fundamental right of people to make decisions about their body,” Adames explains about their new campaign, which is part of a global effort to reject all government responses to the Hispanic community.

"It’s not only about abortion restrictions, but for example the response to Puerto Rico, the recent case in El Paso, and the rhetoric of the Trump Administration, which is a lethal combination for the Latino community."

About 1.5 million Latinos - both men and women - depend on programs such as Title X to receive treatment and control of sexually transmitted diseases, annual exams and certain types of preventative reproductive health.

Given the obligations imposed by the government on this type of organization - which Adames describes as "methodical attacks" - PP had to withdraw from government funding before denying the right to their patients on reproductive and preventative health information.

“This led us to say...we need something to empower our community. We need something that tells our community: 'Your voice, your life, your future, it's in your hands. It’s your decision.' And that is the message we want to share with this campaign.”

How to educate a diverse community

The deep connection between the Hispanic community and faith is no secret to anyone. Many of the Latino families in the United States identify themselves as Catholic, and sometimes misinformation is an obstacle for organizations like PP when offering their services.

But Adames offers us a perspective from the trenches of their mission that breaks with some myths:

“We know that 67 percent of Latino voters don’t want Roe v. Wade to be overturned in the Supreme Court. That is an important number because we usually have the idea that our community has many taboos. But when making the decision to reverse the law or not, they support it to go on.”

Going further, Adames makes it clear that, contrary to what PP’s detractors may say, Planned Parenthood focuses its efforts on the right of a woman to make her own choices about her body.

“We believe that a woman's right to access abortion is a decision between her, her doctor and her faith. It is a very personal decision in which no one has to intervene, and that is our message for the Latino community: that is a decision of each person, and we are here to provide that service in a safe and legal way.”

Multidisciplinary research from the University of California determined that the abortion rate in the United States - which is the highest among developed countries - has a multitude of factors around.

Especially the economic and socio-cultural disparities, which are usually the argument of conservatives against the work carried out by organizations such as PP.

The investigation determined that "both income and race or ethnicities are independently associated with abortion rates."

And if we are talking about a community like Hispanos that is anything but monolithic, generalizations simply have no place in the debate.

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