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“Defund” Defined

“Defunding” means blocking patients who use public health care programs from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood

Anti-abortion politicians in the Trump-Pence administration, Congress, and certain statehouses across the country are trying to put safe, legal abortion out of reach.

One of their key tactics: attempting to shut down Planned Parenthood through legislation they misleadingly named “defunding.” They made up that misnomer to confuse people about how funding works at Planned Parenthood. 

When anti-abortion politicians talk about “defunding” Planned Parenthood, here’s what they really mean: blocking patients who use public health programs, such as Medicaid and Title X, from choosing Planned Parenthood health centers for their preventive care. 

While “defund” attacks take direct aim at preventive care, not abortion, the effects go far beyond.

The politicians behind those attacks have one goal in mind — to shut down Planned Parenthood — and are willing to take away access to things like birth control, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment, and Pap tests in the process. They are trying to make safe, legal abortion even harder to access — and if people lose access to life-saving care in the process, so be it.

This strategy makes pawns of folks with low incomes, those living in rural areas, people of color, and others with disproportionately limited options for care — punishing them in an effort to harm Planned Parenthood. Even as voters across the country made clear in 2018 that they want their representatives to protect their access to reproductive health care, anti-abortion politicians continue to go against the will of the people.

Rest assured: Planned Parenthood’s resolve to keep its doors open is stronger than ever. 

The biggest “defund” attack right now is the administration’s dismantling of Title X — a program that helps millions of patients access free and low-cost birth control at Planned Parenthood health centers. This attack would block patients from accessing care from their trusted health care provider, leaving them with fewer options than they already have. The administration also is pushing a gag rule, which federal judges initially blocked — but which, if it remains in effect, will prevent all Title X patients from using Planned Parenthood health centers, potentially forcing many to go without care.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health care, and largest provider of sex education.

Our more than 600 health centers nationwide care for 2.4 million people per year. Overall, an estimated one in five women in America has come to Planned Parenthood for care. That’s why a majority of Americans support Planned Parenthood, and why so many people choose to say #IStandWithPP.

If the Trump-Pence administration shuts down Planned Parenthood, 2.4 million people a year would lose access to birth control, cancer screenings, STI tests, and more. Many of these people already struggle to access basic health care, and might not have anywhere else to go.

More “Defunding” Facts

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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