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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PLANNED PARENTHOOD GULF COAST

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast at a Glance (pdf)

Q. What is the purpose of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast?
The goal of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) is to protect the health of our community by providing affordable, high quality reproductive health care, accurate sexuality education and advocating for access to both. Prevention is one of our top priorities. 

We accomplish this by protecting access to health care and by providing medical information and a wide range of health care services including: annual well-woman exams, birth control, lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy testing, HIV testing and risk-reduction counseling, pregnancy options information, vasectomies*, HPV vaccine, emergency contraception, information about abortion, abortion care*, menopause services and hormone replacement therapy, urinary tract infection treatment, sexual health education and diagnosis and treatment of abnormal pap tests and more.

*Abortion and vasectomy services are provided by Planned Parenthood Center for Choice.  Texas law requires that abortion services to be provided by a separate corporation from family planning services.

Our Vision: Planned Parenthood seeks a world in which all children are wanted and cared for, all women and men have equal rights and dignity, sexuality is expressed with honesty, equality, and responsibility, and the decision to bear children is private and voluntary.

Our Mission: The mission of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. is to ensure the right and ability of all individuals to manage their sexual and reproductive health by providing health services, education and advocacy.

Q. What is the difference between Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast and Planned Parenthood?
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the national non-profit organization advocating for access to affordable reproductive health care.  PPFA has affiliates across the United States that provide health services, education and advocacy. There are more than 80 Planned Parenthood affiliates operating 840 health centers across the U.S.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is an affiliate of PPFA. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast serves the Houston area and the entire state of Louisiana.  PPGC operates 9 health centers – 7 in the Houston area and 2 in Louisiana. 

Q. How long has Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast been in existence?
Since 1936, Planned Parenthood has been providing affordable, high quality reproductive health care for women and men in our community.  Over the last 76 years, the affiliate has operated under several names including Planned Parenthood of Houston and Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas.  In 2005, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas (PPHSET) entered a management agreement with Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta (PPLAMD).  PPLAMD had been operating health centers in Louisiana since 1984.  In 2010, the two affiliates officially merged and became Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Inc. (PPGC).  Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast now serves the Houston area and the entire state of Louisiana.  PPGC operates 9 health centers – 7 in the Houston area and 2 in Louisiana. 

In addition to health services, PPGC provides its communities with medically-accurate, comprehensive sexuality education and advocates for access to reproductive health care and accurate sexuality education.

Q. What is it like to operate such a progressive organization in such a conservative environment?
The goal of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is to protect the health of our community. We accomplish this by protecting access to health care and by providing medical information and a wide range of health care services including: annual well-woman exams, birth control, vasectomies*, HPV vaccine, emergency contraception, pap tests (cervical cancer screening), information about abortion, abortion care*, STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, HIV testing and counseling, menopause services and hormone replacement therapy, urinary tract infection treatment, breast exams, pregnancy options information, sexual health education and diagnosis and treatment of abnormal pap tests and more.

Although there are those who oppose Planned Parenthood, we can all agree everyone deserves affordable, good health care regardless of income level.

*Abortion and vasectomy services are provided by Planned Parenthood Center for Choice.  Texas law requires that abortion services to be provided by a separate corporation from family planning services.

Q. Where does PPGC get its funding?
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast operating revenues as of 2012 were as follows:

  • 46% Government Contracts for Health Services (for low-income and income eligible women)
  • 38% Client Fees for health services
  • 16% Fundraising

Q. What is the breakdown of the services you provide?
Please take a look at our Health Care for the Community page.

Q: What does Planned Parenthood do with the tax dollars they receive?
Nationally, Planned Parenthood’s doctors and nurses provide preventive care to three million people a year. The effort to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any federal funds would shatter the country’s public health safety net and jeopardize women’s health. Without Planned Parenthood’s 800-plus health centers, millions of women will have no place to go for basic, preventive health care. In fact, 73 percent of Planned Parenthood health centers are in a rural or medically underserved area.

Planned Parenthood plays a vital role in securing the health of women, especially those who have few resources. More than 90 percent of our work consists of family planning and preventive health services.

Every year, the doctors and nurses in our 800-plus health centers provide:

*affordable contraception for nearly 2.5 million patients
*nearly 1 million cervical cancer screenings
*830,000 million breast exams
*nearly 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including a half million HIV tests

Planned Parenthood helps save taxpayers money. We know from experience that public investments in family planning and preventive health care pay for themselves. Every dollar invested in family planning saves nearly $4 down the line.

Planned Parenthood saves lives. Our services also provide a lifeline for millions of women who lack other sources of basic health care. Six in ten patients who receive care at a women’s health center like Planned Parenthood consider it their main source of health care. If Planned Parenthood didn’t receive this funding for health services millions would have to search for a provider of these lifesaving services they need. 

Q:  Why should citizens who oppose abortion have their tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood?
First and foremost, Planned Parenthood does more than any other organization in the United States to prevent abortions.  Planned Parenthood is the single largest provider of birth control and family planning and sex education in the United States. 

Second, the idea that tax dollars fund abortion is not true.  For more than 30 years, federal tax dollars have not funded abortions in the United States except in the rarest of cases, and Planned Parenthood is subject to routine audits to ensure that public and charitable funds are being used in compliance with the law. 

Every dollar from the federal government that Planned Parenthood receives pays for lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, family planning visits, annual exams, testing for HIV and other STIs, and other kinds of basic care. 

Anyone who wants to decrease the number of abortions in the United States should join with Planned Parenthood in ensuring that women and families have access to family planning and birth control, the best way to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion.  We can all agree on that.

Q:  Why doesn’t Planned Parenthood just split into two separate groups, one that provides abortions, and one that provides everything else?
Health care should be streamlined and coordinated, so women can go to a trusted health care provider that provides the full range of reproductive health care.  Planned Parenthood’s health centers are like hospitals that receive payments from public coverage programs like Medicaid and Medicare for specific medical visits, treatments, and procedures. 

Like Planned Parenthood, some hospitals provide reproductive health care — and safe, legal abortion is part of that.  No one is proposing to bar hospitals from receiving federal reimbursement for visits, treatments, and procedures.  Why should it be any different for Planned Parenthood? 

Reimbursement to Planned Parenthood from federal health coverage programs provides preventive health care to millions of women, and it reduces the burden of unplanned pregnancy in our country.   

For information about abortion services, visit the Planned Parenthood Center for Choice website.

Other Resources:

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
Guttmacher Institute
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
Teenwire
Child Trends
Texas Department of State Health Services


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