Sunday, August 6, 2017

What does "defunding" Planned Parenthood really mean?
As many of us are aware, Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization that provides reproductive and other health care services both nationally and globally. Political stances aside, the majority of us can agree that preventive healthcare is beneficial.  What many people  fail to realize, however, is the fact that approximately 5 million women and men and children rely on Planned Parenthood for most of their health care needs including immunizations, cancer and STD screening, HIV prevention, lactation support and counseling, in addition to family planning. These individuals are often dependent on Medicaid and Title X, created in the 1970's to specifically focus on funding for family planning and preventive care for low income families.

With over 700 clinics across the United States, Planned Parenthood relies on federal funds for 43% of its budget. However, if the American Health Care Act passes, this organization is at risk for losing the funds from Medicaid totaling approximately half a billion dollars. The funds from Title X on the other hand are grants given to states so $60 million dollars may remain based on state jurisdiction. The millions of patients who rely on health care provided by Planned Parenthood may be left to find a community health center to treat them. Unfortunately, these health centers do not have the ability, providers, or resources as of now to absorb all of Planned Parenthood's patients. Access to healthcare, birth control provision, STD checks and other services would significantly decrease, thus impacting the health of a wide array of individuals.

So what can we do?
Write to our senators to preserve Medicaid and Title X and convey why Planned Parenthood is important to you!

Meghana Pisupati
IHS 2018


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