Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Social Work

First Advisor

Linda Schmidt

Second Advisor

Amber Jenkins


Planned Parenthood, state, funding, government, health care


The United States of America prides itself on being the land of the free. A country where there is equal opportunity and everyone has a shot at the American Dream. However, America is one of the only well-developed nations that does not provide universal healthcare for all of its’ citizens. Private insurance companies dominate the healthcare system with their high deductibles and strict restrictions on coverage. As a result of the lack of access to affordable healthcare, there are health disparities across the country. Health disparities affect low-income families the most because low-income families tend to be uninsured (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).

In particular, women of color tend to use minimal cost or no cost alternatives to health care, more than other racial demographics. Planned Parenthood believes it is every individual's fundamental right to have access to health care services, no matter their race or class. However, because Planned Parenthood relies heavily on federal and state funding, there are disparities among the states on what services the organization can offer. Additionally, state restrictions surrounding preventive health care centers greatly affect the services Planned Parenthood can offer. The Planned Parenthood centers that receive an adequate amount of funding tend to thrive, which ultimately has a positive effect on the community the Planned Parenthood center is located in; whereas, states that do not provide Planned Parenthood with adequate funding, tend to show more negative outcomes. Consequently, because of the differences among state funding, every person in the country doesn’t have access to the same services from Planned Parenthood. Since, the existence of the non-profit organization, it has served millions of Americans across the nation, with over 600 clinics (Planned Parenthood, 2017). However, the current political gridlock, regarding whether to defund Planned Parenthood is now threatening Planned Parenthood’s viability and ability to serve the community that needs them the most.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted