South by Southwest

75 tech leaders send a letter to Congress advocating for Planned Parenthood

Tumblr CEO David Karp and President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards at SXSW.
Photo by Robert A Tobiansky

In response to the fear that the administration of President Donald Trump will defund Planned Parenthood, 75 tech leaders sent a strong message to Washington D.C. in support of the health services provider, stressing that it is good both for women and business.

"There is no doubt that current congressional efforts to cut off access to this essential health care provider would hurt women, their families, and the businesses they lead, work for, and support," says the letter, which is dated March 16.

The CEOs of Tumblr, Slack, Squarespace, Foursquare and Reddit are among the signatories, and recipients are four Congressional leaders: Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi.

"We have had an incredible relationship with the tech community for many many years. So many of the patients that we see at Planned Parenthood reach us through technology," Cecile Richards, the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told CNBC in Austin, Texas, at the SXSW Conferences and Festivals.

Current congressional efforts to cut off access to this essential health care provider would hurt women, their families, and the businesses they lead, work for, and support.
75 tech leaders in their letter to Congress

At SXSW, Planned Parenthood and Tumblr launched a collaborative effort to get support from the tech community for Planned Parenthood, organized around the hashtag #TechStandsWithPP.

The letter states: "When policymakers in Washington, DC, talk about 'defunding' Planned Parenthood, they are talking about dismantling access to basic health care in communities across the country, and stopping progress in its tracks."

"Indeed, our country is at a thirty-year low for unintended pregnancy and a historic low for teen pregnancy. We know Planned Parenthood's care and leadership have been instrumental to this success."

Activists chant as they rally in support of Planned Parenthood
Mario Anzuoni | Reuters

A majority of Americans stand with the tech community in supporting Planned Parenthood. More Americans have positive feelings about Planned Parenthood than about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama, according to a recent poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Here is the full list of the letter's signatories:

David Karp, CEO, Tumblr

Erin Bagwell, CEO, Dream, Girl Film

Jessica Banks, CEO, RockPaperRobot

Hayley Barna, Venture Partner, First Round Capital

Phin Barnes, Partner, First Round Capital

Scott Belsky, Founder, Behance

Brett Berson, Partner, First Round Capital

Kiran Bhatraju, CEO, Arcadia Power

John Borthwick, CEO, Betaworks

Bryan Breckenridge, Executive Director,

DeVaris Brown, CTO, Super Heroic Inc.

Kristina Budelis, President, KitSplit

Stewart Butterfield, CEO, Slack

Karen Cahn, CEO, IFundWomen

Anthony Casalena, CEO, Squarespace, Inc.

Cariann Chan, CEO, Level

Sara Chipps, CEO, Jewelbots

Alex Chung, CEO, Giphy

Erin Clift, CMO, Kik Interactive, Inc.

David Cohen, co-CEO, Techstars

Meghan Conroy, CEO, Captureproof

Dennis Crowley, Executive Chair, Foursquare

Jess Davidoff, CEO, Admittedly

Kelsey Doorey, CEO, Vow To Be Chic

Avriel Epps, Cofounder, SeekU

Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group

Elizabeth Francis, Partner, Brilliant Ventures

Jeffrey Glueck, CEO, Foursquare

Jocelyn Goldfein, Managing Director, Zetta Venture Partners

Kristen Goldstein, CEO, HireAthena

Lisa Hammann, Vice President and Region Head, North American Supply Chain, Genentech

Corie Hardee, CEO, Union Station

Julia Hartz, CEO, Eventbrite

Rob Hayes, Partner, First Round Capital

Scott Heiferman, CEO, Meetup

David Hirsch, Managing Partner, Compound VC

Grant Hughs, CSO, FocusMotion

Jennifer Hyman, CEO, Rent the Runway

Kellee James, CEO, Mercaris

Harleen Kahlon, CEO, Bolde

Josh Kopelman, Partner, First Round Capital

Sarah Lacy, CEO, PandoMedia

Aileen Lee, Managing Partner, Cowboy Ventures

Aaron Levie, CEO, Box

Jake Levine, CEO, Electric Objects

Moj Mahdara, CEO, Beautycon Media

Melody McCloskey, CEO, StyleSeat

Joanna McFarland, CEO, HopSkipDrive

Sheel Mohnot, Partner, 500 Startups

Howard Morgan, Partner, First Round Capital

Paul Murphy, CEO, Dots

Alexis Ohanian, Cofounder, Reddit

Eric Paley, Managing Partner , Founder Collective

Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Venture Partners

Satya Patel, Partner, Homebrew

Georg Petschnigg, CEO, FiftyThree

Bijan Sabet, General Partner, Spark Capital

Chris Sacca, Chairman, Lowercase Capital

Noa Santos, CEO, Homepolish

Kenneth Schlenker, CEO, Stellar Base

Brian Shimmerlik, CEO, Vengo

Kristen Sonday, COO, Paladin

Robert Stavis, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

Jennifer Sutton, CPO, EVRYTHNG

Doug Ulman, CEO, Pelotonia

Hunter Walk, Partner, Homebrew

Rick Webb, COO, Timehop

Kara Weber, Partner, Brilliant Ventures

Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, CEO, Fitz

Fred Wilson, Partner, Union Square Ventures

Joanne Wilson, Owner, Gotham Gal Ventures

Denielle Wolf, CDO, Arloskye

Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University

Susan Zheng, CEO, Planted

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