The White House plans to announce a rule today that would bar federal funds from going to any clinic that provides abortions or refers their patients to abortion providers, several outlets are reporting. The rule would apply to Title X, the only government grant dedicated to family planning projects, which particularly impacts low-income Americans. It provides $50 million to $60 million of Planned Parenthood's public funding and supports other, smaller family-planning clinics, the Washington Post reports.
One official told the New York Times the rule was designed to force clinics to make a choice: stop including abortions among their services or lose federal funding. Planned Parenthood leaders have said they will not stop providing abortions. So what will happen if the program is defunded instead?
As Pacific Standard reported in 2015, it would have a big effect on many Americans, particularly lower-income folks, far beyond those seeking abortions:
In 2010, 2.4 million American women and girls got contraceptives—such as birth control pills, condoms, and IUDs—from a Planned Parenthood, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research non-profit that advocates for reproductive rights. In 2010, more than one in three women who received contraceptives from a publicly funded clinic, which offers at least some of their patients free or reduced-price care, did so at a Planned Parenthood.
Moreover, Pacific Standard reported, according to Planned Parenthood's data, abortion accounted for just 3 percent of the services the organization provided in 2014, while 42 percent were for sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment, 34 percent were for contraception, and 9 percent were for cancer screening.
Other providers may not easily be able to make up for the loss of Planned Parenthoods. The Guttmacher Institute calculates that, on average, non-Planned Parenthood clinics would have to increase their caseload by 47 percent to keep up.