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Here’s Why Defunding Planned Parenthood Hurts Everyone

It's about more than abortion.

Lately, there's been a lot of effort from state legislators in Texas and New Hampshire to GOP presidential hopefuls to try and defund Planned Parenthood -- a sexual health and reproductive rights organization that assists over 5.1 million men and women per year.

PP -- which estimates that 16% of its visitors are under the age of 20 -- doesn't morally align with some people's views, namely because it offers abortion services. For this reason, the organization is constantly caught in the ebb and flow of controversy, most recently as a result of a series of controversial "undercover videos" from an anti-abortion group that appear to show PP workers discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

But what gets lost in the cacophony of pundits and politics is the fact that Planned Parenthood provides a wide array of other services besides abortion -- which, in fact, comprise only 3% of all the services provided by PP.

Planned Parenthood

If Planned Parenthood is defunded, here are just some of the services that could be impacted -- or even lost:

  • STI/STD Testing & Treatment
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    This is the most sought-after service Planned Parenthood offers, and it's one that's available to both women and men. In fact, nearly 4.5 million of these treatments were provided in 2013 alone.

  • Contraception
    BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages

    In 2013, nearly 3.6 million "birth control information and services" were provided by PP. This includes myriad forms of birth control, like oral contraception (AKA "the pill"), IUDs, emergency contraception, contraceptive implants and more.

    The org also offers contraceptive services to men -- in 2013, 4,166 men sought out PP for vasectomies.

  • Cancer Screening And Prevention
    Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

    Planned Parenthood provided 935,573 of these treatments in 2013 -- this includes everything from HPV vaccinations to breast exams.

  • Pregnancy Tests And Prenatal Services
    Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

    In 2013, 1,147,467 of these services were provided.

  • WIC Services - (Women, Infants And Children)
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    Planned Parenthood defines this service as a "federally funded nutrition program for low-income women, infants and children up to the age of five." According to Getwic.org, it provides "free supplemental foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support and education, and other support services."

Here's the reality: Defunding Planned Parenthood won't stop women from getting abortions, but it will make it harder for them to get access to safe, affordable ones. Additionally, it will prevent millions of men and women from receiving the sexual health treatment and education the organization provides.