As an organization with the gall to focus on sexual education and women's reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood has long been a favorite target of conservative lawmakers and activists eager to shut it down. But never has the threat against the group been greater than under the Trump administration, which has put forward budget proposals that would ban the nonprofit from receiving any federal funds because it is an abortion provider. In response to these attacks, Planned Parenthood has doubled-down on its fundraising efforts. Their latest project, out today digitally, is "7-inches for Planned Parenthood," a box-set of 7-inch vinyl records with music and live performances from artists like Sleater-Kinney, Margaret Atwood, and Jenny Slate.
"Lawmakers with extreme views are working hard to shut down Planned Parenthood. If they succeed, millions of Americans will lose access to basic health services, including STD testing and treatment, birth control, and cancer screenings," Planned Parenthood wrote on the project's website. "7-inches for Planned Parenthood is a response to this threat. This curated series of records is made by a group of people who believe that access to health care is a public good that should be fiercely protected. Planned Parenthood will receive 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the box set and streaming listens."
The set includes new songs from Sleater-Kinney and the Foo Fighters, music by John Legend, Feist, and Mary J. Blige, readings from poets and authors like Margaret Atwood and dream hampton, and stand up from comedians including Aparna Nancherla, Sarah Silverman, and Margaret Cho. The box set costs $100 (buy it here), but if you can't wait to hear the performances until the vinyl comes out on Nov. 17, you can stream the 30 songs and recordings on Spotify right now.
The funds will all go directly to Planned Parenthood, which provides education, information, and affordable sexual and reproductive health care to almost five million men, women, and children in a single year. But without enough funds, the group will be severely limited in how many people it can help.
“This White House has been worse for women than any administration in my lifetime,” Planned Parenthood's President Cecile Richards told People in July.
In addition to the President's disastrous budget proposal last spring, in May, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill that would have temporarily banned Planned Parenthood from receiving any Medicaid funding, a ban that would have been devastating for the group, which receives much of is federal funding through Medicaid reimbursements.
And limiting the services Planned Parenthood can provide would not only be disastrous for the million of people who depend on it for health care, but would also end up costing the government more money. A study by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health policy and research group, found that taxpayers save $7 for every dollar the government spends of family planning, like the Medicaid and Title X funds that go to Planned Parenthood. The Congressional Budget Office also estimated in 2015 that blocking Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funds would end up costing the country $130 million over 10 years due to the predicted increase in unplanned and unintended pregnancies that would occur without the group's preventative care.
In short, we need Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood needs funding, and since that funding is under threat right now, we need to do our best to ensure the organization gets money in other ways. And really, what better way to support the reproductive and sexual health of your fellow Americans than to get yourself a sweet vinyl box-set? And if, like me, you haven't hopped on the vinyl bandwagon yet (because you don't feel quite hip enough or like you own enough jackets with elbow patches) you can make a regular donation to PP here.