Many people believe that the primary role of Planned Parenthood is to perform abortions, which is entirely incorrect. Planned Parenthood offers many other services for MEN AND WOMEN. There is a stigma around women who visit Planned Parenthood for other reasons than abortion, people seeing them leave automatically assume that abortion was what they were there for. Hopefully, this article can educate people on what actually goes on at Planned Parenthood.
Breakdown of Their Medical Services
As you can see from the graph above, 45% of the total medical services that Planned Parenthood provides is STI testing and treatment. 30% of medical services deal with contraception. 14% of medical services are for other women's health services such as prenatal care. 7% are cancer screenings and prevention. Only 3% of the TOTAL medical services that are performed are abortion services, not even all are abortions! 1% of medical services are for things like adoptions referrals. The numbers get even more surprising when you break it down even further to each category.
STI Testing & Treatment
According to Planned Parenthood's 2015-2016 Annual Report, they performed 4.2 million STI tests and treatments were performed. Breaking it down even further, 3.5 million STI tests were provided for men and women were performed, about 650,000 HIV tests were provided for men and women, about 27,000 HPV tests were administered, and other testings numbered around 26,000 performed. Planned Parenthood believes in the importance of safe and clean sex and provide free testing throughout the year.
Contraception is the second most performed service at Planned Parenthood. 45% of contraceptive services have to do with the oral pill, 21% deal with other forms of birth control like emergency contraceptive kits, 16% deal with IUDs and implants, 15% deal with Progestin-Only, 5% deal with hormone rings, and 2% deal with the hormone patch.
You can break down contraceptive services even further though. Overall, 2.8 million contraceptive services were administered that year. 1.9 of those services provided women with reversible forms of contraceptives like the pill. 760,000 services were emergency contraception kits like Plan B. Only 585 sterilization procedures were administered. Roughly 3,000 vasectomies were performed for men. Other contraceptive services totals to about 100,000.
Cancer Screenings & Prevention
In total, about 660,000 cancer screenings were performed. A total of about 320,000 breast exams were administered, 290,000 Pap tests, 22,000 HPV vaccinations were performed, about 18,000 Colposcopies were administered (examination of cervix, vagina, and vulva), about 1,600 LEEP procedures (a wire loop removes abnormal cells in the cervix), about 300 Cryotherapy procedures were administered (use of low temperatures to treat things), and 7,000 other forms of diagnostic testing were performed.
I hope this section explains to everyone that Planned Parenthood is not the horrible, blood thirsty establishment everyone thinks that they are. In the 2015-2016 year, only 320,000 abortion SERVICES were provided. Now, that does not mean all of the services were abortions themselves, many were just consultations to weigh the pros and cons of an abortion. Planned Parenthood also does not do late-term abortions, they do them in the early stages. Often women who get abortions actually do need them. Many women who are raped or physically cannot handle having another child, physically (they could be at risk of serious damage or death to them or their child) or financially, many women who are raped also seek abortions because they cannot handle living with the constant reminder. Abortions also are not cheap, the pill alone can range anywhere from 0-975 dollars depending on where you live or how far along you are. The abortion procedure can cost up to $1,500, which most people cannot afford.
Other Women's Health Services
Planned Parenthood provides various other health services for women. They provided about 1 million pregnancy tests, 225,000 Well-Woman exams, 9,000 prenatal services, and about 2,000 miscarriage services.
Planned Parenthood also provides Family Practice Services to see whether you are ready to have a family, they performed roughly 39,000 for men and women alike. They also performed about 2,000 adoption referrals, 58,000 UTI tests, and 8,000 additional procedures for men and women alike.
Spot On App
Planned Parenthood created this amazing app that has you enter your brand/form of birth control. If you have the pill, they remind you everyday at a set time so you do not forget. They also help you track your period, mood, health, activities, and more. They also provide a resource tab that has FAQs about periods, birth control, sex, & Planned Parenthood itself. They also have a place for you to find a health center if need be.
Planned Parenthood also created this very cool virtual reality story called Across the Line, which puts you in the place of a woman who is going in to get an abortion. It shows the "toxic" environment the staff and patients both endure and the stigma around abortions.
Planned Parenthood works hard to help on school campuses, they currently have over 300 campus groups nationwide. They fight for the ability to be inclusive when it comes to reproductive health. They fight the abortion stigma. They work hard to end sexual assault on campuses. They overall work to make the world more accepting and open, progressive.
Hopefully this article has opened your eyes to the actual services that are performed by Planned Parenthood.
All information was provided by plannedparenthood.org and their 2015-2016 annual report, which is provided on their website under the About Us tab at the bottom of the homepage.