#FemTrending: The Truth About Planned Parenthood

#FemTrending is a blog series with a feminist kick that wades into the waters of things "trending" in popular culture and politics. Written by GS&NS Digital Content Coordinator, Hailie Johnson-Waskow.


On November 27, Robert Lewis Dear entered a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic. He was heavily armed and wearing a homemade vest of duct tape and silver coins. Dear managed to kill a police officer and two civilians under the justification that he was a “warrior for babies”; a reference to the connotation of Planned Parenthood as primarily an abortion clinic.

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This is problematic for a myriad of reasons; however, this blog post will largely focus of the reasoning behind the shooting. There is a large misconception that Planned Parenthood is solely an abortion clinic and (while there is a lot of arguments that would be beneficial anyways) this is incredibly damaging to the institution.

The largest problem with this misconception is that it ignores a large portion of what the clinic actually does. The Wall Street Journal explains in their article 5 Things to Know About Planned Parenthood, “Abortions made up 3% of Planned Parenthood’s and its affiliated health centers’ patient care services…” indicating that a miniscule amount of their operations are devoted to abortions.

In fact, as shown in the chart above, their largest care is for STD/STI treatment. For many, a treatment that would otherwise not occur. For many, they provide contraceptives that, without it, would result in more abortions.

The bottom line is, it is time to give Planned Parenthood the credit they’re due. They do controversial (I would say beneficial) work with abortions. However, they are so much more than that. They provide necessary care to men and women that would otherwise be inaccessible. And, every day, they put their lives in danger. When tragedies like the November 27th shooting occur, it is time to reflect on the amazing work of those who were lost.

Hailie Johnson-Waskow