The recent effort by congressional Republicans to defund Planned Parenthood has been denounced as in effect a divestment from funding women’s basic health care — a loss that couldn’t be fully absorbed by other health centers.
Critics have warned that other clinics are too few and simply don’t offer the quantity or array of family planning, gynecological, testing, and referral services provided by Planned Parenthood.
Now, two prominent pro-life organizations, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Charlotte Lozier Institute, have created a map that appears prima facie to debunk claims that stripping $500 million of annual taxpayer dollars from Planned Parenthood would produce a public health crisis for women.
The map pinpoints the 665 Planned Parenthood locations and health-care clinics in the United States, compared side-by-side with the 13,540 clinics clustered across the country that are currently offering comprehensive women’s health care, according to the two groups’ data.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute and ADF argue that these health centers could provide care for Planned Parenthood’s former patients were the organization to be defunded. These centers could, like Planned Parenthood, receive federal funding and thus more quickly augment their services to meet the need.
#related#Further, these clinics could meet more women’s needs than Planned Parenthood does now. For example, contrary to a common misconception, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms, but only mammogram referrals. Its clinics are not equipped with expensive mammogram machinery.
The renewed push to defund Planned Parenthood and consider alternative care providers began when the pro-life Center for Medical Progress released undercover videos showing top Planned Parenthood officials discussing prices and uses for fetal parts and methods for altering abortion procedures in order to preserve the parts. The videos raised legal questions about the organization’s operation, and a federal investigation and several state investigations have been launched following their release.
— Celina Durgin is a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review.