Chart: If You Want More Abortions, Defund Planned Parenthood Chart: If You Want More Abortions, Defund Planned Parenthood
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Chart: If You Want More Abortions, Defund Planned Parenthood

by Cord Jefferson

April 13, 2011

Republicans are working late tonight, holding up the federal budget—and threatening total government shutdown—in order to defund family-planning programs. In 2008, the Guttmacher Institute published a study about what happens when you do just that, and the results are frightening but unsurprising. 

"Pro-life" Republicans are targeting Title X funding, which provides contraception and sexual health advice to millions of needy Americans, and more specifically Planned Parenthood, whose contraception and sexual health services (but not abortion services) are partially supported by Title X. In 2009, Planned Parenthood performed a total of 332,278 abortions (pdf), a number that congressional Republicans apparently find intolerable. According to Guttmacher, however, if the government were to cut all Title X funding, we could expect 406,000 more abortions every year—nearly three-quarters of a million if added to the Planned Parenthood abortions already performed.

Keep in mind that Planned Parenthood only receives $73 million a year under Title X. If Congress decides to cut all of the organization's federal funding, including the $293 million it receives under Medicaid, it would certainly add to the number of abortions performed in the United States.

In short: If you really want to see a lot more abortions, cut funding to family planning programs. Who knew the Republicans were so pro choice?

Update: This post was updated to clarify that the abortions in the chart's right column would be extra abortions.

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Chart: If You Want More Abortions, Defund Planned Parenthood