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If Planned Parenthood loses funding, here’s a map of health clinics that could take its place

(Daily Signal) Two leading pro-life organizations released a map today intended to showcase the thousands of community health care clinics that could step in for Planned Parenthood if it were to lose federal funding.

The map adds to a heated conversation about whether stripping Planned Parenthood of its $500 million annual taxpayer dollars would hurt women’s health care in America, or if women would be better off without it.

Alliance Defending Freedom and Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, identified the different Planned Parenthood locations and community health care clinics across America.

The two groups argue there are plenty of health centers — that also can receive federal funding — to absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients should the organization be defunded by Congress.

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“What these graphics put into pictures is what the data has been telling us for a long time,” Casey Mattox, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom who focuses on pro-life issues, told The Daily Signal. “Planned Parenthood is really a small part of the national health care picture in America.”

“Planned Parenthood is really a small part of the national health care picture in America,” @CaseyMattoxADF.

According to data collected by the two groups, there are currently 13,540 clinics providing comprehensive health care for women, versus 665 Planned Parenthood locations.

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Community health centers primarily exist to provide comprehensive care to millions of uninsured, working poor and jobless Americans.

If Planned Parenthood’s federal funding “went away tomorrow,” Mattox argues, the money “would be better used by community health centers and other places around the country that can provide a fuller range of services to women without the ethical challenges that Planned Parenthood presents.”

The effort to defund Planned Parenthood comes after the Center for Medical Progress, a group that opposes abortion, released a series of damaging videos.

The videos show high-ranking Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of tissue from aborted babies and changing abortion procedures to harvest these organs.

The issues raise a host of legal questions and have sparked both state and federal investigations.

Some healthcare experts warn that lawmakers should be careful in punishing Planned Parenthood. These supporters argue community health clinics can’t fulfill the services that Planned Parenthood provides.

“The notion that you could literally overnight defund providers serving a couple million people and think that health centers—even if they’re right nearby, which is not always the case—could just magically absorb patients, I think shows an astounding naivety in healthcare,” says Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University.

“You can map all you want and the fact of the matter is health centers are not magicians and health care doesn’t work this way.”

“[T]he fact of the matter is health centers are not magicians and health care doesn’t work this way,” said Sara Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum, in an interview with The Daily Signal, argued that banning Planned Parenthood funding would create an immediate health care access crisis for millions of women.

Texas, she says, is the “smoking gun” in the debate.

In 2012, Texas stopped funding abortion-providers like Planned Parenthood. Instead, in 2013 it created the Women’s Health Program, which provides low-income women with family planning services, health screenings and birth control.

According to a study by George Washington University, this resulted in community clinics increasing their women’s health care services by an average of 81 percent.

Between 2011 and 2013, after Planned Parenthood was excluded, the study found that the program experienced a nine percent decrease in enrollees, a 26 percent decrease in Medicaid claims and a 54 percent decline in contraceptive claims.

Eventually, community health care clinics replaced Planned Parenthood’s services, Rosenbaum said, but not without consequences.

“Yes, health centers eventually ramped up. Yes, they offer more family planning services than they did before because they had to respond to a crisis and health centers are remarkable at responding to crises. But the state’s own data show that the actual number of patients served dropped.” She added:

We’re talking family planning, cancer screenings, things like that. You certainly do not want people who are seeking family planning to have to put it off at all. Otherwise, you wind up with unplanned pregnancies, half of which will turn into an abortion. This is exactly what we don’t want so why would you shut down a point of access for contraceptives? And why would you shut down cancer screen sites? It makes no sense.

Mattox, with Alliance Defending Freedom, argues the Texas example paints an entirely different picture—one that actually appears to be a success story.

According to state data, in 2012, the pregnancy rate in Texas remained relatively the same, falling from 82.2 pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15-44, to 81.1 in 2013.

Abortions dropped during the same period, from 65,547 in 2012 compared to 61,513 in 2013.

“The data bellies the claim that Planned Parenthood was necessary to women’s health care in Texas,” Mattox said.

In 2013, right after Texas ousted the organization, Planned Parenthood clinics in the state agreed to pay $4.3 million to settle a federal civil suit brought by the Justice Department under President Obama.

The suit claimed the organization fraudulently billed Medicaid for women’s health care services such as birth control from 2003 to 2009.

The massive drop in Medicaid and contraceptive claims, Mattox said, “may be evidence that Texas cleaned up a lot of false claims.”

In addition, Mattox argued the drop in program enrollees could be attributed to a bump in the economy—with more people enrolling on employer-provided health care plans—and the creation of the Affordable Care Act, which “compelled free coverage of contraceptives.”

“It seems some of our friends on the left conveniently forget that they created Obamacare and compelled free coverage of contraceptives when that is inconvenient to defending the need for Planned Parenthood,” he said.

Taking in these broader factors, Mattox argued the Texas example “might actually be good news” and further proof that taking away Planned Parenthood won’t hurt women.

