The Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced on Friday that it is a sponsor of the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival this weekend in New Orleans, one of the largest African-American entertainment and cultural events in the U.S.
Planned Parenthood said it will have its own booth at the festival, where it will provide birth control counseling and information and screen the film "A Vital Service: African American Stories of Reproductive Health Care." Celebrity guests are also scheduled to appear, including Grammy Award-winning singer Estelle; Rocsi Diaz, co-host of BET’s "106 & Park"; actress Keisha Knight Pulliam from "The Cosby Show" and Reverend Al Sharpton.
“African Americans have higher rates of many preventable diseases, including cancers, diabetes, heart disease and sexually transmitted infections,” said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at PPFA. “Planned Parenthood wants to help African Americans get and stay healthy, and the Essence Music Festival is a terrific place to engage with and educate people about how to live healthier lives. The festival is a party -- but with a purpose.”
The move by Planned Parenthood is sure to anger anti-abortion activists and politicians, who have claimed for years that Planned Parenthood facilitates black genocide by setting up clinics in minority communities.