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Margaret Cho, Asian-American Activists Voice Support for Planned Parenthood

by Nick Kim Sexton /
Image: Activist Weismer chants during a rally in support of Planned Parenthood on "National Pink Out Day" on the steps of City Hall in Los Angeles
Activists chant during a rally in support of Planned Parenthood on "National Pink Out Day" on the steps of City Hall in Los Angeles on Sept. 29.MARIO ANZUONI / Reuters

Margaret Cho has joined other celebrities in throwing her star power behind Planned Parenthood, tweeting support with the hashtag #IStandWithPP.

Cho, who has nearly 400,000 followers on Twitter, joins celebrities and leaders, from Kerry Washington to Congresswoman Judy Chu, in expressing support, as well as many Asian-American organizations and activists who are also standing with Planned Parenthood.

“Defunding Planned Parenthood would have a profound impact on the Asian American community and other communities of color," Jenn Fang, who runs the blog Reappropriate, told NBC News. "We know the clientele is disproportionately poor women of color and immigrants who already have reduced access to healthcare.”

In a recent blog post, Fang notes that Planned Parenthood "stands at the frontlines of these major public health concerns for the AAPI community."

According to the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), Asian-American and Pacific Islander women have the second highest abortion rate among all women, with 35% of pregnancies ending in the procedure. NAPAWF also has reported that AAPI women have significantly lower rates of STD screening compared to women from other racial and ethnic groups.

Fang suggested that there is a large section of underserved Asian Americans that Planned Parenthood should access in the future. “There’s reasons to encourage greater outreach by Planned Parenthood into the Asian American community… We need affordable healthcare in the realm of Planned Parenthood’s services, like STD testing and treatment, contraception, and cancer screening,” Fang said. “All three of those show disproportionately high incidence in the AAPI community, especially among Asian American women.”

Numerous AAPI organizations have recently expressed public support for Planned Parenthood along with NAPAWF, such as the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC).

While Cho’s posts on the subject have attracted a mixed response, from positive feedback to insults and tweets alluding to violence, Fang said that her readers, who are mostly Asian American, responded positively to her article. She added that there is a strong commitment to reproductive rights in the Asian American community.

According to NAPAWF, 78% of Asian Americans support some form of legal abortion.