Planned Parenthood Offers Free STD Testing on National Pink Out Day

September 29th 2015

Mackensie Graham

On Tuesday, September 29, Planned Parenthood (PPFA) is painting the U.S. pink with a #PinkOut campaign. The reproductive health organization is also providing free services in certain cities.

What is the #PinkOut campaign?

National Pink Out Day is being held to mobilize supporters and start conversation around the repeated attempts to defund reproductive healthcare.

Most recently lawmakers at the national level attempted to strip the organization of its federal funding. The House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and the Senate debated over a similar bill. (The defunding efforts included threats to shut down the government.)

Messaging surrounding Pink Out Day also encourages people to speak out against critics who allege that the reproductive health center was profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. (ATTN: previously broke down the Planned Parenthood controversy.) Rally events are also being held across the country in 20 cities.

RELATED: What Planned Parenthood Actually Does

Why is everything turning pink on social media?

The #PinkOut campaign urges supporters to make their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures pink (with a tool created by Planned Parenthood). The reproductive health organization is also asking that supporters share posts and pictures across social media sites—Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter—with tags including #StandwithPP, #PinkOut, and #IStandWithPP.

RELATED: Why Cuts to Planned Parenthood Will Hurt Low Income Women

#PinkOut is more than just social media—it's free STD tests too.

Along with talking—and posting on Facebook—about the need for comprehensive reproductive healthcare (for both men and women), Planned Parenthood is providing affordable, accessible, important services. Free sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing will be offered In 28 U.S. cities.

Why STDs? Because half of all Americans will contract a STI/STD at some point; one in two sexually active people will have a STI/STD by age 25. Basically anyone who has had any sexual contact can contract one. The eight most common STI/STDs are scary sounding, but can also be managed with treatment; they include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B virus (HBV), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Because some of these diseases have dormant symptoms it’s important to get tested even if you’re not showing any symptoms.

Planned Parenthood’s campaign parallels a Tuesday morning House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing over the allegations brought forth in a series of controversial videos, which Planned Parenthood, along with experts maintain were highly edited. Members of the House of Representatives are looking into whether Planned Parenthood violated the law by selling fetus tissue for profit; Planned Parenthood President, Cecile Richards, will testify.