|Formation||1916 to 1942[note 1]|
|Headquarters||New York City & Washington, D.C.|
|59 independent affiliates|
|Affiliations||International Planned Parenthood Federation|
|$1.04 billion (as of 2008–09)|
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), commonly shortened to Planned Parenthood, is the U.S. affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and one of its larger members. PPFA is a non-profit organization that provides reproductive health and maternal and child health services. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Inc. (PPAF) is a related organization which lobbies for pro-choice legislation, comprehensive sex education, and access to affordable health care in the United States. In recent years, Planned Parenthood has begun to move away from the pro-choice label to words and phrases that more accurately reflect the entire range of women's health and economic issues.
Planned Parenthood is the largest U.S. provider of reproductive health services, with 97 percent of its services focused on breast and cervical cancer screening, HIV screening and counseling, contraception, and 3 percent on abortion. Contraception accounts for 34% of PPFA's total services and abortions account for 3%. PPFA conducts roughly 300,000 abortions annually, among the 3 million people the organization serves. Federal money is not used to fund abortion services.
The organization has its roots in Brooklyn, New York, where Margaret Sanger opened the first birth-control clinic in the U.S., and founded the American Birth Control League in 1921, which in 1942 became part of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Since then, Planned Parenthood has grown to have approximately 700 clinic locations in the U.S., with a total budget of US $1 billion. PPFA provides an array of services to over three million people in the United States, and supports services for over one million clients outside the United States.
- 1 History
- 2 Services and facilities
- 3 Funding
- 4 Political positions
- 5 Before the U.S. Supreme Court
- 6 State and local court cases against Planned Parenthood
- 7 Controversy and criticism
- 8 Violence by anti-abortion activists
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 Further reading
- 13 External links
The origins of Planned Parenthood date to October 16, 1916, when Margaret Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. All three women were immediately arrested and jailed for violating provisions of the Comstock Act, accused of distributing "obscene materials" at the clinic. The "Brownsville trials" brought national attention and support to their cause, and although Sanger and her co-defendants were convicted, their convictions were eventually overturned. Their campaign led to major changes in the laws governing birth control and sex education in the United States.
In 1938, the clinic was organized into the American Birth Control League, which became part of the only national birth control organization in the US until the 1960s, but the title was found too offensive and "against families" so the League began discussions for a new name. By 1941, the organization was operating 222 centers and had served 49,000 clients. By 1942 the League had become part of what became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
By 1960, the Federation's grassroots volunteers had provided family planning counseling in hundreds of communities across the country. Planned Parenthood was one of the founding members of the International Planned Parenthood Federation when it was launched at a conference in Bombay, India in 1952.
Following Margaret Sanger, Alan Frank Guttmacher became president of Planned Parenthood, and served from 1962 until 1974. During his tenure, the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of the original birth control pill, giving rise to new attitudes towards women's reproductive freedom. Also during his presidency, Planned Parenthood lobbied the federal government to support reproductive health, culminating with President Richard Nixon's signing of Title X to provide governmental subsidies for low-income women to access family planning services. The Center for Family Planning Program Development was also founded as a semi-autonomous division during this time. The center became an independent organization and was renamed the Guttmacher Institute in 1977.
Faye Wattleton was the first woman named president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1978, and served until 1992. She was the first African-American to serve as president, and the youngest president in Planned Parenthood's history. During her term, Planned Parenthood grew to become the seventh largest charity in the country, providing services to four million clients each year through its 170 affiliates, whose activities were spread across 50 states.
From 1996 to 2006, Planned Parenthood was led by Gloria Feldt. Feldt activated the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the organization's political action committee, launching what was the most far reaching electoral advocacy effort in its history. She also launched the Responsible Choices Action Agenda, a nationwide campaign to increase services to prevent unwanted pregnancies, improve quality of reproductive care and ensure access to safe and legal abortions. Another initiative was the commencement of a "Global Partnership Program", with the aim of building a vibrant activist constituency in support of family planning.
