They are essential health care provider simply because they do not require health insurance of any real type. Teenagers can get condoms and free birth control when their parents do not provide this type to them.They provide shelter for young pregnant women who have been disowned. Without family planning clinics, a lot of young pregnant teenagers would be out on the streets.
I think when answering this question we have to look at all of what health care encompasses. It's not simple runny noses and tummy aches. Modern day health care involves is not just reactive, but preventative. And because of how women's health issues evolved slowly over time, family planning centers have taken on the burden of dealing with women's health issues and thus are very important to 50% of our population.
Family planning clinics are essential health care providers in this day and age. Family planning clinics encompass not just birth control services, but also women's health services. This country is in the middle of healthcare reform, but until all people have access to all healthcare services, we need family planning clinics. Their STD screenings, cancer screenings, and general services performed for women (PAP smears, etc.) are much more affordable than at specialist's offices. ALL women should have the right to affordable, essential health care.
Family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, are poor excuses for health care providers. They provide poor health care and should not even be allowed to be open. When I was younger, I went to Planned Parenthood to receive birth control because I did not have health insurance. They charged me $380 to receive Depo Provera and did not give me a pregnancy test. Being young and naive, I trusted that they knew what they were doing. What I did not know is that I had already been pregnant. Had they tested me, they would have found the pregnancy hormone. Because of their negligence, my pregnancy was put at risk. This is why I believe these types of clinics should be banned.