In 2014, the US had a total of 926, 190 abortions (abortion statistics). These numbers are the lowest they have been in 37 years. In 2017, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2017 was introduced in the House of Representatives. This bill prohibits “the availability of federal funds for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.” (H.R.354). This would have a very negative effect on society because more than 2.7 million women and men visit Planned Parenthood health centers annually for health care services and information (why planned parenthood). Planned Parenthood provides many useful services to people who are not able to get the help they need from their health insurance provider. Also, defunding Planned Parenthood would put its employees out of a job. Lastly, false allegations against Planned Parenthood should not be taken seriously. All in all, the current policies on Planned Parenthood should be refined to enhance liberty because they are, in their current state, an injustice to the American people.
Planned Parenthood is one America’s leading providers of health care and the largest provider of sex education in the world. They believe in the fundamental right of every person to manage his or her fertility, regardless of their income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. They value diversity, privacy, education, safety, support, and reproductive knowledge/understanding. The health center’s main focus, however, is on prevention. About 80 percent of their clients receive health services to prevent unintended pregnancy, which prevents approximately 516,000 unintended pregnancies each year. Along with, they provide pap tests to treat sexually transmitted diseases, breast exams to detect cancer, and education to youth and adults through programs and outreach.In 2015, 2.4 million people relied on approximately 650 Planned Parenthood health centers for reproductive health services. In fact, one fifth of all counties that had a Planned Parenthood clinic did not have any other clinics that provided the same services. Even in the counties where there were other clinics that provided contraceptives, these clinics did not see nearly as many clients as Planned Parenthood (Muchmore 2).
Defunding Planned Parenthood would more than likely cause the organization to fall apart. This would put hundreds of employees out of work and about 600,000 patients would be in need of a new place to receive health services. The funding of Planned Parenthood allows the organization to provide many essential services to low income and uninsured women which is yet another reason why they should not be defunded. These services include STD testing, providing contraception, and cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood has programs to provide contraceptives for free or at almost no cost to the patient (“Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky”). This is a very important thing to consider because in 2009, twenty per3women have nowhere else to go to get reproductive health services at an affordable price simply because there are no other clinics that will provide these services.
The first time Kanisha went to Planned Parenthood, she was 16 years old. She made an appointment because she had “unusually painful, heavy, and long periods” that would sometimes cause her to pass out at school (Kanisha). The provider she spoke with there suggested that she obtain the birth control pill and set a regimen for it. When she started taking it, she experienced side effects like weight gain, nausea, and migraines. So, her Planned Parenthood provider advised her to try the Depo-Provera shot. This is a shot that contains the same pro
1gestin hormone that is in the birth control pill, just in a subcutaneous injection form. But, yet again, she experienced the same side effects. This was around two years later, and by that time she had turned 18. She learned about the IUD, a device that is inserted into the uterus that releases small amounts of the progestin hormone as a way of birth control. She asked her provider if she was eligible to get it and she was, but, she soon found out that her medical insurance did not cover it. She was able to discuss her problem with Planned Parenthood and they were able to offer her affordable care. Without Planned Parenthood, Kanisha would not have been able to afford her birth control, which she needed to control her severe periods. This is yet another reason why Planned Parenthood funding should not be decreased—so other women do not have to face any barriers to getting the appropriate care they need.
Planned Parenthood should not be defunded because the allegation that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit is false. The video campaign by the Center for Medical Progress against Planned Parenthood attempted to provide proof that the organization was selling fetal tissue for profit. However, not only was the footage used in these videos obtained by unethical and possibly illegal methods, but the videos themselves are heavily edited and misleading (McDonald-Mosley 1). Planned Parenthood has been investigated by several congressional committees and cooperated in this investigation by providing tens of thousands of pages of documents and hours of testimony there has been absolutely no evidence found to support the allegations that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit (McDonald-Mosley 1). The truth is there is no evidence to support the allegations against Planned Parenthood and therefore the organization should not be defunded.
The main argument of opponents of Planned Parenthood is that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services but there are several reasons why that should not cause Planned Parenthood to be defunded. The first reason is that abortion services should not cause Planned Parenthood to lose its funding is because they are only three percent of all the services that Planned Parenthood provides (“Planned Parenthood- Services”). Not only that but there are some Planned Parenthood clinics that do not provide abortion services, but were still defunded. An example of this is the clinic in Scott County, Indiana that was closed down in 2013 during one of the first campaigns against Planned Parenthood did not provide abortions. If the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services is the only argument a person has against the organization then they should be able to accept keeping the clinics that do not provide abortions open simply because of the other services they offer such as STD testing, cancer screenings, and access to contraceptives. If someone against Planned Parenthood is concerned about the federal funding because they do not want their tax money going towards abortion, then they do not need to worry. Planned Parenthood does not use any of its federal funding for abortion services.
More of the hate and criticism Planned Parenthood receives is because they perform abortions. Regardless of personal opinions regarding abortion, it is not possible to stop every woman from getting the procedure if they are unprepared to have a child, no matter what programs are defunded. Thousands of women die from unsafe abortions per year and defunding Planned Parenthood would make getting abortions even more difficult to get and likely increase the number of deaths.
Opposers to Planned Parenthood do not consider how the organization also prevents unplanned pregnancies, which in turn, reduces the number of abortions performed. According to the Guttmacher Institute, if Planned Parenthood centers did not provide their services in 2015, the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in the US would have been 15% higher, or almost half a million more.
Overall, the defunding of Planned Parenthood needs to be fought against for several reasons including the negative repercussions for public health. Planned Parenthood is not an organization aimed at killing infants or selling human tissue for profit. It is an organization aimed at prevention, support, and affordability to both men and women, all things there are not enough of in the world lately. They provide so many essential services to uninsured and low-income women. Federal funding allows the organization to continue providing reproductive health services while the costs to provide these services are rising. If they do not have this funding, then more clinics will have to close simply because they cannot afford to continue providing these services. This will have a large impact on the accessibility of contraceptives and STD testing both for women and men. We need to end the campaign against Planned Parenthood before it impacts reproductive health care for women and men of this country.