It seems like there may be other factors that explain what happened to women during this time period in Texas. That might actually be good news—we may have solved problems rather than found new ones.

If Congress defunds Planned Parenthood, the country will have to wait and see if the Texas model will be tested on the national level.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at the Daily Signal, and is reprinted here with permission.

  • People really think that 13,000+ Community Health Centers who treat nearly 20 million women annually, would not be able to provide the necessary care for an additional 2.7 million women caused by the absence of the 700 Planned Parenthood clinics? Especially with the additional funding they would receive from the 500 million dollar pot of government funds?

    Get your heads out of the sand America.

    • DailyAlice

      Why do you think they automatically would receive the extra funding? Government tends not to cooperate so readily.

      • Supposedly the original bill to defend PP would have made the funds that were stripped from PP available for other health care clinics.

        Although right now, I am interested to see what the House digs up from the Obama Admin and Planned Parenthood docs they requested.

  • MamaBear

    Many of those community clinics which would benefit from Planned Parenthood funds being redirected to them are in low income and rural places that Planned Parenthood is not! More people would benefit if those funds were redirected.

  • DiaperBrigade

    When I lived in rural north central Kansas, the nearest Planned Parenthood was 2 hours away. Fortunately we had a community health center only 10 miles away. They provided excellent health care, including services not offered by Planned Parenthood — and no abortions.

  • Stormii

    Wow, I didn’t know Texas created another women’s health clinic after it stopped funding for Planned Parenthood! Good for them! I hope other states that defund PP will do the same.

    • BC

      They already had them

  • dialate

    Let’s face it, beyond the gross factor of “fetal tissue” from “innocent babies”, selling cadaver parts for science is fairly routine, isn’t inherently bad nor is it anything of a moral dark area. PP administrators were discussing doing something on the side they know is illegal – they simply need to knock it off.

    The only reason this is a news story is bleeding-heart social justice warriors can’t pass up a chance to get on their high horse and draw attention to their egos and how great they are for caring for the little unborn children. Just like extremist vegans, they have no sympathy for reality outside their little cushy social bubble, and they don’t care what damage they do.

    • shannon wood

      Well, the only problem is these babies aren’t consenting to have their bodies donated to science. And, the women may or may not be consenting either. On top of that, PP is making money from these “donations” without compensation to the women. So, they are using these “donations” to make money. This isn’t just about whether or not abortion should or shouldn’t be legal. PP making money like this puts pressure on the workers to push a woman to have an abortion without having counseling, or even before she is mentally/emotionally able to make that decision. I had a friend try to kill herself after having an abortion. She was 15, without parental consent or counseling. This is what’s wrong. I’m pro-life, but I also understand making abortion illegal isn’t going to fix things either. In 1993 abortion was illegal in Brazil(I don’t know,if it still is), yet statistically, they had twice as many abortions performed as America, where it’s legal. They were just the back alley type, which is,very dangerous. Abortion should be last resort, if the,mother’s life is in danger, rape(though the majority of pregnancies from rape are not aborted), incest, or something like that. But, that is my belief. I was told to terminate my last pregnancy, due to my health issues. I said no. I had a healthy baby boy, and I’m still alive.

  • Barry Cole

    How many also provide constitutionally protected rights to an abortion? Then talk, about comprehensive care. Your pictures mean nothing when you want to shut down for these reasons. And while you are at it, please assure us that these are ALL free clinics. Finally compare the amounts of federal funding they ALL get. Then we’ll be making some choices based on some facts, not your emotion and religious bias.

    • Whitney

      No clinic can “provide … rights”. You have your rights. A clinic can choose whether or not to perform a legal procedure.
      Community Health Centers DO offer comprehensive care. Had you read the article, you might have noticed it was discussed, however briefly.
      Planned Parenthood is NOT free. I had a PAP come back weird and I had the choice of going to a community health center or Planned Parenthood for a colposcopy. I did not have health insurance. I went to the PP because my student physician advised me to (She knew someone who worked there). It was only $20 cheaper–still cost me over $200.
      If you go to a PP and cannot afford your care, they will ask for proof of income and charge appropriately, as will a community health center. This doesn’t include abortions, which run upwards of $1500.
      The argument here IS based on facts. No where in the article is religion, morality, or emotion discussed.

  • BC

    Or just redirect the funds to pay down the national debt..

  • Sandy Buchanan

    Years ago I had to buy my own birth control and there was not a problem. These clinics should Only be for ones who really need it.

  • Barbara Straub

    Looks like plenty of places to get care besides Planned Parenthood. Use the money to create health centers in underserved areas. States can do a better job than the federal government.

  • Jorge Alvarez

    How will they decide which clinics get how much out of the 500 million, if they keep the funding the same, at 13,000 clinics, that is about 36 thousand dollars per clinic if split evenly.