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Engel Joins Dr. Leana Wen of Planned Parenthood, House Dems to Mark World AIDS Day

Engel Joins Dr. Leana Wen of Planned Parenthood, House Dems to Mark World AIDS Day

Washington D.C.— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today joined Dr. Leana Wen, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and colleagues from the House Democratic Caucus in Washington to mark World AIDS Day. Engel highlighted Planned Parenthood health centers’ critical work to serve people living with HIV, prevent new infections, and fight stigma and discrimination.

Below are Engel’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

First, I want to thank Dr. Leana Wen and congratulate her on her new role as President of Planned Parenthood. We share the belief that health care is a fundamental human right, not a privilege, and I look forward to working with you.

Tomorrow, on World AIDS Day, we’ll reflect on how far we’ve come in the fight to end HIV/AIDS, and how far we have to go.

Reaching our goal of an AIDS-free generation isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take the commitment of Congress and advocates alike; it’s going to take continued investment, so that we might accelerate the progress that’s been made; and it’s going to take Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood health centers have provided more than 740,000 HIV tests over the past year. Their health centers are supporting those living with HIV, preventing new infections by offering services like PrEP, and fighting stigma and discrimination that remains far too pervasive, even today.

My constituents in the Bronx and Westchester are served by two Planned Parenthood affiliates: Planned Parenthood New York City, and Planned Parenthood Hudson-Peconic. When I’ve gone to the House floor again and again to fight House Republicans and the Trump Administration’s attacks on Planned Parenthood, I’m thinking about those constituents.

Where would they turn if these centers had to close their doors? How much harder would it be for them to access an HIV test? How would they feel if they lost a health care provider they trust?

I’m going to keep fighting to make sure we never have to learn the answers to those questions.

Again, let me say “thank you” to Planned Parenthood for being such a devoted partner in the fight to end HIV/AIDS. I look forward to continuing this important work together.