What Planned Parenthood actually does
By Ezra Klein
With Planned Parenthood being either the major obstacle to a budget deal or one of the major obstacles to a budget deal, itís worth taking a minute explaining what they do ó and what they donít do.
As you can see in the chart atop this post, abortion services account for about 3 percent of Planned Parenthoodís activities. Thatís less than cancer screening and prevention (16 percent), STD testing for both men and women (35 percent), and contraception (also 35 percent). About 80 percent of Planned Parenthoodís users are over age 20, and 75 percent have incomes below 150 percent of the poverty line. Planned Parenthood itself estimates it prevents more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and 220,000 abortions. Itís also worth noting that federal law already forbids Planned Parenthood from using the funds it receives from the government for abortions.
So though the fight over Planned Parenthood might be about abortion, Planned Parenthood itself isnít about abortion. Itís primarily about contraception and reproductive health. And if Planned Parenthood loses funding, what will mainly happen is that cancer screenings and contraception and STD testing will become less available to poorer people. Folks with more money, of course, have many other ways to receive all these services, and tend to get them elsewhere already.
And the Republicans want to end funding for Planned Parenthood