Planned Parenthood has had a decades-long marketing campaign, aided by the anti-Life mainstream media, claiming to provide health care for low-income women. Pro-Lifers have noted in recent years the alarming decline in legitimate health care while taxpayer dollars going to the abortion business increase. At the same time health care, including cancer screenings and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections, is declining, the market share of abortions taking place at Planned Parenthood has been on the rise.
The most recent analysis, conducted by Live Action, demonstrates that Planned Parenthood sees only a very small percentage, just over three percent, of women of reproductive age in the United States. This destroys the façade of “women’s health care” that has shielded Planned Parenthood from scrutiny and shows why the Pro-Life Trump Administration worked so hard to defund the abortion giant.
The report from Live Action states, “For years, Planned Parenthood has masqueraded as a ‘women’s health’ organization, yet it serves a very small percentage of female clients annually.” The report refers to Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report (2019-2020) which states that the abortion giant saw 2.4 million clients. Of these 2.4 million, almost 2.1 million were female and 321,001 were male. Live Action notes that men are a growing demographic for Planned Parenthood, undermining the “women’s health” narrative.
Using population estimates, we know that in 2019 there were about 165 million females in the United States. Of these, 64 million females were of reproductive age (which is generally defined as 15–44). Live Action notes, “This means that Planned Parenthood’s female clientele represents just 3.3 percent of the U.S. female population of reproductive age.”
Anti-Life politicians, conveniently receiving hefty campaign contributions from their cronies in the abortion industry, continually fearmonger about defunding Planned Parenthood. We are told that low-income women will have nowhere to go for basic health care services. A closer look at the numbers, as seen above, shows that most women are not going to Planned Parenthood now for health services. Taking taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood would prevent fungible money from ending up in the abortion industry, but doing so would also not prevent low-income women from receiving basic health services.
Where do women turn for subsidized health services? Federally qualified health centers, which do not commit abortion, vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood affiliates, especially in rural areas. These health centers provide cancer screenings, STI testing, preventative care, and other services that continue to decline at Planned Parenthood. Additionally, Planned Parenthood’s client numbers have declined a staggering 27% from the number of clients in 1996-97 (3.3 million).
The same cannot be said for federally qualified health centers, which have seen an increase in the number of clients. Live Action states, “In contrast, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) serve tens of millions of men and women annually and have increased their patient load by nearly 23% in recent years.” As Planned Parenthood doubles down on abortion and closes rural clinics in favor of high volume mega-abortion mills in urban centers, women are likely to turn to federally qualified health centers more, not less, in the years to come.
Pro-Life champions in Texas have made health care for low-income a priority. The Healthy Texas Women program, which excludes Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses, offers health care services to low-income women throughout Texas. The program ensures that women receive needed services without sending tax dollars to the abortion industry.
Additionally, Pro-Life Texas legislators have made pregnant mothers a priority. Through the Alternatives to Abortion (A2A) program, Texas mothers have access to resources and assistance throughout pregnancy and beyond. Life-saving programs like A2A offer mothers in financial distress real options. This session, Texas Right to Life is fighting to protect funding for A2A. We know that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are not in the business of women’s health, and Pro-Life Texans want real care for mothers in our state. This is why the life-saving A2A program, which has proven effective, must be protected and fully funded.