The Trump administration's budget proposal for 2018 aims to prevent any organisation that provides abortions from receiving federal funding. Considering almost half of Planned Parenthood's annual revenue comes from government grants and reimbursements, the plan would have detrimental effects if approved by Congress.
Hidden in the appendix of President Trump's proposed budget is a clause stating that no federal funds will go to entities that perform abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life. The Hyde Amendment already prevents government money from paying for abortion procedures. If a health clinic offers abortion services or gives any money to other organisations that perform abortions, Trump's budget plan goes much further to withhold funds that would otherwise pay for low-income men and women's birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings.
Many of the women who rely on Planned Parenthood's services don't have anywhere else to go, said Kevin Griffis, Planned Parenthood's vice president of communication.
"The heartbreaking truth is that if this budget were enacted, the results would be catastrophic for countless women and their families — cancers and diseases going undetected, higher maternal mortality and more unintended pregnancies," Griffis said in a statement to Refinery29.
Because such a large percentage of Planned Parenthood patients rely on government assistance to pay for health care, 43% of its revenue in the 2014-2015 fiscal year was from health services grants and reimbursements. The 2014-2015 annual report also says the organisation's total revenue for the year was almost $1.3 billion (£1.04 billion) , meaning the loss of Medicaid and Title X patients could amount to Planned Parenthood losing about $559 million (£447 million) a year.
Roughly 2.5 million Americans go to Planned Parenthood clinics each year, 60% of whom have their health services covered by Medicaid or Title X family planning money, according to the organisation's website. Essentially, if the budget proposal is approved, about 1.5 million Planned Parenthood patients will have to go somewhere else for care if its clinics no longer receive federal funds.
Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens called the budget proposal "the worst budget for women and women’s health in a generation" in a statement on Monday.
After Trump was elected president, donations to Planned Parenthood spiked (some satirically given in Mike Pence's name), but this proposed change couldn't be totally rectified by private donations. Of course, financially supporting organisations you believe in is never a bad idea, but raising $559 million would not be easy. And it would need to happen every year.