What It Really Means to "Defund" Planned Parenthood
Contact: Planned Parenthood Action Fund Media Office, 212-261-4433
Planned Parenthood provides nearly 400,000 Pap tests, 500,000 breast exams, and 4.5 million STI tests and treatments to 2.7 million patients; One in five women has relied on Planned Parenthood for health care in her lifetime
New York — Despite having failed in 2011, politicians in Congress are once again trying to bolster their anti-abortion records through political posturing and introducing amendments and bills to “defund” Planned Parenthood. What would such legislation mean?
The vast majority of federal funding Planned Parenthood receives is Medicaid reimbursement for providing basic, preventive health care to millions of Americans. The rest goes to providing low-income, uninsured individuals with basic preventive care like breast exams, lifesaving cervical cancer screenings, and birth control; to teen pregnancy prevention programs which have helped the country reach its lowest rate of teen pregnancy in 40 years; and to evidence-based sex education programs.
Since federal law already withholds funding for abortion — except in the dire circumstances of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is in jeopardy — this means GOP “defund” efforts almost exclusively target preventive services — comprising more than 90% of the care Planned Parenthood provides — like breast and cervical cancer screenings, family planning services, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings and treatment including HIV tests, and well-woman visits for millions of Americans.
Statement from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“It's outrageous, not to mention wildly unpopular, that politicians are using this widely discredited attack against Planned Parenthood to push through legislation rolling back women's access to healthcare. They've already opposed funding for breast cancer prevention and research, killed a bill that would help wounded veterans begin a family, and introduced bills to discriminate against pregnant women. Now they threaten to cut basic, preventive health care --- lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and well-woman exams --- from millions of Americans. This failed in 2011 and it is going to fail again."
"Ninety percent of the care Planned Parenthood provides is preventive, and one in five women will rely on Planned Parenthood for care in her lifetime. The vast majority of federal funding Planned Parenthood's non-profit health centers receive is reimbursement for Medicaid visits - and the rest goes to things like teen pregnancy prevention and evidence-based sex education. But concern for the women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood for services hasn't stopped members of the GOP like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and others in their zealous quest to roll back women's access to health care before. At the end of the day, we know their true political agenda is to take away women’s access to health care.”
Senator Rand Paul’s bill specifically targets Planned Parenthood health centers, eliminating federal funding for Title X, teen pregnancy, STI, and Medicaid programs. Other pending Congressional efforts in both the House and Senate would place a one-year moratorium on all funding for Planned Parenthood or strip Planned Parenthood and all abortion providers nationwide from a similar range of funding.
Approximately 1 in 5 women has relied on a Planned Parenthood health center for care in her lifetime. Teen pregnancy and birth rates are at a historic 40-year low thanks, in part, to increased investment in evidence-based sex education programs and access to birth control. (More on Planned Parenthood's services here:).
Read stories here of women who have visited Planned Parenthood:
“They gave me the knowledge and the resources to be able to empower myself and also empower other young people.” - Carly
“Six years ago, I became pregnant again — but this time, I was financially stable and emotionally ready to become a parent. This time, my choice was to keep the pregnancy. Today, I’m a proud parent of a little boy and successfully pursuing my career. It’s important that abortion remain safe and legal for women. ”- Shawanna
“I turned to Planned Parenthood when I was in high school for birth control. Everyone there — from the front desk staff to the counselor to the doctor — was supportive and respectful.” - Dakota
“I would not have been able to afford birth control, which I needed for a medical reason, without Planned Parenthood. I was grateful to have an adult who validated what was happening in my life and who treated me with respect.” - Kanisha
By the numbers: What it really means to defund Planned Parenthood:
In 2013, Planned Parenthood served 2.7 million women, men, and young people.
Approximately 1.5 million of those patients received services through Title X — the nation’s family planning program.
At least 78 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health care patients lived with incomes of 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less (the equivalent of $36,375 a year for a family of four in 2015).
At least 60 percent of the patients Planned Parenthood served benefited from public health coverage programs such as the nation’s family planning program (Title X) and Medicaid.
In addition, Planned Parenthood affiliates reached 1.5 million young people and families through sex education and outreach.
In 2013, patients came into Planned Parenthood health centers 4.6 million times for services.
2.2 million, or nearly 52 percent of all patient visits, were with patients enrolled in Medicaid.
In 2013, Planned Parenthood provided 10.6 million services.
Nearly 400,000 Pap tests
Nearly 500,000 breast exams
Nearly 4.5 million STI tests and treatments, including HIV tests
In 2013, Planned Parenthood affiliates received $528.4 million in government reimbursements and grants — the vast majority of that amount is reimbursements through Medicaid.
Planned Parenthood affiliates are non-profit health care providers that receive reimbursements for providing preventive health care services like cancer screenings and birth control to low-income patients, just like other health care providers receive. Planned Parenthood’s national office and affiliates also receive funding from private sources, including foundations and individual supporters, which are essential because government funds do not fully cover the cost of care.
All government funds that Planned Parenthood affiliates receive are restricted for specific purposes. Federal law withholds funding for abortion — except in the dire circumstances of rape, incest, or when the life of the woman is in jeopardy. Planned Parenthood fully complies with this and all government restrictions.
Approximately 1 in 5 women has relied on a Planned Parenthood health center for care in her lifetime.
If you have any questions, please contact the Planned Parenthood Action Fund media line at [email protected].
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Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational and electoral activity, including voter education, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy.