Hint: It’s not the old, rich white men trying to shut Planned Parenthood down.
About 60% of the 2.4 million patients who visit Planned Parenthood each year rely on public health programs to access care; the vast majority of those patients use Medicaid. “Defunding” aims to block these patients from seeking care at Planned Parenthood. These attacks harm people who already face barriers to accessing health care — including people with low incomes, people of color, and people who live in rural areas. These communities make up the majority of Planned Parenthood’s patients.
Impact of “Defund” on People With Low Incomes
With the aim of shutting Planned Parenthood down completely, national “defund” legislation would close health center doors to at least 60% of Planned Parenthood’s patients — those who use public programs like Medicaid (the government-funded insurance plan for people with low incomes) and Title X (the government-funded family planning program, which helps people with low incomes).
Of course, public programs are already prohibited from covering abortion. “Defunding” keeps people who use public programs from getting preventive reproductive and sexual health services like birth control, STD tests, breast cancer screenings, and family planning education at Planned Parenthood health centers. Many of these patients couldn’t get these services anywhere else — and, like we said, many of them are people with low incomes, people of color, and people who live in rural areas.
Impact of “Defund” on People of Color
Many people of color in the United States have less access to health coverage due to the legacies of racism, sexism, classism, xenophobia, and other systemic barriers. As a consequence, people of color disproportionately rely on federal programs to access health care. Blocking people who rely on federal programs from seeking care at Planned Parenthood would sharply reduce access to health care in many Black and Latinx communities. More than a third (35%) of Planned Parenthood patients identify as people of color.
“Defunding” Planned Parenthood would be devastating to Black communities.
Of the 2.4 million people who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care every year, nearly 360,000 (15%) identify as Black.
Among nonelderly Americans on Medicaid, 11 million are Black.
If they were prevented from accessing Planned Parenthood, many Black patients would have no other place to go for the services Planned Parenthood provides.
This harmful legislation wouldn’t just keep Black patients from getting care – it would undermine their ability to obtain full reproductive freedom. Too often, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider many patients access. That means their care is more than just reproductive health services – Planned Parenthood connects patients with resources to improve other areas of their lives.
“Defunding” Planned Parenthood would be devastating to Latino communities.
Nearly 500,000 Latinos come to Planned Parenthood health centers annually (21% of Planned Parenthood’s patients).
Among the nonelderly Americans on Medicaid, 18 million are Latino.
If they were prevented from accessing Planned Parenthood, Latino patients may have no other place to go for the services it provides.
Planned Parenthood sees patients regardless of immigration status and is one of the only places undocumented people can turn to for care. Given that the majority of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are Latino, “defunding” legislation would have a disproportionate impact on them.
What’s more, “defunding” would put two crucial Planned Parenthood programs at risk of disappearing: Raíz, which helps Latinos access health care and sex education, and Promotores de Salud, which brings reproductive health education into Latino homes and community-gathering locations.
Impact of “Defund” on People in Rural Areas
If blocked from access to care at Planned Parenthood, many patients in rural regions would have nowhere else to go. One in five counties in America (21%) has no safety-net family planning alternative if its local Planned Parenthood health center were to close. In fact, over half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are located in rural and underserved communities.
21% of counties have no safety-net family planning alternative should their local Planned Parenthood health center close.
More than half of Planned Parenthood’s health centers are located in rural and underserved communities.
More than two thirds of states already report difficulty ensuring enough providers for Medicaid.
Providers of ob-gyn care who accept Medicaid, such as Planned Parenthood, are in particularly short supply.
Impact of “Defund” on the LGBTQ Community
People depend on Planned Parenthood. Blocking people from receiving care at Planned Parenthood would keep many of them from receiving care at all — with negative consequences for health in LGBTQ communities.
Members of LGBTQ communities can face health challenges due to stigma and discrimination. People in the LGBTQ community who also are people of color, or have low incomes, or who live in rural areas — or whose identities intersect — have even more obstacles to reproductive health services. For example, LGBTQ people of color face particularly high rates of discrimination from medical providers, and systemic harassment.
Planned Parenthood understands that LGBTQ people have the right to safe abortion services, access to contraceptives, STD testing and a range of other health services free from stigma, discrimination or coercion. Losing Planned Parenthood would lose this safe space for LGBTQ people seeking basic health care.
Say It Loud: #IStandWithPP
If anti-abortion politicians “defund” Planned Parenthood, shut down its health centers, and block its 2.4 million patients from care, a national health disaster would ensue — and the groups mentioned in this blog would be hurt the most. Take a stand against cutting them off from care. Take action to stand with Planned Parenthood and its patients!