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 an 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 previously been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard. Before become a full-time writer, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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