Before this election the only thing I knew about Planned Parenthood was its name and the notion that all it did was perform abortions. Doing considerable research I now know more.
There is no logical reason for Republicans to defund this organization. Don’t get me wrong, I think that in most cases abortion is an abomination and the most selfish thing a human can do. The fact is, the majority of abortions are not related to health issues, but are casual birth control for economic and emotional convenience.
However, defunding Planned Parenthood will not stop abortions, but likely just make them more risky and dangerous. It will take away other preventive services from women, mostly low income women relying on Medicaid. There is simply nothing to gain from defunding.
PP provides most of its services to the poor and lower income and some even to men. While it claims to be vital to women’s health, that is misleading. Basically it provides services only as related to reproductive issues, not the broader context of overall health. A perception that it’s services are less expensive is inaccurate. I reviewed their pricing in New Hampshire as an example. A routine office visits with PAP and lab was $200.
As noted below, the law prevents federal funding of abortions. To defund this organization on the basis of an anti-abortion position is purely ideological. Move on to an important problem that can actually be solved.
One problem is that Planned Parenthood gets its funding from several different government sources. According to the group’s most recent annual report, covering 2015, Planned Parenthood affiliates, got $553.7 million from federal, state, and local governments, accounting for almost half of total funding.
According to the organization, about 75 percent of that government support comes from the Medicaid program to pay for direct medical services provided to low-income patients, including contraception, cancer screenings and sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment. The remaining quarter comes from other sources, primarily the Title X federal family planning program.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated last year that the group gets approximately $390 million annually from Medicaid and $60 million from Title X. None of the funds from either program may be used for abortion, under longstanding federal prohibitions. Only half of the Planned Parenthood affiliates even offer abortion services, the group says. But it is still the largest single provider of the procedure in the nation, which has made it a target for anti-abortion lawmakers since the 1980s.