Kimberly Evert, president and CEO of PPWP, says the expansion into hormone therapy demonstrates the organization's commitment to expanding its health care options to meet the community's needs.
“Planned Parenthood is known for our long history of providing people with access to birth control, preventive care, and abortion options at affordable costs,” says Evert, adding that, over the years, the center has started offering behavioral health services, HPV vaccines, and preventative HIV medication like PrEP, as well as flu shots. “Our priority is on addressing people's health care needs with accessible, affordable care, and that is a message we will continue to share and communicate to raise awareness of our services.”
The addition of hormone therapy marks a positive step for an organization that has struggled with attacks by conservative, anti-abortion lawmakers intent on defunding the health care provider.
The organization has also faced allegations of transphobia within its ranks. Recently, Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates president Emily Callen stepped down after a group of employees publicly accused her of engaging in or enabling transphobic, as well as racist and anti-abortion, rhetoric. The group, Save PPPA, believes that Callen's poor leadership was indicative of Planned Parenthood as a whole being dismissive of trans health issues. (PPWP public relations manager, Sara Dixon, says PPPA and PPWP are entirely different organizations run by separate boards. She adds that PPPA does electoral work, and "does not have any dealings with clinic matters.")
A press release says Planned Parenthood modeled its criteria for hormone therapy for transgender and nonbinary patients based on guidelines set by “several centers of excellence” for transgender and non-binary care provisions, including the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care and UCSF's Center of Excellence for Transgender Health.
Patients seeking hormone therapy at PPWP must be 18 years or older and have the ability to give consent.
However, PPWP does not require a therapist's letter to begin hormone therapy, eliminating an additional barrier to the service.