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How Planned Parenthood Helps Women

Agnus Smith | Published: June 14, 2018

Touching pregnant stomach

Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit healthcare provider that offers reproductive services and sex education to women on an international level. Planned Parenthood, or PP for short, empowers women to take control of their lives by providing healthcare for their specific needs. 

Planned Parenthood also offers several educational programs across the United States and beyond. These programs are an important tool keeping people safe and healthy. Thanks to Planned Parenthood, services and educational programs that are provided are affordable and accessible to women of all incomes and backgrounds.

The History of Planned Parenthood

In 1916 Margaret Sanger, Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell opened a clinic for women in Brooklyn, New York. Though faced with opposition on a local and federal level since its beginnings, the founders persisted in their mission to care for women's reproductive health. 

Today, PP is a strong organization that offers trusted healthcare for women's reproductive needs and is a leading global advocate and educator on women's health. Each location is locally governed, and appointments can be easily made online, on the phone, or in person. All contact is confidential. 

By the Numbers

Planned Parenthood has helped millions of women over the past 100 years. Despite ongoing obstacles, PP remains strong and continues to help more people each year regardless of their income or health insurance. 

How Many Women Get Help Each Year?

Each year, some 4,665,000 people are helped by Planned Parenthood. In the United States alone, 2,840,000 people take advantage of the affordable services offered.

More than a Clinic

Beyond direct healthcare, Planned Parenthood offers educational services to enable information-sharing and help women and young people understand their options. Over 1,100,000 are served each year by these programs. Education may be the best prevention, as it helps people learn to avoid unsafe practices and understand the importance of early screenings and other reproductive choices.

More than providing trustworthy healthcare, PP aims to be accessible to people who may have few other options available to them. For many clients, Planned Parenthood is the only affordable and convenient option for women's preventive care in their local area, especially if clients lack health insurance. Planned Parenthood makes getting necessary healthcare easy for women who might otherwise go without.

Services Offered

Planned Parenthood offers several basic and necessary reproductive services that benefit women. In some areas, PP is the nearest and most affordable option for many clients when it comes to healthcare. Clients are also promised excellent care by trustworthy health providers who are discreet and professional.

Most common services

STI testing, cancer screenings, and contraceptive services are among the most common services used by PP clients. Prenatal care and pregnancy testing are also important and commonly used services that PP provides. 

Abortive services, which can be an important and necessary tool for women's healthcare, account for less than a quarter of services received by those seeking medical attention at Planned Parenthood. 

Preventive services

In addition to cancer screenings, clients may also obtain HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) screenings, breast exams, and pap smears. These services are crucial in detecting illness early on, which could save lives and improve treatment down the line. Women's preventive care accounts for the majority of PP's services.

Planned Parenthood in the News

Often making headlines, PP is still a controversial organization today. It is frequently seen in the news, and its funding and purpose is often discussed in legislative offices within the United States. Most recently, Planned Parenthood came under attack by the GOP’s many healthcare bills that would ultimately eliminate its federal funding.

The Controversy

Many groups have misconceptions about the goals and mission of Planned Parenthood. For this reason, PP is often in the news and the subject of public fear-mongering and misleading claims. Federal or local funding is often threatened, and legal battles over whether women deserve affordable, convenient reproductive healthcare are ongoing.

In the national discussion of PP, abortion services are usually highlighted while the bulk of services offered, such as cancer screenings, STI, and pregnancy testing, are ignored. While PP stands firmly behind a woman's right to choose and provides abortion services, the organization offers vital help to women on a much larger scale.

What the Future Holds

Since Planned Parenthood continues to offer top-notch, affordable healthcare to millions of people each year, its future is bright. Planned Parenthood has the advantage of visibility and historical advocacy, and it uses its clout to support and advance the healthcare rights of women all over the globe. It's non-partisan and not-for-profit approach to healthcare remains one of Planned Parenthood's assets in its cause to help women.