According to Karen Rowley, who oversees several Planned Parenthood-affiliated health centers in California's Fresno area, clinics are already turning away patients because of the overwhelming demand for services. Losing all federal funding would further exacerbate the problem.
The national organization has painted a picture that is even more dire -- 63 percent of its health centers would be at risk for shutting down altogether if H.R. 1 passes, the group says.
What Do Critics Say About Cutting Planned Parenthoods Federal Funds?
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in D.C., presents a different view.
Chuck Donovan, a senior research fellow at the foundation, says Planned Parenthood has significant income beyond federal funding, citing a 2010 GAO report indicating the organization's income was $388 million between 2002 and 2007. "They can afford to join in the belt-tightening that is happening all across the country," he said.
As for the other health centers that would be affected by Title X cuts, Donovan said that supporting family planning through tax rebates or vouchers, rather than a categorical funding program with an established mandate, would be a better option.
"Our preference is to fund health care through things that give individuals choice," he said.
Pence has acknowledged that health centers use Title X money to perform valuable services that he supports, but he contends that the funds are also being used to support abortions indirectly by covering operating costs and other related expenses for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
"Eliminating Title X funding has never been my goal," he said on the floor Thursday. "My focus has and will remain on denying taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood or any organization that provides or promotes abortion as a means of birth control."
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent news service and a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare policy research organization. Neither Kaiser Health News nor the foundation is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.