Political lens of the defunding of planned parenthood

Introduction

Planned Parenthood is one of the top leading health care providers, consists of skilled professionals as well as high-quality, affordable medical care. According to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) fact sheet, Planned Parenthood offers reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide. (2017). Recently, many Planned Parenthood healthcare facilities have been shutting down due to the elimination of funds, provided by the federal government. “The Planned Parenthood defunding goes beyond previous GOP (Republican) restrictions aimed at the group, which supports abortion rights and has long been the object of government shutdown fights. The organization would be cut off from all forms of federal funding, including Medicaid, Title X and maternal health programs.” (Haberkorn & Ferris, 2018). For many years politicians, have been active in trying to shut down Planned Parenthood, such actions are putting the lives of millions of people at risk, especially minorities. According to the Center Medicare Advocacy (CMA), a national nonprofit, law organization that provides education and legal assistance to older people and people with disabilities, states, racial and ethnic disparities in health comprise a board spectrum of issues and include, among other things, inequality in access to health care providers, poor health care outcomes when services are received and an underutilization of preventive services (n.d.). Planned Parenthood provides more than three million patients with vital preventive health services. Eliminating Planned Parenthood would create an imbalance for low-income underinsured and uninsured individuals. By defunding Planned Parenthood, politicians would be putting the lives of millions of Americans at risk.

Millions Rely on Planned Parenthood for Health Services

Planned Parenthood provides more than three million patients with vital preventative health services, this means three million and more people in the United States go to Planned Parenthood to receive services such as regular checkups, exams and treatments. In 2015, Planned Parenthood health centers saw 2.4 million patients and provided more than 4.2 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, more than 320,000 breast exams, nearly 295,000 Pap tests, and birth control to nearly two million women. (PPFA,2017). Planned Parenthood leads the country with the most up-to-date medical standards and guidelines for reproductive health care and uses clinical research to advance health care delivery to reach more people in need of care. (PPFA,2017). According to Jennifer J. Frost a principle research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute who spend the last two decades studying contraceptive use, access to reproductive health care and many more concurs that for many women, Planned Parenthood health centers are their main source of primary and reproductive health care. Research has shown that four in ten (41%) patients rely on a family planning clinic as their only recent source for health care services. (2012). This shows that Planned Parenthood is also used to provide health care services to whole families not just individuals. Susan Wood, a research professor at Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services also found similar findings as Dr. Frost, in a study of community health centers (CHCs), over two-thirds (69%) reported referring their patients to family planning providers, like Planned Parenthood health centers, for family planning care. (2013). Frost and Wood both concluded that Planned Parenthood provide families with vital heath care services more than other community health centers.

Imbalance between Underinsured and Uninsured Individuals

The defunding of Planned Parenthood would cause a distress to the underinsured and uninsured individuals, this would hurt the low-income communities, resulting in more poverty, diseases and deaths than ever before. According to Planned Parenthood fact sheet, because two-thirds of Planned Parenthood patients are at or below the federal poverty level and approximately 60 percent of Planned Parenthood patients access care through Medicaid and/or the Title X family planning program, defunding Planned Parenthood would disproportionately impact low-income and underinsured or uninsured women. (2016). The impact of Medicaid and or Title X is highly critical, it supplies preventive health care to those who are most in need, and it has beneficial results when health care providers such as Planned Parenthood are kept open. Title X saves taxpayers money. For every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning programs like Title X, the government saves $7.09 in Medicaid-related costs. In 2010, state and federal governments saved $13.6 billion from publicly funded family planning programs, including seven billion from Title X-funded health centers alone. (PPFA). Thus, health center providers like Planned Parenthood and others saves money not just in governments pockets, but the citizens as well. Planned Parenthood provides equal quality health to those underinsured and uninsured individuals unlike other local community health centers. Stated by, Debra L. Ness the president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, “Defunding Planned Parenthood is political interference that would limit the ability of physicians and patients to make shared health care decisions based on patients’ health and needs rather than insurance coverage or payment capabilities.” (2017). Thus, that the governments involvement would violate doctor-patient trust.

Politicians are Playing A Dangerous Game

Planned Parenthood provides so much to poverty-based communities, the shutting down of Planned Parenthood would result in deaths in the low-incomes communities. According to the National Partnership of Women and Families (NPWF), Anti-abortion members of Congress are determined to cut off access to care at Planned Parenthood by excluding the organization and its 650 U.S. health centers from the Medicaid program. When it comes to choosing a health care provider, Planned Parenthood is the first choice for women, men and young people from many communities and every income level. (2017). This shows congress active role in trying to defund Planned Parenthood is going to cause damage, its cause individuals, those of low-income to be not able to get and or to receive basic health care. Defunding Planned Parenthood would have health and then long-term effects on women’s ability to decide when to become a parent. Planned Parenthood’s services prevent nearly 600,000 unintended pregnancies every year. (Planned Parenthood,2016). According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)Women of color would be specifically at risk, particularly Black and Latina women who face substantially more barriers to accessing quality health care. (2015). As the defunding of Planned Parenthood communities many women, minority women are going to heavily-impacted as a result to this the local communities, those mainly minority based, are going to be most likely to revolt and distrust congress. For example, states such as Texas and Indiana they have successfully remove Medicaid funding from the state’s Women’s Health Program which allowed them to basically, legally defund Planned Parenthood health centers. As a result, in Texas maternal mortality rates drastically increased from 72 to 148 between 2010 and 2012 due to pregnancy and childbirth complications. (PPFA, n.d.). Furthermore, in Indiana due the closing of Planned Parenthood 24,000 residents were not tested for HIV, this closure resulted in a disaster for the county, in 2015, an HIV outbreak overtook the county because residents were sharing opioid needles and were not getting tested. (PPFA, n.d.) Due to Planned Parenthood shutting down in Texas and Indiana both states are being impacted negatively.

Conclusion

It is evident that the defunding of Planned Parenthood would greatly affect millions of people, a mass majority of them begin minorities, women monitories in fact, that are in poverty and some below the poverty line would experience serious health complications, as well as men, and children. Planned Parenthood provides more than three million patients with vital preventative health services, provides underinsured and uninsured individuals with quality health care services and saves the state and the federal government tons of money.

References

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