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Planned Parenthood Federation of America (part of the International Planned Parenthood Federation) is an American non-profit organization, established in 1921 by Margaret Sanger to help people avoid unwanted/unplanned pregnancies. In their own words, their goal is:
“”Planned Parenthood believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.
While best known as a place where people can terminate an unwanted pregnancy, Planned Parenthood offers a variety of reproductive health services for women and men, including birth control, STD/STI screenings, pap smears, breast exams and other screenings that can catch cancer, fibrosis, or other major health concerns early on.
Planned Parenthood is often the only health care poor women (and likely poor trans men) receive, and the free or low cost exam is a moment to see a doctor and get basic tests that might indicate the need for more comprehensive care outside of the gynecological field.
Planned Parenthood has also provided basic "well care," "first aid" and "ongoing management" of such things as high blood pressure, diabetes sugar tests, and elder checkups in towns that have been struck by a disaster, such as New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The Wingnut View™
- Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger, who was a proponent of eugenics. Therefore, Planned Parenthood is a scheme to implement eugenics.
- The reality is that eugenics advocates differed wildly in their philosophy and approach to the implementation of (obviously discredited) eugenic policy. Anti-abortionist propaganda typically attempts to associate Sanger with Hitler, generally claiming that she inspired Nazi eugenics plans or false allegations that she had ties to Ernst Rudin, one of the originators of "racial hygiene" policies in Nazi Germany. In fact, Sanger was opposed to forced sterilization and spoke against the Nazi eugenics programs. In addition, many eugenicists opposed her because they believed birth control would decrease birth rates among the upper class and so reduce the "better stocks" of society.
- Just because a company is founded by one person, 100 some odd years ago, does not mean those are the policies in place today. A final reality is that Sanger's first goal was to let poor women choose how to reproduce, to try to take control of their lives, and in that way have more money, more time, more energy for the things like a better job or education that can improve their lives.
- Planned Parenthood is racist. See abortion as black genocide.
- Planned Parenthood is only about abortion. Planned Parenthood offers a large range of services that have nothing to do with birth control, much less abortion. (For Christ's sake, even Donald Trump acknowledges this!) And their primary goal is to prevent pregnancy, not terminate it. If termination were their goal, they would not push the birth control issue quite so hard. In current president Cecile Richard's own words: "Planned Parenthood does more to prevent unintended pregnancy and the need for abortion than any organization in America."
- Planned Parenthood pushes abortion. Well, no. Planned Parenthood offers abortions in 45 states. However, when they talk to a person who is pregnant they try to find out where the mother is in her life, what her morals, emotions, and religious views are, what her personal needs are financially and work with her from there to determine the best path for her. This includes frank and open discussions about abortion as well as the repercussions of giving birth and of adoption. Little is sugarcoated about any choice.
Political attacks on Planned Parenthood
- February 2, 2011 the US House of Representatives voted along party lines to defund Planned Parenthood.
- During the 2012 Presidential race, GOP nominee Mitt Romney proposed defunding Planned Parenthood from the Federal budget.
- The US House of Representatives tried to push Obama to accept denial of any money to Planned Parenthood Clinics if he wanted his "health care reform."
- In the 2016 Presidential primaries, several GOP candidates have proposed defunding Planned Parenthood, and Senator Ted Cruz even threatened a government shutdown over the issue. This is in response to a series of undercover videos released by the phony "Center for Medical Progress" that falsely accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal body parts for profit. And even then, Carly Fiorina had to go as far as to make up a story about a video showing "a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain." That was so dishonest that even Fox News' Chris Wallace was not pleased but some Republicans are trying to prevent the perpetrators being prosecuted.
Some real statistics
- 1 in 5 American women will receive care from Planned Parenthood at some point in their lifetime.
- 75% of their clients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
- 97% of women's services at Planned Parenthood is for preventive care or generic women's health care.
- Planned Parenthood offers birth control at up to 50% of the rate charged by pharmacies without insurance.[note 1]
- 35% of their total services go into contraception. 34% was for STD/STI screening and treatment. Cancer testing (pap smears and breast exams) constituted 17% of their services. Abortion amounted to just under 3% of their total services, regardless of what Jon Kyl had to say (even if it wasn't supposed to be "factual"). This adds up to about 15% of their revenue, mainly because abortions just cost that much more than the other stuff.
- Of the pregnant women who used Planned Parenthood's services during 2011, 333,964 underwent abortion procedures, compared to 28,674 receiving prenatal care and 2,300 adoption referrals.
- No federal funds can be used for abortion in the US — period. So any money that Planned Parenthood gets from the feds goes into preventive care, STD/STI screening and treatment, and education.
