What Planned Parenthood Actually Does — And What it Means to Defund It

planned parenthood

With the terms, “Obamacare”, “Affordable Care Act”, “Planned Parenthood”, and “defunding” being thrown around daily in various sequences, the meaning behind the new administration’s health care “reforms” can get extremely confusing.

Plus, with the terms of the ACA’s repeal/replace bill announcement last night as it pertains to Planned Parenthood, now there is even more added to the mix.

Here are the basics of what some of this means (in plain English).

For starters, Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same things. Obamacare is the unofficial nickname used for the Affordable Care Act, which is why the two are often confused. According to the New York Times, as of February 2017, about one-third of Americans didn’t know that the two were the same thing.

The act passed in 2010 with the intention of making healthcare more accessible and affordable, and just in general, better. It has been subject to a lot of criticism, and even supporters can agree that it has its flaws. But the law has literally saved lives.

Understanding Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, in their own terms, “delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.”

Take a peek at Lena Dunham’s mini-documentary about the organization for a more comprehensive understanding of the organization’s history and mission. But in a nutshell, it provides comprehensive health care to people who need it most. So no, it’s not some clinic where women line up to get free abortions by the dozen, as critics may lead you to believe.

With these terms in mind, let’s take a look at what the proposed health care bill means for the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood.

In the proposed bill, House leaders hope to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and “defund” Planned Parenthood.

Again, even the idea of “defunding” Planned Parenthood is often misunderstood. The government isn’t making out checks to “abortion” every month. Planned Parenthood of Michigan created a helpful graphic to illustrate how federal funding comes back to the organization.

With this new bill, Planned Parenthood would not receive Medicaid reimbursing, which makes up around 75% of the government’s funding of the organization. Yikes. And for another reminder, Planned Parenthood provides many more services than abortion.

Additionally, the proposed bill aims to eliminate private insurance coverage for abortions as well. This essentially makes it difficult for women to find a plan to cover the procedure, which can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars if not covered.

We think this is a good time to drop a little reminder. Making abortions impossible to get won’t make women stop getting abortions. It will make them stop getting safe abortions.

Ironically, abortion rates are actually at an all-time low since Roe v. Wade was first passed, which many give ACA credit for since they enabled easier access to contraceptives.

An Ultimatum

For one final kick in the face, Trump recently suggested that he would continue funding the organization if it stopped providing abortions.

We think giving Planned Parenthood this kind of ultimatum gives the Trump administration the “Biggest Scumbag” superlative.

To be quite honest, the complexity of these issues are astounding. There’s a lot we still don’t understand, it grows even more complex as time goes on. It is a lot more nuanced than it seems, and a lot is still confusing.

But what we do know is that repealing the ACA and “defunding” Planned Parenthood directly impacts the most vulnerable citizens of our population. Is that what leaders are supposed to do?

Allie Bush
Allie Bush is a Contributing Writer at Femestella. She is interested in creating and sharing entertaining and engaging content, in whatever form it may take. She is a proud TV junkie and in her spare time can be found watching late night talk shows, talking about Chrissy Teigen or Amy Poehler, or eating off of other people's plates.