Outrage over the Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood has spurred talk about its abortion services - a politically controversial part of its program that only accounts for 3 percent of its patient care.
With so much dialogue in the news, it's worthwhile to explain what exactly Planned Parenthood does.
The leading breast cancer advocacy group in the country, Komen's decision has incited protest online and by politicians all week. While the president of the organization, Nancy G. Brinker, said Thursday the choice had nothing to do with abortion or politics, a board member for the leading breast cancer advocacy group told The New York Times on Wednesday that Komen was worried its abortion services would turn off donors. On their Web site, Planned Parenthood attributes the cut to pressure from anti-women's organizations.
According to a graph from the 2010 annual report (below), abortion services account for 3 percent of the patient care provided by the women's health services organization. The majority of the services go towards contraception and testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections--33.5 percent and 38 percent respectively.
Cancer screening and prevention, what Komen funds, account for 14.5 percent of Planned Parenthood's services. Other Women's Health services account for 10.4 percent.
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Of the total 11,003,366 services Planned Parenthood funded, 329,445 were abortion-related. Over 4 million STD and STI tests were conducted for both men and women and about 1.5 million pap tests, HPV vaccinations, breast exams and other types of cancer screening were performed in 2010.
Planned Parenthood estimates it avert 584,000 unintended pregnancies every year, according to their website. Most--76 percent--have incomes at or below 150 percent of the poverty level.
As The Washington Post wrote in 2009 article about budget conflicts, the fight over Planned Parenthood might be about abortion, (but) Planned Parenthood itself isn't about abortion. Cuts to funding mostly affect poorer people, who don't have the means to get more expensive cancer screenings and contraception elsewhere.
The annual report, including the below graph, can be found here.
2010 Affiliate Medical Services Summary