What is Planned Parenthood?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Planned Parenthood is an organization that was founded in 1939 as the Birth Control Federation of America. In 1942, the name of the organization was officially changed, but the mission remained the same. The organization works to provide care for pregnant women, to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and to ensure that every child is a wanted child. This organization has over 860 health centers around the United States.

Planned Parenthood provides couples counseling to those thinking of starting a family.
Planned Parenthood provides couples counseling to those thinking of starting a family.

Although many people associate Planned Parenthood with abortions, the organization actually offers many more services. Abortions are available at many centers, but the organization prefers to prevent abortions by offering birth control and sexual education. The organization serves women of all classes, accepting donations from those who can afford them. No woman in need of services will be turned away from a facility.

Planned Parenthood might offer contraceptives to teens and other sexually active couples who can't afford it.
Planned Parenthood might offer contraceptives to teens and other sexually active couples who can't afford it.

One of the largest services that the organization provides is family planning, conducted through couples counseling and medical care for women. Women are made aware of numerous birth control options, and are given regular checkups to ensure that they are healthy. Family planning services include hormonal birth control, condoms, spermicides, and other options designed to prevent pregnancy. In addition, Planned Parenthood also performs screenings for sexually transmitted infections, as part of its greater health mission. Both men and women are eligible for this service.

Planned Parenthood informs women of all of their birth control options.
Planned Parenthood informs women of all of their birth control options.

If a woman discovers that she is pregnant, Planned Parenthood can offer prenatal care and referrals to other physicians in the case of complications. For low-income women with normal pregnancies, it is an excellent option for high quality prenatal care, and the organization also offers postnatal checkups as well. It can also refer women to adoption agencies or offer an abortion, along with pregnancy counseling.

One of the most vital Planned Parenthood services is counseling. Staff members talk to women about sexual health, pregnancy, and other issues unique to women's health. With the support of a counselor, a woman can make informed choices about her life. Although the organization is pro-choice, it aims to be neutral, providing a safe space for women of all orientations and beliefs, and clients will never be pushed into a choice. Planned Parenthood also values confidentiality, and works hard to protect the identities of its clients and staff members.

Planned parenthood can help low-income women get access to birth control pills.
Planned parenthood can help low-income women get access to birth control pills.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon332536

The state of being wanted or unwanted has no relevance to the humanity of the child. Whether it is a doctor or a "backwoods person with a clothes hanger," the baby is still being killed and dismembered. This is not an issue of women's rights but is in fact, more general and is an issue of human rights.

anon253344

If young girls and women kept their legs closed then there wouldn't be anything to worry about. Sex can wait, masturbate.

anon166557

what is that word called? Responsibility? That's right: be responsible for your actions. Maybe they should show a birth in high school along with an abortion video.

I was raised believing if you make a decision you have to live with it. I don't see credit companies giving credit abortions because people made bad choices when dealing with credit.

If you make a decision to have sex and get pregnant, then you made a decision to become a parent. So there you go. Get a job and raise the child. Abortion is not the answer.

anon166521

An unwanted pregnancy is an unwanted pregnancy and I would much rather all woman have a choice of going to a professional medical person than to a backwoods person with a clothes hanger.

anon77177

why do children hide their pregnancy from their parents.

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