chart of planned parenthood's role in providing birth control

Infographic: Planned Parenthood is sole safety-net provider of birth control for many

chart of planned parenthood's role in providing birth controlA common refrain among anti-choicers seeking to defund Planned Parenthood, such as Jeb Bush, is that there are other clinics that could offer women, particularly low-income women, the services, particularly contraception, that Planned Parenthood provides in addition to abortion.

Leaving aside the fact that abortion is a critical part of family planning itself, while that may be true in theory, as a new Guttmacher report concludes, the current reality is that Planned Parenthood serves a greater share of clients in need of publicly funded birth control than any other type of provider — and does it more quickly and efficiently.

Our analysis shows unequivocally that Planned Parenthood plays a major role in delivering publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies to women who are in need of such care nationwide. In two-thirds of the 491 counties in which they are located, Planned Parenthood health centers serve at least half of all women obtaining contraceptive care from safety-net health centers. In one-fifth of the counties in which they are located, Planned Parenthood sites are the sole safety-net family planning center.

Of course, many so-called “abortion opponents” actually oppose the work Planned Parenthood does providing contraception too. Take, for example, the arson attack on a Planned Parenthood in Washington state this past weekend. The fire was bad enough that the clinic will remain closed for at least a month. It doesn’t provide any abortions at all.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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