Does Planned Parenthood actually provide health care to poor women?
My sister claims that PP is the primary health care provider of poor women. Well, this seems fatuous on its face. For one thing, most poor women tend to go to clinics provided by cities and counties and hospitals and not to the PP office. Also, though reproductive health issues are important, they are hardly the only health care issues of poor women. Also, as a subset, poor women, I would guess, are more fervently anti-abortion than are middle- and upper-class women. But maybe I'm wrong. Anyone know exactly what services PP provides? And the mechanism they use for providing them?
Answer by Diane Ellis
From the Planned Parenthood website:
General health care services vary by location. They may include
- anemia testing
- cholesterol screening
- diabetes screening
- physical exams, including for employment and sports
- flu vaccines
- help with quitting smoking
- high blood pressure screening
- tetanus vaccines
- thyroid screening
Planned Parenthood health centers also offer sexual and reproductive health services.
I learned that PP also provides services for men:
Services offered at Planned Parenthood health centers vary by location. Some of the services include
- checkups for reproductive or sexual health problems
- colon cancer screening
- erectile dysfunction services, including education, exams, treatment, and referral
- jock itch exam and treatment
- male infertility screening and referral
- premature ejaculation services, including education, exams, treatment, and referral
- routine physical exams
- testicular cancer screenings
- prostate cancer screenings
- urinary tract infections testing and treatment
Answer by Tom Lindholtz
Check out this YouTube video that gives the lie to what they claim.
Answer by Ottoman Umpire
There's been a trend toward the use of Ob/Gyns as primary care doctors , "particularly for advice on reproductive health, behavioral health, and injury prevention topics" . So, it's not terribly surprising if some of Planned Parenthood's 3 million clientele  will also ask about other medical matters in the course of pursuing birth control, even it Planned Parenthood's not terribly equipped to do it.
1. Some proportion of 3 million women -- let's generously say 1 million -- who are both poor and who use Planned Parenthood as their main medical resources could not amount to a large proportion of poor women in the U.S. So, your sister seems to have an exaggerated view of Planned Parenthood's role.
2. If they weren't going to Planned Parenthood, they'd go somewhere else.
3. Just because Planned Parenthood may provide some semblance of medical services doesn't mean it's system that should be preserved. Millions of Americans probably get legal advice from their bartenders, but that doesn't turn bartenders into pillars of the legal community.
 Scholle SH and Kelleher K, "Assessing Primary Care Performance in an Obstetrics/Gynecology Clinic," Women's Health, 2003; 37:15-30.
 Planned Parenthood's own numbers, from http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/statement-cecile-richards-president-planned-parenthood-federation-america-passage-pence-bill-el-36226.htm