Should the government continue to fund Planned Parenthood?

The overturning of Roe v Wade has prompted anti-abortion lawmakers to call once again to defund Planned Parenthood, but their opponents argue this will lead to people missing out on critical healthcare.

Rise of the Issue

Americans consider abortion the second most important issue in the upcoming midterm elections, second only to inflation. After the overturning of Roe v Wade, many across the country are worried about their lack of access to abortion services – which Planned Parenthood provide. 

Others, however, have applauded the overturning of the landmark case and want to take it a step further by dialing down federal funding for Planned Parenthood. They believe the thing the organization is most known for – its abortions – is fundamentally immoral and doesn’t deserve taxpayer dollars. Their opponents are worried it will leave a large portion of the – especially low-income – population without access to critical healthcare.

Issue Timeline


Planned Parenthood Predecessor is Founded

Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League and the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.


Planned Parenthood Receives First Federal Funding

Planned Parenthood Wisconsin is the first to receive federal funding under the recently passed Title X Family Planning Program.


Supreme Court Rules Abortion is Constitutionally Protected

In the landmark case of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court rules that the right to abortion is constitutionally protected under the right to privacy.


Congress Passes Affordable Care Act

The legislation determines that birth control is covered by health insurance without co-pays or deductibles.


Lawmakers Attempt to Pass Abortion Legislation

Knowing that Roe v Wade may be overturned by the Supreme Court, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle attempt to pass relevant legislation. One side attempts to codify the right to abortion even if Roe v Wade is overturned, the other attempts to cut off federal funding to abortion.


Supreme Court Overturns Roe v Wade

The landmark case confirmed the constitutionally protected right to abortion under the right to privacy. The Supreme Court overturned it, leaving the individual states to determine whether abortion should be legal and under what circumstances.

Micro Issues



Supporters point out that only people with high income will be able to access these services elsewhere, so taking away funding will predominantly target low-income individuals, while opponents say dialing back funding is not discriminatory in nature.



Opponents do not want Planned Parenthood to receive federal funding because of their moral opposition to the practices of Planned Parenthood - particularly abortion - while supporters say the healthcare that Planned Parenthood offers is critical for people with low income, beyond one’s position on abortion.



Supporters say medical procedures such as abortions will continue to happen whether or not it can be done legally - so maintaining funding for Planned Parenthood means it will at least happen safely. Opponents believe these practices should not be happening and therefore do not warrant spending federal dollars.



While one side focuses mainly on the abortion services that Planned Parenthood offers, the other side points out the plethora of other services such as birth control and STD testing.

Pro Arguments


More people could be forced to give birth.

People who lose access to Planned Parenthood - particularly if they are low income - have little other options for ending their pregnancies.


Defunding Planned Parenthood would cause people to lose access to other services besides abortion.

Loss of federal funding will directly affect other services - such as STD screening and birth control - provided by Planned Parenthood.


It could lead to more abortions.

80 percent of Planned Parenthood patients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancies. Without those services, the number of unintended pregnancies could go up - potentially leading to more abortions.


It would disproportionately affect those with low income.

Planned Parenthood provides low cost services, which are especially important for those with low income. People with high income would still have access to those same services through other means.


Defunding Planned Parenthood would not stop them from performing abortions.

Although federal funds are their main source of income, Planned Parenthood has not financed abortions with federal funds since Hyde Amendment of 1976. The defunding would mainly affect other services.

Con Arguments


It would save taxpayer dollars.

Planned Parenthood received over half a billion dollars in government funding last year. Defunding it would save taxpayer dollars that could be directed elsewhere.


People who oppose Planned Parenthood would no longer be indirectly contributing to it.

Using taxpayer dollars to fund Planned Parenthood means that people who do not agree with its practices are still indirectly contributing to its cause.


It doesn’t stop Planned Parenthood from existing.

Although the vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from government money, they also have other sources of income.


Planned Parenthood has engaged in fraudulent activity in the past.

There have been fraud cases brought against Planned Parenthood, such as in California where the court found that the organization illegally marked up the supposed cost of various birth control drugs when seeking government reimbursement.


Planned Parenthood has been accused of failing to report abuse.

On several occasions, the organization has been accused of not reporting apparent abuse - which healthcare providers are required to do by law.