Lin-Manuel Miranda is climbing the ladder to stardom! First he rocks the stage as the founding father without a father in Hamilton, then he helps bring the Pacific Islands to life as one of the three musical minds behind Moana.
But he isn't the only Miranda with an eye on making the world a better place. His mother, Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, is a "passionate supporter of women's rights." A psychologist and Planned Parenthood board member, Dr. Towns-Miranda knows how important Planned Parenthood services are for men, women, and children all across the world.
She donates to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and now one lucky supporter could win more than just the chance to make a difference for PP's customers. He or she could win the ultimate Hamilton experience as a personal guest of Lin-Manuel Miranda!
But winning a couple of tickets to Hamilton along with a VIP experience should not be your only incentive for supporting Planned Parenthood. Their locations provide sex education, reproductive health care, vital information, STD testing, and other very important services.
In an interview with Vogue, Dr. Towns-Miranda talked about how, when she was in high school, one of her classmates did not come back from spring break. "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." In a time when oral contraceptives were not readily available to women, unexpected pregnancies were a young single woman's worst fear.
The Supreme Court made great strides for women's rights in 1972, when they legalized oral contraceptives for all citizens, regardless of marital status. They then passed Roe v. Wade in 1973, legalizing a woman's right to terminate an unwanted 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."
Dr. Towns-Miranda gladly accepted the opportunity to join the Planned Parenthood National Board. Now, 1 in 5 American women visit Planned Parenthood during their lifetime. In fact, PP is the go-to place for many who cannot afford these services anywhere else. She has spent the majority of her professional life as a psychologist, working with the "underserved" out of the Bronx and Washington Heights in New York.
"It is my heartfelt belief that deciding what to do during an unplanned pregnancy is one of the most difficult choices a woman must make in her life. Increasingly, more and more women do not (or will not) have the ability to make that choice, be it because of lack of access to reproductive care, lack of funds for a termination, or legislated shortened time constraints. As a psychologist/psychoanalyst who is deeply concerned and aware of the importance of the infant’s early years, I have seen firsthand the adverse impact of the panic, fear, depression, and potential rejection that evolves from an unwanted pregnancy as a source of distress. The severe mental illness associated with maternal rejection is among the most disturbed of mental disorders.
"With the increased threat to women’s reproductive rights and access to health care for all under the incoming administration, my family and I are not standing idle. Lin-Manuel, my genius son and supporter, partnered with Prizeo, a celebrity digital fundraising platform, to run a spectacular sweepstakes that will allow a lucky winner to attend Hamilton in each location it is running -- NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco -- in 2017. (My husband, Luis Miranda, was instrumental in helping to shape the prize, recognizing the appeal of the trifecta!) The funds raised will be donated to Planned Parenthood in an effort to keep its health care clinics open, particularly in rural and underserved areas -- where this is a life-or-death issue, to be sure. The winner will have fun, but the many who are participating should be forever proud that their support helped Planned Parenthood continue to thrive."
With the help of her son and people looking to change the lives of others, Dr. Towns-Miranda hopes to "support the reproductive health" and provide options to women all over the world.