At the center of Friday’s federal budget debate is the funding of Planned Parenthood.
Republicans are pushing Democrats to cut spending to the family planning organization.
Planned Parenthood provides family planning services including contraceptives, breast exams, vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases, and Pap smears. The organization also provides two services that Republicans are traditionally opposed to: abortions and emergency contraceptives.
According to reports, the budget debate is now down to Republicans not wanting to fund Planned Parenthood, while Democrats hope to avoid cutting federal funding to the organization. Neither side is willing to compromise on the issue.
Federal funds allocated to Planned Parenthood are only used for women’s health services, despite offering controversial family planning methods. Health services include critical annual exams and breast screenings. No federal funds are allowed to be used to finance abortions or emergency contraception.
Opened by Margaret Sanger and her sister in 1916, when women were banned from using contraceptives, Planned Parenthood was the first birth control clinic in the United States. Sanger helped expand the use of contraceptives and raise awareness about women’s health issues.
Today, the organization operates more than 800 centers nationwide, 70% of which are located in traditionally under-served, rural areas.