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“Defund” Defined

“Defund” is not a literal term, but is used to describe blocking patients who use public health care programs from access to preventive care at Planned Parenthood

Here's what “defunding” really means: cutting off patients who use Medicaid, Title X, and other public health care programs from Planned Parenthood health centers.

Politicians who want to put safe, legal abortion out of reach have a sneaky tactic: In attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers, they use legislation they describe as “defunding Planned Parenthood.”  

“Defunding” is a made up thing, manufactured  to deliberately confuse people about how funding works at Planned Parenthood.

No, the Government Does Not “Fund” Abortion or Planned Parenthood.

Federal law already prohibits the use of federal funding, like Medicaid and Title X, for abortion (except when a pregnant person might die, or if their pregnancy is the result of rape or incest). 

Patients pay for safe, legal abortion at Planned Parenthood health centers mostly out-of-pocket, through private health insurance, or with the help of abortion funds.


Politicians behind “defund” attacks have one goal in mind: to shut down Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is a not-for-profit organization with about 600 health centers nationwide that provide a full range of sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. Discriminatory federal policies have long prevented the use of public programs like Medicaid and Title X to pay for abortion.  

Going after patients who would obtain government-funded care at Planned Parenthood, politicians show they’re willing to block access to essential care — like birth control, STD testing and treatment, and Pap tests — for the sake of their agenda. They want to make safe, legal abortion as difficult as possible to access — and if people lose access to lifesaving care in the process, so be it.

The problem with the "defund" strategy:

It makes pawns of many people with low incomes, those living in rural areas, people of color, and others who — because of race, poverty, proximity or other factors – have limited options for care — punishing them in an effort to harm Planned Parenthood.

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Rest assured: Planned Parenthood is here to stay.  Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health care and largest provider of sex education. 

Planned Parenthood’s 600 health centers nationwide care for 2.4 million people per year. These health centers have survived  “defund” attacks before, and they will do so again. 

Overall, an estimated one in five women in America has come to Planned Parenthood at some point in their life for care. That’s why a majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood, and why so many people choose to say #IStandWithPP.

Tell Congress you stand with Planned Parenthood

The federal government is in the hands of extremist lawmakers who have tried for years to shut down Planned Parenthood health centers and cut patients off from care. If they succeed, millions will lose the care they rely on each year — with people of color, those with low incomes, and folks in rural areas most affected.

Tell Congress you’re a part of the overwhelming majority who opposes "defunding" care at Planned Parenthood health centers. Tell Congress you’re ready to fight like hell to protect reproductive health and rights in this country. Tell Congress you stand with Planned Parenthood.

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