WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 16, 2017 – A new Guttmacher Institute report released shows that Planned Parenthood health centers are critical to the health care safety net, delivering irreplaceable high-quality contraceptive care to a majority of women who rely on public funds for health care. It also makes it clear that other safety net providers cannot “fill the overwhelming hole torn in the safety net” if Congress “defunds” Planned Parenthood, as Republican leaders have promised to do.

The report also found that Planned Parenthood health centers are most likely to both offer a full range of contraceptive services, and offer hours that accommodate women’s busy lives compared to other safety net providers, such as federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and health departments. It includes the damning conclusion that, “Policies excluding Planned Parenthood from the family planning safety net disregard the facts and would have negative consequences for women nationwide.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Two and a half million women, men and young people — nearly half of whom are people of color — come through the doors of Planned Parenthood health centers every year for lifesaving care like cancer screenings, birth control, and STI and STD tests. This report confirms that taking away their access to Planned Parenthood — which for many is their only source of health care — would be a disaster,  and hurt the people already struggling to get by.”

The Guttmacher report found that women across the country already heavily rely on Planned Parenthood for care.

  • In 332 counties across the country, Planned Parenthood served at least half of the women who rely on safety net programs like Medicaid and Title X for their birth control.
  • In 103 of those counties, Planned Parenthood served all of the women who rely on safety net programs for their birth control. In some communities and for many women, Planned Parenthood is the sole source of publicly funded contraceptive care.
  • Nearly one-third of the women in America who need publicly funded contraceptive services live in those 332 counties where Planned Parenthood serves all or most of the safety-net family planning clients.
  • Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood sites accounted for only 10% of all publicly funded family planning clinics in 2010 (the last year for which data are available), they served 36% of publicly funded contraceptive clients that year.

The report also found that Planned Parenthood health centers are better able to accommodate women’s busy lives and provide care in timely manner:

  • Planned Parenthood health centers are more likely to offer same-day appointments, and most likely to have extended hours to accommodate clients who have difficulty taking time off from work or family.
  • Seventy-eight percent of Planned Parenthood health centers offer extended evening or weekend hours versus 57% of FQHCs and just 18% of health departments.
  • In addition, nearly all Planned Parenthood locations offered a full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods, versus about two-thirds of health departments and only half of federally qualified health centers.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. www.ppfa.org