Margaret Sanger Awards
In 1966, PPFA began awarding the Margaret Sanger Award annually to honor, in their words: "individuals of distinction in recognition of excellence and leadership in furthering reproductive health and reproductive rights." In the first year, it was awarded to four men, Carl G. Hartman, William H. Draper, Lyndon Baines Johnson, and Martin Luther King. Later recipients have included John D. Rockefeller III, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Ted Turner.
Services and facilities
PPFA is a federation of 85 independent Planned Parenthood affiliates around the U.S. These affiliates together operate more than 820 health centers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The largest of these facilities, a $26 million, 78,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) structure was completed in Houston, Texas in May 2010. This serves as a headquarters for 12 clinics in Texas and Louisiana. Together, they are the largest family planning services provider in the U.S. with over four million activists, supporters and donors. Planned Parenthood is staffed by 27,000 staff members and volunteers.
They serve over five million clients a year, 26% of which are teenagers under the age of 19. According to Planned Parenthood, 75% of their clients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
Services provided at locations include contraceptives (birth control); Long-acting reversible contraception; emergency contraception; screening for breast, cervical and testicular cancers; pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counseling; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases; comprehensive sexuality education, menopause treatments; vasectomies, tubal ligations, and abortion.
In 2009, Planned Parenthood provided 4,009,549 contraceptive services (35% of total), 3,955,926 sexually transmitted disease services (35% of total), 1,830,811 cancer related services (16% of total), 1,178,369 pregnancy/prenatal/midlife services (10% of total), 332,278 abortion services (3% of total), and 76,977 other services (1% of total), for a total of 11,383,900 services. The organization also said its doctors and nurses annually conduct 1 million screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams.
Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed into law the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act, amending the Public Health Service Act. Title X of that law provides funding for family planning services, including contraception and family planning information. The law enjoyed bipartisan support from liberals who saw contraception access as increasing families' control over their lives, and conservatives who saw it as a way to keep people off welfare. Nixon described Title X funding as based on the premise that "no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition."
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, total (consolidated) revenue was $201 million: clinic revenue totaling $2 million, grants and donations of $190 million, investment income of $2 million, and $7 million other income. Approximately two-thirds of the revenue is put towards the provision of health services, while non-medical services such as sex education and public policy work make up another 16%; management expenses, fundraising, and international family planning programs account for most of the rest.
Planned Parenthood receives about a third of its money in government grants and contracts (about $360 million in 2009). By law, federal funding cannot be allocated for abortions, but some opponents of abortion have argued that allocating money to Planned Parenthood for the provision of other medical services "frees up" funds to be re-allocated for abortion.
A coalition of national and local pro-life groups have lobbied federal and state governments to stop funding Planned Parenthood. As a result, federal and state legislators have proposed legislation to reduce funding levels. Some six states have gone ahead with such proposals. In some cases, the courts have overturned such actions, citing conflict with federal or other state laws, and in others, the federal executive branch has provided funding in lieu of the states. In other cases, complete or partial defunding of Planned Parenthood has gone through successfully.
Planned Parenthood is also funded by private donors, with a membership base of over 700,000 active donors whose contributions account for approximately one quarter of the organization's revenue. Large donors also contribute a substantial portion of the organization's budget. Past donors have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Buffett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Turner Foundation, the Cullmans, and others. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's contributions to the organization have been specifically marked to avoid funding abortions. Some, such as the Buffett Foundation, have supported reproductive health that can include abortion services. Pro-life groups have advocated the boycott of donors to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood and its predecessor organizations have provided and advocated for access to birth control. The modern organization of Planned Parenthood America is also an advocate for reproductive rights. This advocacy includes contributing to sponsorship of abortion rights and to women's rights events, and assisting in the testing of new contraceptives. The Federation opposes restrictions on women's reproductive health services, including parental consent laws. Planned Parenthood has cited the case of Becky Bell, who died following a septic abortion after failing to seek parental consent, to justify their opposition. Planned Parenthood also takes the position that laws requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor are unconstitutional on privacy grounds.
