Who Are the 'Poor People' at Planned Parenthood?
This article originally appeared in this issue of the WSR: 2017-04-19

As we follow all the discussions on Planned Parenthood funding in states across the country, one specific concern is always raised. If Planned Parenthood loses its government funding, what will the “poor people” who use Planned Parenthood do?

Planned Parenthood currently claims that 75 percent of its customers have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

There is an image that many get when they picture “poor” Planned Parenthood clients. That image is usually a struggling single mom with several children needing healthcare. We are called on to prevent these poor people from being denied healthcare.

As Planned Parenthood states, a “poor person” is simply an individual or family who has an income that is less than 150 percent of the official federal poverty level. In 2017, that means that any single individual with an income of less than $17,820 a year is a “poor” person.

What most people don’t understand is that, when a high school or college student goes into Planned Parenthood for services, only their individual income is counted. It makes no difference what the students’ parents make. Even if their parents are millionaires, they are considered “poor people.” 

Planned Parenthood says that 75 percent of its clients are at or below the federal poverty level. It also says that 20 percent are under the age of 20. It is estimated that another 40 percent are under the age of 25. Therefore, its primary customers are high school and college students. 

The only services covered under Title X are family planning services. Thus, states that are scrambling to replace Title X federal funding at Planned Parenthood are fighting to support the sex lives of high school and college girls. Make sure your elected officials are aware of this fact when they say they need to fund Planned Parenthood.