Posted: September 11, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY

Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Backfire

Planned Parenthood has been the center of debate over the last few weeks. The controversy essentially boils down to Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal tissue donation in footage recently released to the public.

Whenever ‘shocking’ reports, videos or anything of that nature emerge, it’s wise to look at the source to determine the validity, the way in which the information is portrayed and, of course, the motive. It turns out that these ‘undercover videos’ were the heavily edited releases of anti-abortionists. While Planned Parenthood does offer abortion services, that is just a small portion of the organization’s efforts. For women relying on subsidized help, Planned Parenthood is their best (and in many cases only) facility for family planning in their areas.

In the wake of the release of this footage, conservatives have made an instant knee-jerk move toward cutting off all taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.

So what does this mean for Planned Parenthood and the women who rely on their services? The decision essentially is in the hands of lawmakers who will be passing legislation in the next three weeks. Currently, 28 Republicans (all male) have said they will vote against any bill containing support and funding for Planned Parenthood.

If this public funding is no longer was supplied, Planned Parenthood could potentially be forced to close it’s doors and the consequences for this could be catastrophic for lower income women.

The Washington Post has released a comprehensive article outlining the potential impact that defunding Planned Parenthood could have on women’s sexual health.

The following information is from the Washington Post article and is sourced from the 2010 Contraceptive Needs and Services.

  • There are 491 counties with a Planned Parenthood location and in two-thirds of these locations, Planned Parenthood serves at least half of all American women who receive birth control from safety-net clinics (free services are provided at safety-net clinics that are not readily available for low-income patients). Additionally, in 1/5th of these areas, a Planned Parenthood location is the ONLY family planning center for patients who rely on subsidized help for their healthcare.
  • The majority of women in the U.S. who say they need publicly supported contraceptives live in the counties where Planned Parenthood is currently located.
  • According to Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood makes up about 10 percent of publicly supported family planning centers and serve 36 percent of clients who see out the service.
  • Planned Parenthood serves an annual average of 2,950 women who request birth control.  Hospitals only serve on aver 770 women for birth control needs.