The organization also opposes laws requiring ultrasounds before abortions, stating that their only purpose is to make abortions more difficult to obtain. Planned Parenthood has also opposed initiatives that require waiting periods before abortions, and bans on late-term abortions including intact dilation and extraction, which has been illegal in the U.S. since 2003.
Planned Parenthood argues for the wide availability of emergency contraception (EC) measures. It opposes conscience clauses, which allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs against their beliefs. In support of their position, they have cited cases where pharmacists have refused to fill life saving drugs under the laws. Planned Parenthood has also been critical of hospitals that do not provide access to EC for rape victims. Planned Parenthood supports and provides FDA-approved abortifacients such as mifepristone.
Citing the need for medically accurate information in sex education, Planned Parenthood opposes abstinence-only education in public schools. Instead, Planned Parenthood is a provider of, and endorses, comprehensive sex education, which includes discussion of both abstinence and birth control.
Political Action Committee
|This section requires expansion. (April 2014)|
Planned Parenthood also has a political action committee called Planned Parenthood Action Fund. The committee was founded in 1996 by then new president Gloria Feldt for the purpose of maintaining reproductive health rights and supporting political candidates of the same mindset. In 2012 election cycle the committee gained prominence based on its effectiveness of spending on candidates.
Before the U.S. Supreme Court
Planned Parenthood regional chapters have been active in the American courts. A number of cases in which Planned Parenthood has been a party have reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Notable among these cases is the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the case that sets forth the current constitutional abortion standard. In this case, "Planned Parenthood" was the Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter, and "Casey" was Robert Casey, the governor of Pennsylvania. The ultimate ruling was split, and Roe v. Wade was narrowed but upheld in an opinion written by Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter. Harry Blackmun and John Paul Stevens concurred with the main decision in separately written opinions. The Supreme Court struck down spousal consent requirements for married women to obtain abortions, but found no "undue burden"—an alternative to strict scrutiny which tests the allowable limitations on rights protected under the Constitution—from the other statutory requirements. Dissenting were William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Byron White. Blackmun, Rehnquist, and White were the only justices who voted on the original Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 who were still on the Supreme Court to rule on this case, and their votes on this case were consistent with their votes on the original decision that legalized abortion. Only Blackmun voted to maintain Roe v. Wade in its entirety.
Other related cases include:
- Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth (1976). Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of a Missouri law encompassing parental consent, spousal consent, clinic bookkeeping and allowed abortion methods. Portions of the challenged law were held to be constitutional, others not.
- Planned Parenthood Association of Kansas City v. Ashcroft (1983). Planned Parenthood challenged the constitutionality of a Missouri law encompassing parental consent, clinic record keeping, and hospitalization requirements. Most of the challenged law was held to be constitutional.
- Planned Parenthood v. ACLA (2001). The American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA) released a flier and "Wanted" posters with complete personal information about doctors who performed abortions. A civil jury and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals both found that the material was indeed "true threats" and not protected speech.
- Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood (2003). Planned Parenthood sued Attorney General Gonzales for an injunction against the enforcement of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. Planned Parenthood argued the act was unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment, namely in that it was overly vague, violated women's constitutional right to have access to abortion, and did not include language for exceptions for the health of the mother. Both the district court and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed, but that decision was overturned in a 5–4 ruling by the Supreme Court.
- Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (2006). Planned Parenthood et al. challenged the constitutionality of a New Hampshire parental notification law related to access to abortion. In Sandra Day O'Connor's final decision before retirement, the Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts with instructions to seek a remedy short of wholesale invalidation of the statute. New Hampshire ended up repealing the statute via the legislative process.
