New Study Shows Ramifications of Defunding Planned Parenthood and Affiliates

Whichever side of the debate you stand on, Molly Redden from The Guardian writes that “Aggressive Planned Parenthood cuts hurt poor women the most.” Citing a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine, Redden asserts that defunding Planned Parenthood (and its affiliates) has resulted in fewer women—most of them poor—from receiving contraception.

Twenty-three counties in Texas had Planned Parenthood and affiliate centers who provided 40% of state-funded family planning services. In the aims of defunding Planned Parenthood beginning in 2013, Texas officials provided a list of alternative providers. Yet as Redden states:

women’s health advocates found that the list included radiologists and anesthesiologists – not providers who routinely prescribe contraceptives. Likewise, officials in Louisiana and abortion opponents in Ohio have suggested food banks and dentist offices as alternatives to Planned Parenthood.”

In fact, Texas’ new women’s health program enrolls 20,000 fewer women than Planned Parenthood. As the first state to almost completely defund Planned Parenthood, numbers show that long-term contraceptives and birth control injections have dropped 35% and 31% respectively, while pregnancy rates have in fact increased by 27%. What Redden calls an “aggressive campaign,” has, according to various studies, effectively eliminated an invaluable contraceptive and family-planning resource for tens of thousands of women across the state.

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