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New York, NY — Today, the Guttmacher Institute released a new study outlining the critical role that publicly funded family planning providers play in providing a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services to millions of people in the U.S. The nationally representative survey also shows that many providers improved the scope and accessibility of their services between 2010 and 2015.


“Publicly funded family planning providers like Planned Parenthood are a critical part of this country's health care infrastructure,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “This study shows that family planning providers including Planned Parenthood are at the cutting edge of providing expert women's health care and ensuring that people have access to the full range of contraceptive options, including highly effective methods like IUDs and implants. Planned Parenthood is proud to be leading the effort to provide and protect access to this critical health care."


Planned Parenthood plays an outsized role in meeting the health care needs for those who rely on federally­ funded health programs. Although Planned Parenthood health centers comprise 10 percent of all publicly funded family planning centers, they serve 36 percent of all clients who obtain care from the family planning health center network.


Today’s study, “Publicly Funded Family Planning Clinics in 2015: Patterns and Trends in Service Delivery Practices and Protocols” by Mia R. Zolna and Jennifer J. Frost, shows that in addition to providing critical contraceptive, sexual, and reproductive health and other preventive health services to poor and low-income women, publicly funded family planning clinics have successfully responded to a changing health care landscape by making family planning and other services even more accessible in their communities:

  • Compared with 2010, in 2015 a significantly greater proportion of family planning clinics offered a wide range of contraceptive methods on-site, including long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods. More than half (59%) of clinics offered the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods.

  • Planned Parenthood clinics were significantly more likely than any other clinic type to offer a broad range of contraceptive options on-site, including LARC methods, and to make it easy for women to obtain and start their chosen method.

  • Between 2010 and 2015, more clinics were able to offer same-day appointments, and the average wait time for appointments was shorter in 2015 than in 2010.

  • Clinics were more likely to offer noncontraceptive services in 2015, such as primary care services, diabetes screening and mental health screening.

  • Clinics that receive at least some funding through the federal Title X program — the only federal program devoted to providing family planning services to low-income and underserved women — were more likely than clinics that do not receive such funds to offer a wider range of contraceptive methods on-site.

  • Compared with clinics that provide family planning services in a broader primary care context, clinics that specialize in reproductive health care were significantly more likely to have protocols in place to facilitate women’s timely access to and continuation of a wide range of contraceptive methods, including dispensing oral contraceptive supplies at the clinic and same-day insertion of IUDs and implants.

  • Between 2010 and 2015, the proportion of clinics reporting contracts with private health plans and with Medicaid at least doubled, suggesting that health insurers recognize the value of including safety-net family planning providers in their networks.


“These data show that family planning clinics provide indispensable access to high-quality contraceptive and related services,” said Kinsey Hasstedt, senior policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute. “It is also clear that clinics that focus on reproductive health are better equipped to deliver quality, timely contraceptive care to the greatest number of women. Policymakers should put ideology aside and ensure these providers have the resources and support they need to be able to continue delivering critical services to the communities that rely on them.”


With nearly 650 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood works every day to provides sexual and reproductive health care, education, and outreach to nearly five million women, men, and adolescents worldwide in a single year — more than half of whom are people of color.


Planned Parenthood knows firsthand the transformative effect that access to family planning and preventive care has on people’s lives — we see it every day in our patients and supporters,” said Richards. “Every person should have the ability to keep themselves healthy, plan their families, and pursue their life goals. That’s why we work every day to ensure that people have access to the services they need, no matter who they are or where they live.”


Further reading:


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate, serving 2.5 million patients annually through its health care service providers, and 1.5 million more through educational programs and outreach. Visit plannedparenthood.org to learn more.


Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


November 22, 2016