State and local court cases against Planned Parenthood
In some states, Attorneys General have subpoenaed medical records of patients treated by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has gone to court to keep from turning over these records, citing medical privacy and concerns about the motivation for seeking the records.
In 2006, Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, a strongly anti-abortion advocate, released some sealed patient records obtained from Planned Parenthood to the public. His actions were described as "troubling" by the state Supreme Court, but Planned Parenthood was compelled to turn over the medical records, albeit with more stringent court-mandated privacy safeguards for the patients involved. In 2007, Kline's successor, Paul J. Morrison, notified the clinic that no criminal charges would be filed after a three-year investigation, as "an objective, unbiased and thorough examination" showed no wrongdoing. Morrison stated that he believed Kline had politicized the attorney general's office. In 2012, a Kansas district attorney dropped all of the remaining criminal charges against the Kansas City-area Planned Parenthood clinic accused of performing illegal abortions, citing a lack of evidence of wrongdoing. In all, the Planned Parenthood clinic had faced 107 criminal charges from Kline and other Kansas prosecutors, all of which were ultimately dropped for lack of evidence.
In Indiana, Planned Parenthood was not required to turn over its medical records in an investigation of possible child abuse. In 2005, Planned Parenthood Minnesota/North Dakota/South Dakota was fined $50,000 for violating a Minnesota state parental consent law. In 2012, Judge Gary Harger ruled that the state of Texas may exclude otherwise qualified doctors and clinics from receiving state funding, if the doctors or clinics advocate for abortion rights.
Controversy and criticism
Planned Parenthood has occupied a central position in the abortion debate in the U.S., and has been among the most prominent targets of U.S. pro-life activists for decades. Some members of Congress, overwhelmingly Republicans, have attempted since the 1980s to defund the organization, nearly leading to a government shutdown over the issue in 2011. Planned Parenthood has consistently maintained that federal money received by Planned Parenthood is not used to fund abortion services, but pro-life activists have argued that the federal funding frees up other resources which are, in turn, used to provide abortions.
Planned Parenthood is the largest single provider of abortions in the U.S. In 2009, Planned Parenthood performed 332,278 abortions – about a quarter of all abortions performed in the US) – from which it derived $164,154,000, or 15% of its annual revenue in 2008–09. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Abortion Surveillance report indicated that between 2007 and 2010, nearly 36 percent of all abortions in the United States were performed on black children, while African-Americans make up 13 percent of the total population. A further 21 percent of abortions were performed on Hispanics, according to that report, and 7 percent were performed on other minority groups, for a total of 64 percent of U.S. abortions performed on minority populations.
According to PPFA's own estimates, its contraceptive services prevent approximately 612,000 unintended pregnancies and 291,000 abortions annually. Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has argued that the organization's family planning services reduce the need for abortions. Megan Crepeau of the Chicago Tribune said that, because of its birth control and family planning services, PPFA could be "characterized as America's largest abortion preventer." Anti-abortion activists dispute the evidence that greater access to contraceptives reduces abortion frequency.
Margaret Sanger and eugenics
In the 1920s various theories of eugenics were popular among intellectuals in the United States. (For example, 75% of colleges offered courses on eugenics.) Sanger, in her campaign to promote birth control, teamed with eugenics organizations such as the American Eugenics Society, although she argued against many of their positions. Scholars describe Sanger as believing that birth control and sterilization should be voluntary, and not based on race. Sanger advocated for "voluntary motherhood"—the right to choose when to be pregnant—for all women, as an important element of women's rights.
As part of her efforts to promote birth control, however, Sanger found common cause with proponents of eugenics, believing that she and they both sought to "assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit." Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, which aims to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing the reproduction of those who were considered unfit.
