Anti-abortion politicians and organizations have spread a great deal of misinformation about Planned Parenthood. Why? Because they want to block patients from turning to Planned Parenthood health centers for reproductive health care.
They’re seeking to stop people with Medicaid coverage, or who obtain reproductive health care through Title X, from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers — including birth control, cancer screenings, and STD/STI testing and treatment.
Myth #1: Other providers can absorb Planned Parenthood’s patient base
As experts have demonstrated over and over again, community health centers don’t have the capacity to absorb the 2.4 million Planned Parenthood patients.
Repeating the same lie over and over again doesn’t make it true. So when House Speaker Paul Ryan and other anti-abortion politicians in Washington say that the country’s overburdened, publicly funded community health centers (CHCs) will take up the slack in the event these politicians “defund” Planned Parenthood, don’t believe them for a minute. Better yet, call your U.S. senators to let them know the facts.
“Defunding,” by the way, doesn’t stop federal taxpayer money from paying for abortions -- because federal law already prohibits federal dollars from going to abortion, except in dire circumstances. Instead, “defunding” simply blocks patients who rely on public health care funds from getting care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Myth #2: Planned Parenthood is unpopular and should be defunded
20 separate nationwide polls and an additional 12 polls in key states show strong favorability for Planned Parenthood and strong opposition to efforts in Congress to block patients from accessing high-quality, lifesaving care at Planned Parenthood.
These poll results stem from the deep and longstanding relationship that many Americans have with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of reproductive health care and sex education. For a century, people have relied on Planned Parenthood for care and information, and each year Planned Parenthood health centers serve millions of patients essential services, such as birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, safe and legal abortion, and other high-quality health care.
An estimated one in five American women has relied on Planned Parenthood for care in her lifetime.
Myth #3: Planned Parenthood uses federal tax dollars for abortions
Does the Government Fund Planned Parenthood?
Although anti-abortion politicians like President Trump justify attacks on people’s access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers as part of their agenda against safe, legal abortion, federal law already prohibits the use of federal funding, like Medicaid and Title X, for abortion (except when a woman might die or if her 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.
Myth #4: Planned Parenthood has its own line item in the federal budget
The phrase “defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer.
With all the talk from anti-abortion politicians about “defunding Planned Parenthood,” you might think there’s a specific Planned Parenthood line item in the federal budget that Congress and the president can just zero out.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fact: There is no line item in the federal budget that goes to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood does not receive a blank check from the federal government.
Just like hospitals, Planned Parenthood health centers get Medicaid reimbursements for critical services provided to low-income patients — services like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.
And per the Hyde Amendment (which has been the law for more than 40 years) — federal Medicaid funds do not go toward abortion (with limited exceptions outlined under Hyde).
More than 50% of Planned Parenthood's patients rely on Medicaid to access preventive care. The Senate’s “Trumpcare” bill would block many Americans from getting the affordable health care they rely on.
Myth #5: “Defunding” Planned Parenthood will save the country money
No, “defunding” Planned Parenthood will not save the country money.
Efforts to shut down Planned Parenthood threaten to harm women’s health and their economic security. And these efforts don’t make fiscal sense for the country — every public dollar spent on family planning services is estimated to save the government $7.09 in state and federal dollars.
In fact, “defunding” Planned Parenthood could cost taxpayers $130 million in 10 years.
Every year, 2.4 million people rely on Planned Parenthood for high-quality, affordable health care — including cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and other care. Women, men and young people are all at risk of losing their health care if attacks on Planned Parenthood succeed.