Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Won’t Work

Sarah Kliff: “The ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ movement has a standard response to the question of where women would go if their local clinic closed: somewhere else.”

“But a Vox review of academic research, recent Planned Parenthood closures in Texas, and interviews with half a dozen health policy experts suggests the opposite. Historically, researchers have found that when Planned Parenthood clinics close, other clinics do not step up to fill the gap. Meanwhile, when there are fewer reproductive health clinics available, women get less reproductive health care — from birth control to cancer screenings to STD testing and treatment. Unintended pregnancies would likely increase, too.”

“Planned Parenthood exists in many places where other family planning clinics don’t: a new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute estimates that there are 103 counties in the United States where Planned Parenthood is the only provider of publicly funded contraceptives. In an additional 229 counties, Planned Parenthood serves the majority of women who are low-income and qualify for government help paying for birth control.”

“This relates to the other important fact to know about Planned Parenthood: It tends to serve way more women in public programs than do other places, like public health clinics or primary care doctors. They see, on average, 2,950 birth control patients per year, compared with the average of 750 seen at public health centers and 330 at federally qualified health centers.”


  1. The right wants those unintended pregnancies to happen. They need the numbers to replace all the undocumented workers they plan to deport.

  2. I guess ‘won’t work’ is relative. If you’re waging a War on Women, and especially on their health and freedom, then it’d work just fine.

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