Partner Highlight: Planned Parenthood Southeast

At Faith in Women we advocate for full access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare and information for all of Mississippi’s women and young people. This month we are highlighting our partners at Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE), who work tirelessly to ensure that these critical health services are readily available and affordable for our communities, and who advocate for policies that uphold “the fundamental right of each individual… to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, or residence.”

From the time Faith of Women started, PPSE has been a key partner of ours. In 2016, we worked together with PPSE and the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund to screen the documentary TRAPPED in cities across the state.  And earlier this year Felicia Brown-Williams, PPSE Mississippi State Director, hosted a lunch and learn in Jackson to share her expertise about the state’s legislative process with Faith in Women supporters. She is also a frequent participant in Faith in Women programs, such as this spring’s Compassionate Care Training. We are grateful for this strong working relationship with Planned Parenthood in our state.

Planned Parenthood Southeast works on many levels to improve the lives of women and young people in our community. Continue reading to learn more about what they do and how you can get involved.

Health Services 

The Planned Parenthood Health Center located in Hattiesburg offers a wide range of reproductive health services, including birth control consultations and prescriptions, pregnancy tests, pelvic exams, and testing for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Thanks to a grant from a generous donor, these services are available at low-cost or even no-cost to patients.

To learn more about services offered at the Hattiesburg center or to make an appointment, visit their website.

Healthy Neighborhood and Voter Canvassing

Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers have been traveling to communities around the state to increase voter awareness about health issues in their areas and to register individuals to vote. For example, in late August a group distributed information about gynecological cancer, passed out ribbons made by a volunteer, and registered voters in Gulfport.  Several of these events have been in partnership with the NAACP of Biloxi.

Want to pledge to vote in the upcoming election? Click here.


Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, the 501(c)(4) division of PPSE, has been engaging constituents throughout the region on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. From phone banking to in-person letter writing events, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates has reached hundreds of voters with its campaign to #SaveSCOTUS.

To learn how to get involved, visit Planned Parenthood’s  #DearSenators campaign site.

Celebrating Our Members

As we kick off this new year at Faith in Women, we first want to take this opportunity to celebrate the amazing contributions of our supporters in 2017.  In December we asked you to participate in a year-end engagement survey to let us know about the work you have done in your communities to advance and advocate for reproductive health and rights in Mississippi–and we were blown away by what we learned from the responses!

Supporter Activities

Over the past year, our supporters have engaged in all kinds of activities, including:

  • Supporting the sexuality education work of Teen Health Mississippi that improves the lives of teens and young adults  
  • Contacting state and federal representatives about issues that impact marginalized communities, including immigration, police violence, Medicaid expansion, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Championing pro-choice women running for elected office  
  • Attending lobby visits coordinated by Planned Parenthood Southeast
  • Conducting and presenting research on advocacy to academic conferences

We are amazed at the breadth and depth of the work you all do on a daily basis to make Mississippi a more just, compassionate place for women and girls.

Partnerships with Organizations 

At Faith in Women we know that working across justice movements is critical for long-term, sustainable social change, so were pleased to learn from all of you about how you support many other like-minded organizations through financial giving and volunteering, including:

About Our Members 

Our survey was helpful in learning more about the individuals who participate in our programs. Here are a few key pieces of data that we thought were most important to share:

  • Nearly all (88%) of our supporters identify with a particular faith tradition or spiritual practice
  • 56% of our membership participates regularly, either as leader or attendee, in a particular faith community
  • 31% of respondents identify as spiritual or religious but do not affiliate with a specific faith community at this time

Why is this important? Because it reinforces what we know to be true–that people of faith, even in Mississippi, want to see a more just world for women and girls. And while the majority of our members identify as people of faith or faith leaders (we are called Faith in Women, after all), we also have some members who do not personally belong to a faith tradition but still support the work we do to create spaces that allow for nuanced conversations and advocacy regarding faith and reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Responding to the Survey

One thing we heard loud and clear–you all want more! More opportunities to connect with each other locally, more in-person events to learn about issues, and more web-based activities to join. We’ll do our best to make this happen!

As we finish our planning for 2018, we will be prioritizing the program and education areas that our members most requested of us in the coming year:

  • Abortion in Mississippi
  • Reproductive Healthcare
  • Prevention of gender-based violence
  • Women’s economic security
  • Networking opportunities

Thanks to all of our members for a justice-focused year. We can’t wait to see what we accomplish together in 2018!