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News Tuesday, Aug 4 2015

What Exactly Would Jeb Bush Be Defunding? Hint: It's Not Abortion

Aug 04, 2015

This afternoon Jeb Bush told a Nashville audience that he believes the “next president should defund Planned Parenthood” and that he is “not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” Considering Bush is hoping to be the next president, it’s safe to say that Bush would defund Planned Parenthood if elected. So what exactly would Bush be defunding?

Federal funding makes up about 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget according to Vox, but none of those funds are allocated to abortion. In fact, they legally can’t help pay for abortion and abortion services only make up about 3 percent of their annual budget, according to the Washington Post.

When Jeb and the GOP field talk about defunding Planned Parenthood they are talking about taking away funding for important procedures for low-income women such as cancer screenings and STD testing and treatment — not abortion. 

Most of this money goes toward providing low-income women with family planning services like STD screening and contraceptive coverage. Planned Parenthood is, without a doubt, one of the largest providers in this space: Of the 6.7 million women who rely on public programs to pay for contraceptives, 2.4 million of them — 36 percent — do so at Planned Parenthood’s 817 clinics across the country.
There are two main ways Planned Parenthood receives public funds. One is through Medicaid, the public health insurance program that covers 71 million low-income Americans. 
The other source of funding is grants, largely through the Title X Family Planning Program — the only domestic grant program dedicated to family planning. Organizations like Planned Parenthood often use Title X grants to subsidize birth control, STD screenings, and other reproductive health services for low-income patients who may lack health insurance coverage.
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have Medicaid programs that will pay for abortions, although those health plans are barred from using federal dollars — and have to use the state’s share of funding to pay for the procedure.
Federal law expressly prohibits the use of Title X funds to pay for abortions — while abortion providers like Planned Parenthood can qualify for grants, the government requires that no federal dollars go toward the termination of pregnancies.

Furthermore, the “community health centers” that Jeb and other Republicans have said can help provide these health services, don’t have the capacity to handle the numbers that Planned Parenthood takes on.

According to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 annual report:
  • Health centers provided 487,029 breast exams

  • 87,988 women whose cancer was detected early or whose abnormalities were identified

  • Over 1.4 million emergency contraception kits provided

  • “516,000 unintended pregnancies averted by Planned Planned parenthood contraceptive services”

  • Over 704,000 HIV tests conducted

  • Over 169,000 STIs diagnosed
Here’s a visual representation of Planned Parenthood’s fiscal budget via the Washington Post:

Published: Aug 4, 2015

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