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For years, backward politicians in Congress and statehouses across the country have attacked Planned Parenthood’s patients’ access to care. We’ve got news for them: Planned Parenthood’s health centers provide high-quality, affordable reproductive health care, including abortion, to 2.4 million people across the country — and Planned Parenthood is not backing down.

Main Line of Attack: “Defunding” Planned Parenthood

When politicians talk about “defunding” Planned Parenthood, they really mean blocking patients who depend on public health care funds from getting their care at Planned Parenthood health centers.

Many of these patients are people with low incomes who don’t have health insurance, or who rely on public health care funding like Medicaid. People on this type of assistance can’t use federal funding for abortion because of an unfair federal policy called the Hyde Amendment (which has very narrow exceptions). So, attempts to block these patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood only keeps them from getting preventive services, like birth control and lifesaving cancer and STD screenings.

“Defund” Attacks: Spotlight on 2007 to 2015

Anti-abortion politicians have been on a years-long crusade against Planned Parenthood. Former Vice President Mike Pence introduced the very first federal legislation to “defund” Planned Parenthood back in 2007. Reproductive health champions beat it down, but it was just one of many such attacks.

In 2015, anti-abortion extremists released deceptively edited videos that made false claims about Planned Parenthood health centers. The videos were completely debunked, but anti-abortion members of Congress, state legislators, and presidential candidates used the faked videos to push their anti-Planned Parenthood agenda. Thankfully, then-President Barack Obama blocked the “defund” legislation. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood was cleared of all wrongdoing and sued the video attack perpetrators. But that hasn’t stopped extreme politicians from going after Planned Parenthood patients, particularly at the state level.

The Impact of “Defunding” Attacks

Although the claims politicians and extremists make against Planned Parenthood are false, the consequences are very real when politicians block people’s access to health care. Just take Texas, for instance:

  • “Defunding” Planned Parenthood led to a 27% increase in births among women on Medicaid who previously had access to injectable contraception.

  • Texas’ publicly funded family planning programs served 46% fewer patients.

  • More than half of all Texas women reported at least one barrier to reproductive health care; Spanish-speaking women from Mexico were more likely to report three or more barriers.

Learn More & Take Action

So what’s the good news? Planned Parenthood’s supporters are standing up and fighting back! We’re lobbying public officials and working to elect reproductive health champions.

Here’s more on politicians’ deceptive attempts to block access to reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood, and on how to get involved in defending patients’ access to care:

  • Stand With Planned Parenthood
    There are tons of ways to defend Planned Parenthood and the lifesaving, life-changing services its health centers provide. Take action now!


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