- In 2011, nearly half of the pregnancies in the US were unplanned. Some end in abortion (40%), many ends up in homes where the child is a serious financial burden to the family or in too many cases single mothers, and some are born addicted to drugs or alcohol:
- After the legalization of abortion under Roe v. Wade, CDC researchers found that the number of illegal, unsafe, "back alley" abortions plummeted from 130,000 to 17,000 between 1972 and 1974. The number of maternal deaths associated with these abortions decreased from 39 to 5 in the same period. :86-88, 91-92 Banning abortion didn't make it disappear, and legalizing it created safer, more stable options.
Not just for female reproductive anatomy
Planned Parenthood also provides sexual health services for men and trans women, including treatments for jock itch, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Because, you know, the name of the provider is called Planned Parenthood, not "Unplanned Abortion"; and "Parenthood," for the most part, requires a capable appropriate contributor in some capacity. In addition to those sexual health services, they also provide affordable gender-affirming services to transgender persons.
Not just for Democrats
Somewhat surprisingly a number of prominent Republicans have been strong supporters of Planned Parenthood, both before and after the advent of Nixon's Southern strategy. Peggy Goldwater founded the Arizona chapter in 1937, and Planned Parenthood named an award after her husband (Senator Barry Goldwater), the "Choice® Barry Goldwater Award for her outstanding record of working to protect women's health." Prescott Bush was the treasurer of Planned Parenthood in 1947, launching their first fundraiser, and his son "Rubbers" (George H.W. Bush) was a strong supporter of birth control. in 1965, Dwight D. Eisenhower served as a co-chair of a Planned Parenthood committee with Democrat Harry Truman.
- Planned Parenthood v. Casey the Supreme Court decision regarding spousal notification and other limits to abortion
- Expelled: Leader's Guide has a discussion on Margaret Sanger
- Lila Rose and her attempts to frame Planned Parenthood
- James O'Keefe Conservative film maker who attempted to prove PP was involved in illegal sex-slave industry
- War on Women
- Luckily, the new health care plan by the US Government mandates that insurances cover birth control for free or 5 bucks per person.
- For further context on Sanger, see:
*The Sanger-Hitler Equation, Margaret Sanger Papers Project, New York University
*Paul A. Lombardo. Disability, Eugenics, and the Culture War. Saint Louis University Journal of Health Law and Policy.
- See also "Birth Control or Race Control? Sanger and the Negro Project", Margaret Sanger Papers Project #28, Fall 2001.
- Krieg, Gergory (February 26, 2016). "Donald Trump defends Planned Parenthood at GOP debate". CNN.
- "War on Women", Democracy Now
- Mitt Romney: "Get Rid of Planned Parenthood" March 13 2012.
- Is GOP resurrecting its ‘war on women’ image? by Carla Marinucci (August 2, 2015 Updated: August 2, 2015 8:44pm) San Francisco Chronicle.
- Little Green Footballs, "Another Deceptive Planned Parenthood “Sting” Video Is Released"
- New York Times editorial, "The Campaign of Deception Against Planned Parenthood." July 22, 2015.
- "Planned Parenthood Videos Were Altered, Analysis Finds." Jackie Calmes. The New York Times: Aug. 28, 2015.
- "Fiorina Defends Planned Parenthood Comment: I've Seen The Footage!" Sara Jerde. Talking Points Memo: Sept. 20, 2015.
- Christian Leader: Anti-Abortion Activists Should Be Cleared of Crimes as Prosecution is Persecution
- Cecile Richards. Opinion: The GOP's Dangerous Attack on Planned Parenthood. AOL News. 2011 May 8.
- Planned Parenthood Services. 2013.
- Laura Ingraham Grossly Misrepresents Planned Parenthood's Budget, mediamatters.org
- Illegal Abortions in the United States: 1972-1974 by Willard Cates, Jr. & Roger Rochat. (1976). Family Planning Perspectives, 8(2).
- Men's Medical Health Services at Planned Parenthood
- Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy at Planned Parenthood
- There's a Long History of Republicans Supporting Planned Parenthood—Why Is No One Talking About It? Once upon a time, the GOP wanted women to have access to birth control, family planning, and yes, even abortions. by Scarlet Neath (Oct 1, 2015) Marie Claire.
- Planned Parenthood Republicans: A Decades-Long History by Michael O'Connor (16 March 2011) New American.
- Planned Parenthood Action Fund Endorses Republican State Senator Jean Schodorf In Kansas' Fourth Congressional District (May 11, 2012) Planned Parenthood.