In 2016, more than 44 million people in the United States lived without health care (Key Facts). With insurance prices rising, it can be difficult for people to gain access to basic health related necessities such as STD testing or access to birth control. Planned Parenthood is a government funded organization that attempts to provide people with access to these basic necessities with little to no cost. Under the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood provides a majority of services to those who cannot afford it because they value health and awareness over things of monetary value (Planned Parenthood). For many, “… who receive care from a family planning center like Planned Parenthood, nearly 4 in 10 report that it is their only source of health care.” (Four reasons Planned Parenthood is an essential healthcare provider).
Planned Parenthood’s groundwork was laid in 1916 by a woman named Margaret Sanger, when she opened the first birth control clinic in 1916. Although she didn’t coin the actual organization, she initiated the first step in women’s health care regarding the issue of birth control in the United States at the time. Back in the early 1900’s, the discussion of birth control was actually illegal under the “Comstock Law” (Planned Parenthood). These laws were implemented in 1872 by a man named Anthony Comstock, who wanted to ban all forms of contraceptives. These laws also became known as the “Chastity Laws” because of the extent of how strict and unfair they were (“Anthony Comstock’s ‘Chastity’ Laws.”). In 1936, these laws were finally repealed in a large trial with Sanger. With the help of a few other organizations and fundraisers, Planned Parenthood officially became Planned Parenthood in 1942, with the title “Planned Parenthood Federation of America” (Planned Parenthood). It wasn’t until 1973 that the United States Supreme Court deemed abortion to be the woman’s decision, in the case Roe v. Wade. A year later, Planned Parenthood began offering abortion services in the small amount of clinics that they had at the time (Planned Parenthood).
Not only does Planned Parenthood provide access to health care to a wide variety of people, but they also strive to spread awareness through their various platforms. They stay up to date on their social media pages, providing people with information about things ranging from political issues to learning the anatomy of one’s own body. The organization pushes for equality and acceptance, as can be derived from their social media posts. A core value that can be seen through their platforms is awareness and education. On their Youtube channel they provide a plethora of educational videos regarding men and women’s health (“Planned Parenthood”). On their Twitter page, they are constantly resharing articles about recent political or social occurrences, such as the Kavanaugh trial, where they expressed their frustration with how people were treating Dr. Ford in the trial (Parenthood, Planned). Their core values are demonstrated through their actions, such as their presence at the Women’s March of Oklahoma in 2017. Not only do they post about the issues, they actually go out and participate in them and attempt to evoke change.
There is often a negative stigma that is associated with Planned Parenthood, which has been mainly implemented by pro-life supporters who believe that all Planned Parenthood does is abortion. However, this is a very large and incorrect misconception. Abortion is only one of the many services that Planned Parenthood provides. They have a wide range of services including but not limited to; birth control, emergency contraception, STD/HIV testing, vaccinations, men’s health services, and more (Planned Parenthood). There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the morals of this organization as a whole, especially in 2015 when a video was released of a high rank member of Planned Parenthood allegedly admitting that they illegally sold the specimen of aborted fetus’ to science. This sparked a tremendous amount of conflict across the country, and more people began turning against Planned Parenthood (Fandos). However, Planned Parenthood defended these accusations by stating that the woman in the video was discussing the legal process of which fetal tissue was sold after the donor’s consent. Regardless, this event placed Planned Parenthood in a lot of hot water, and because of it, a lot of United States citizens wanted to revoke it’s government funding (Fandos). People can often be seen protesting outside of Planned Parenthood facilities all over the country, and verbally attacking people who enter the building. There is a facility in Northern Oklahoma City where anti-abortion protestors are present almost every day.
- “Anthony Comstock’s ‘Chastity’ Laws.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service,
- Fandos, Nicholas. “Justice Dept. Investigating Fetal Tissue Transfers by Planned Parenthood and
- Others.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 8 Dec. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/12/08/us/politics/planned-parenthood-fetal-tissue-transfers-federal-investigation.html.
- “Four Reasons Planned Parenthood Is an Essential Health Care Provider.” Families USA, 12
- June 2017, familiesusa.org/blog/2017/01/four-reasons-planned-parenthood-essential-health-care-provider.
- “Key Facts about the Uninsured Population.” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, The
- Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 11 June 2018, www.kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/.
- Planned Parenthood. “About Health Insurance | ACA Laws Status.” Planned Parenthood,
- Parenthood, Planned. “The Unfortunate Reality Is That Many Sexual Assault Survivors Who
- Come Forward Suffer Further Hurt & Humiliation by Having Their Story Dismissed, Their Integrity Doubted, or Their Motives Questioned. That’s Why It’s Important to Listen and #BelieveSurvivors. #KavanaughHearings.” Twitter, Twitter, 27 Sept. 2018, twitter.com/PPFA/status/1045399170058768384.
- ‘Planned Parenthood’ YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2018.