Planned Parenthood is frequently in the news, largely because the Republican majority in the House intends to “defund” the organization as part of their health care repeal effort. However, the organization’s regular work is less frequently understood. Without Planned Parenthood, millions of women — and many men too — would lose access to essential preventative health care and affordable contraception.
To clear up some of these misunderstandings, I spoke with Gilda Gonzales, the Interim CEO of Planned Parenthood Northern California, for this week’s episode of “Off the Cuff w. Rep. Huffman.”
A little background on this week’s guest: since Gilda Gonzales began serving as Interim CEO in December, she has led one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country. Planned Parenthood Northern California covers 20 counties, including the operation of three health clinics in my congressional district.
I’ve had countless constituents tell me they are worried they may lose their health care, which in many cases is provided by clinics just like Planned Parenthood’s. That’s exactly why I wanted to have Gilda on my show: to talk about the people who rely on Planned Parenthood, and to learn more about these valuable services.
Have a question? Please send it to email@example.com and you can hear me answer on a future episode of “Off the Cuff w. Rep. Huffman.”
Looking for more resources on Planned Parenthood’s role in providing health care? Here are some common misperceptions about Planned Parenthood:
Planned Parenthood only provides services to women.
- FICTION- Planned Parenthood actually provides services to both men and women including LGBT services, STD testing, and other services.
Planned Parenthood is exclusively an abortion provider
- FICTION- The abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood only make up 2% of their total services offered. For reference, here’s the breakdown of Planned Parenthood’s services:
All Republicans support “defunding” Planned Parenthood
- FICTION- Sen. Murkowski (R-Alaska) has recently said she will not vote for an ACA repeal bill that defunds Planned Parenthood: “Taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides.”
Your taxpayer dollars are going to pay for abortions.
- FICTION- Federal law prohibits Title X Family Planning funds from covering abortions and the Hyde Amendment already prohibits Medicaid coverage of abortion. Since federals funds are currently withheld from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening illness caused by the pregnancy, slashing funding for Planned Parenthood would really mean jeopardizing resources used for birth control, STD screenings and prevention, cancer screenings, and other lifesaving services.
A majority of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from private donations, so defunding government dollars wouldn’t impact it very much.
- FICTION — Only 30% of Planned Parenthood’s total revenue comes from private donations. Government health service grants and reimbursements (such as from Medicaid) make up 41% of the total revenue, an amount that if eliminated would have a devastating impact on patients.
Planned Parenthood does not refer patients for specialized follow-up care.
- FICTION- Planned Parenthood provides nearly 1.5 million patient visits to California each year, in health centers open to everyone, regardless of their income, immigration status, age, gender, sexual orientation or identity, ethnicity, race, or religion.
You can “defund” Planned Parenthood without harming other health centers.
- FICTION- The bottom line is there are not enough reproductive health care providers out there to pick up the slack for the care that Planned Parenthood centers provide. Our community health providers know that we need Planned Parenthood to provide our communities with the care. In a letter to Senator Boxer last year, an official of the California Primary Care Association summed this issue up well; “Eliminating Planned Parenthood from our state’s comprehensive network of care would put untenable stress on remaining providers. We do not have the capacity for such an increase in care.”