Critics of Planned Parenthood often refer to Sanger's connection with supporters of eugenics to discredit the organization by associating it, and birth control, with the more negative modern view of eugenics. Planned Parenthood has responded to this effort directly in a leaflet acknowledging that Sanger agreed with some of her contemporaries who advocated the voluntary hospitalization or sterilization of people with untreatable, disabling, hereditary conditions, and limits on the immigration of the diseased. The leaflet also states that Planned Parenthood "finds these views objectionable and outmoded" but says that it was compelled to discuss the topic because "anti-family planning activists continue to attack Sanger . . . because she is an easier target" than Planned Parenthood.
Undercover recordings by pro-life activists
Periodically pro-life advocates and activists have tried to demonstrate that Planned Parenthood does not follow applicable state or federal laws. The groups called or visited a Planned Parenthood health center posing as victims of statutory rape, minors who would need parental notification for abortion, or pimps who want abortions for child prostitutes.
A 2005 review by the Bush administration's Department of Health and Human Services "yielded no evidence of clinics around the nation failing to comply with laws on reporting child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape or incest." Newer videos have become more sophisticated than previous efforts.
Live Action undercover videos
Begining in 2010, Live Action has released several series of undercover videos filmed in Planned Parenthood centers. Live Action said one series showed Planned Parenthood employees at multiple affiliates actively assisting or being complicit in aiding the underage prostitution ring, advising patients on how to procure sex-selective abortions, and admitting they would not help a child born alive after a botched abortion.
No criminal convictions resulted, but some employees and volunteers were fired for not following procedure, and the organization committed to retraining its staff. Additionally, one center was placed on probation.
2015 Center for Medical Progress undercover videos
In 2015, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), an organization supported through funding and consulting by Operation Rescue, released videos that they said depicted Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of harvested fetal organs and tissue. In response, Planned Parenthood said that they may donate fetal tissue at the request of a patient, but maintained that fetal organs and tissue are never sold. Richards said fetal organ donation takes place in a few places and that the tissue is given to medical research. Richards, however, "personally apologize[d] for the staff member's tone and statements," saying the videos were "unacceptable."
Response to the videos
Planned Parenthood issued statements saying the videos are "misleading", part of a campaign to smear the organization, and released a lengthy letter to Congress warning that more videos were coming, and that they would likely be misleading. A public relations firm hired by Planned Parenthood asked the media not to air the videos. Planned Parenthood also said that the organization has successfully weathered this sort of storm before.
The videos were shown to members of the Congressional pro-life caucus a month before the first video was made available to the public. This allowed several legislators to introduce bills to defund Planned Parenthood within a week after the first video was released. Speaker of the House John Boehner ordered congressional hearings into the practices of Planned Parenthood and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has said that they “should be looked into.”
Three Congressional committees are making inquiries into PP practices, including the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which wants a briefing from Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services Deborah Nucatola. Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton said that, "at the end of the day, she'll testify", by appearing under subpoena if necessary.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced an investigation into the women's health organization's practices in Texas, and said that the state would “expand its investigation” after the release of the second video, and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced that his office would investigate Planned Parenthood for any potential wrongdoing at its clinics in that state. In Massachusetts, where there is no fetal tissue and organ donation program, Attorney General Maura Healey found that aborted fetuses are disposed of properly in a report that "voiced strong support for" Planned Parenthood. On July 30, 2015, Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced that the state's investigation did not find any evidence of wrongdoing in Planned Parenthood's handling of fetal tissue at its Indiana facilities.
Violence by anti-abortion activists
|This section requires expansion. (February 2012)|
Planned Parenthood clinics have been the target of many instances of violence by anti-abortion activists, including bombing, arson, and attacks with chemical weaponry. In 1994, John Salvi entered a Brookline, Massachusetts Planned Parenthood clinic and opened fire, murdering receptionist Shannon Elizabeth Lowney and wounding three others. He fled to another Planned Parenthood clinic where he murdered Leane Nichols and wounded two others.
- Abortion-rights movements
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure#Relationship with Planned Parenthood
- Timeline of reproductive rights legislation
- United States pro-choice movement
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