Planned Parenthood is an organization that was founded in 1939 as the Birth Control Federation of America. In 1942, the name of the organization was officially changed, but the mission remained the same. The organization works to provide care for pregnant women, to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and to ensure that every child is a wanted child. This organization has over 860 health centers around the United States.
Although many people associate Planned Parenthood with abortions, the organization actually offers many more services. Abortions are available at many centers, but the organization prefers to prevent abortions by offering birth control and sexual education. The organization serves women of all classes, accepting donations from those who can afford them. No woman in need of services will be turned away from a facility.
One of the largest services that the organization provides is family planning, conducted through couples counseling and medical care for women. Women are made aware of numerous birth control options, and are given regular checkups to ensure that they are healthy. Family planning services include hormonal birth control, condoms, spermicides, and other options designed to prevent pregnancy. In addition, Planned Parenthood also performs screenings for sexually transmitted infections, as part of its greater health mission. Both men and women are eligible for this service.
If a woman discovers that she is pregnant, Planned Parenthood can offer prenatal care and referrals to other physicians in the case of complications. For low-income women with normal pregnancies, it is an excellent option for high quality prenatal care, and the organization also offers postnatal checkups as well. It can also refer women to adoption agencies or offer an abortion, along with pregnancy counseling.
One of the most vital Planned Parenthood services is counseling. Staff members talk to women about sexual health, pregnancy, and other issues unique to women's health. With the support of a counselor, a woman can make informed choices about her life. Although the organization is pro-choice, it aims to be neutral, providing a safe space for women of all orientations and beliefs, and clients will never be pushed into a choice. Planned Parenthood also values confidentiality, and works hard to protect the identities of its clients and staff members.