Family Planning Clinics Are Essential Health Care Providers, But They’re Under Attack

In states across the country, women rely on publicly-funded family planning clinics — such as their local Planned Parenthood affiliates — for their primary care needs. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, women choose to go to family planning clinics even when other health care providers are available in their community, largely because some women feel like those clinics can better meet their reproductive needs. Over 40 percent of the women who seek out health services at family planning clinics are solely relying on that provider, and haven’t received any other type of care over the previous year:

But those type of clinics are under attack. Often specifically with the hopes of preventing those funds from being awarded to Planned Parenthood, which has become a symbol in the GOP’s ongoing crusade against reproductive health, Republicans lawmakers have waged a war against family planning funding over the past several years:

Needless to say, eliminating funding for family planning programs has stark consequences for the women who rely on publicly-funded clinics. That dynamic is perhaps most evident in Texas, where GOP officials have successfully slashed Title X funds and excluded Planned Parenthood from their state-level Medicaid program. Now, Texas is funding 176 fewer health clinics than it did in 2011 — forcing thousands of low-income women to find new doctors. Texas’ health department estimates that the cuts will result in 24,000 additional unplanned births in between 2014 and 2015.