NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Inside the College Street Music Hall on Monday, a celebration, as Planned Parenthood marks 100 years of service.
“On October 16th, Planned Parenthood turned 100 so we are 100 years strong and just think about that. 100 years ago when birth control was unavailable, illegal and where we are today when birth control is widely accessible,” said Judy Tabar, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
Outside of the hall protesters gathered, a sign that the organization’s efforts face opposition.
The Southern New England chapter of Planned Parenthood has 17 locations in Connecticut and one in Rhode Island. They serve 70-thousand patients a year, 12 percent of whom are male.
This past year saw Planned Parenthood under attack, as many politicians move to strip them of federal funding. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said many times he is pro-life, saying he will push to defund the program if they continue to provide abortion services. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton says she supports a woman’s right to choose.
Among the guest speakers at the event, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher. Satcher says defunding Planned Parenthood would be a devastating blow.
“I think it would be a big mistake. I think this country owes it to women, teenagers, the kind of services that Planned Parenthood provides. So, I don’t see why we as a nation would go back,” said Dr. Satcher.
Controversy aside, inside the hall it was all about the power of positive thinking.
“We made a lot of progress in our first hundred years, along with our partners in the reproductive rights movement but there’s still so much to do,” said Tabar.
Tabar has served as the CEO and President for the last 20 years.