Louisiana: Case in Point for Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Is a Public Health Disaster

Personal Health

As Republicans continue their calls to defund Planned Parenthood, they completely ignore the public health consequences of taking such an action. Why? Because it will almost exclusively affect women—especially low-income women. Here's a look at how defunding Louisiana's two Planned Parenthood clinics would play out, via Jackie Calmes.

Neither [Planned Parenthood] clinic in this state — like nearly half of all Planned Parenthood centers — performs (abortions). What the Louisiana Planned Parenthood clinics did do last year was administer nearly 20,000 tests for sexually transmitted infections, as well as providing gynecological exams, contraceptive care, cancer screenings and other wellness services for nearly 10,000 mostly low-income patients.

“You can’t just cut Planned Parenthood off one day and expect everyone across the city to absorb the patients,” Dr. Taylor said. “There needs to be time to build the capacity.” [...]

Louisiana is among a number of states counted as medically underserved: It has a large poor and unhealthy population, with high rates of unintended pregnancies, a shortage of health professionals and too few who will accept Medicaid, as Planned Parenthood does.

So cutting off funds for two clinics will stop zero abortions, while depriving some 30,000 women of health services. If that's not the definition of fanaticism, I'm not sure what is. What's certain is it surely has nothing to do with any genuine concern for public health.

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