The Guttmacher Institute concludes that “defunding” the health care provider would have grave consequences across the country.
A Guttmacher Institute report released today shows that Planned Parenthood health centers are critical to the health care safety net, delivering irreplaceable high-quality contraceptive care to a majority of women who rely on public funds for health care. It also makes it clear that other safety net providers cannot “fill the overwhelming hole torn in the safety net” if Congress “defunds” Planned Parenthood, as Republican leaders have promised to do.
The report’s damning conclusion:
“Policies excluding Planned Parenthood from the family planning safety net disregard the facts and would have negative consequences for women nationwide.”
“It is simply unrealistic to expect other providers to readily step up and restore the gravely diminished capacity of the family planning safety net were Planned Parenthood defunded.”
Planned Parenthood Is Better Able to Accommodate Women’s Busy Lives and Provide Care in a Timely Manner
The report found that Planned Parenthood health centers are most likely to both offer a full range of contraceptive services, and offer hours that accommodate women’s busy lives — that’s compared to other safety net providers, such as federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and health departments. In particular:
Planned Parenthood health centers are more likely to offer same-day appointments, and most likely to have extended hours to accommodate clients who have difficulty taking time off from work or family.
78% of Planned Parenthood health centers offer extended evening or weekend hours, versus 57% of FQHCs and just 18% of health departments.
Nearly all Planned Parenthood locations offer the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, versus about two-thirds of health departments and only half of federally qualified health centers.
Women Already Heavily Rely on Planned Parenthood for Care Nationwide
If extreme politicians get their way, 2.5 million patients per year will lose access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers. In fact, “Defunding” Planned Parenthood would put 2.5 million patients’ care at risk — care like for lifesaving care like cancer screenings, birth control, and STI and STD tests. The impact of “defunding” would particularly hurt women who rely on public programs, like Medicaid and Title X, for their care. Just consider these four points from the Guttmacher report:
In 332 counties across the country, Planned Parenthood served at least half of the women who rely on safety net programs like Medicaid and Title X for their birth control.
In 103 of those counties, Planned Parenthood served all of the women who rely on safety net programs for their birth control. In some communities and for many women, Planned Parenthood is the sole source of publicly funded contraceptive care.
Nearly one-third of the women in America who need publicly funded contraceptive services live in those 332 counties where Planned Parenthood serves all or most of the safety-net family planning clients.
Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood sites accounted for only 10% of all publicly funded family planning clinics in 2010 (the last year for which data are available), they served 36% of publicly funded contraceptive clients that year.
"Two and a half million women, men and young people — nearly half of whom are people of color — come through the doors of Planned Parenthood health centers every year...
This report confirms that taking away their access to Planned Parenthood — which for many is their only source of health care — would be a disaster and would hurt the people already struggling to get by."
President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards