They say that behind every great man is an even greater woman and that is the case for Lin-Manuel Miranda. The Broadway’s Hamilton creator and producer and his mother Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda are huge supporters of women’s rights.
Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda is a psychologist and Planned Parenthood Action Fund board member who is very supportive of the work of Planned Parenthood, the organization behind reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women and men across the country.
In my junior year at an all-girls Catholic high school, one of my classmates went on spring vacation and never came back. Shame and silence surrounded her departure— she had held a highly visible student leadership role—but such “disappearances,” provoked by unexpected pregnancies, were not uncommon. The whispered stories of the atrocities often caused by coerced adoptions or by illegal abortions—sterility, injury, and even death—haunted all of us. I grew up at a time when a young, single woman had no access to oral contraceptives, and our worst fear was an unexpected pregnancy. It was not until 1972 that the Supreme Court legalized oral contraceptives for all citizens, regardless of marital status. Shortly after, in 1973, the highest court of the land passed Roe v. Wade, legalizing the right for a woman to terminate a pregnancy during the first trimester.
Incredibly, stories like my classmate’s still remain in the shadows for many of the women who became pregnant before women had the right to choose. Planned Parenthood was then, and is now a beacon of hope, and a safe place for those women. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood (and its advocacy arm, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund) has been providing and protecting community-based health care, making it one of the country’s most trusted organizations.
So, when I was approached to join the Planned Parenthood Action Fund National Board, I immediately accepted the invitation. Today, 1 in 5 American women visits a Planned Parenthood health center at some point during her lifetime. (It also provides health care to men.) Its services are accessed by a wide cross section of women and teens in this country. No other grassroots organization has this kind of connection with women, men, and teens. It has been the go-to place for many in this country.