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Planned Parenthood Just Won a Prestigious Award for Championing Women’s Health

Despite the political opposition that Planned Parenthood continues to face, the group goes as robust as ever. Today it was introduced that Planned Parenthood won a prestigious Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award for its ongoing dedication to offering important health care to hundreds of thousands.

In case you are not acquainted, the Lasker Awards are a fairly huge deal.

Often referred to as the “American Nobels,” they’re sometimes given to those that made groundbreaking scientific discoveries or contributed to public health efforts not directly. In reality, many previous recipients have gone on to obtain Nobel Prizes.

“The work of Planned Parenthood is really integrated into the fabric of the public health care system in America,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, stated in a teleconference on Wednesday. In addition to offering basic preventive health providers and reproductive care to one in five women in the U.S. sooner or later in her life, the group “is the nation’s largest provider of sexual education,” she stated. Planned Parenthood’s website has turn out to be a go-to for correct details about sexual health and being pregnant prevention—along with offering in-person entry to contraception, STI testing, and most cancers screenings.

And it seems to be working: According to the CDC, teen being pregnant charges have been falling within the U.S. and are presently at an all-time low. Similarly, according to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion charges have been reducing over the previous few many years. “We firmly believe that when folks have access to preventive health care it can change their opportunities and their reproductive lives,” Richards stated.

Interestingly, this yr’s Lasker Award recipients enterprise into extra political territory than ordinary.

Last yr, the awards went to researchers investigating hepatitis C remedy, DNA replication, and the tactic by which our cells sense oxygen availability. And in 2015, the final yr a Public Service Award was given, it went to Doctors Without Borders for the group’s work in Africa throughout the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

But that is no atypical yr. “We’re at a moment in the U.S. where there are major political efforts to roll back access to reproductive care and reproductive rights,” Richards stated.

Alongside Planned Parenthood and a scientist investigating cell growth, two researchers got a Lasker prize. Specifically, they acquired the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for their work on creating human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines.

Considering the present administration’s place on vaccines—weary at best—that is a reassuringly agency stance in help of the science behind the HPV vaccine, which prevents the infections from the virus in addition to potentially-deadly cancers related to those infections. It’s additionally encouraging that, according to the CDC, HPV vaccination charges are growing. But they nonetheless aren’t the place the company would really like them—particularly for boys. In 2016, about 65 % of women acquired the vaccine in comparison with solely 56 % of boys.

So it is good to see these efforts get the distinction they deserve—even within the face of political skepticism.

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