Standing by Planned Parenthood

Estie Pyper, Contributing Writer

On Sept. 18, the House of Representatives passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood with a vote of 241-187. About a week later, voting 47-52, the Senate rejected the bill. The political and moral debate surrounding Planned Parenthood is far from over. This non-profit organization offers reproductive health as well as general medical healthcare services, and most controversially, performs abortions. Defunding Planned Parenthood is a huge mistake; it breaches the healthcare rights of millions of Americans.

Abortion is the operation at the root of this controversy. Abortion is a legal practice in this country, and Planned Parenthood offers a safe, secure environment for women who need this operation performed. Abortions only comprise a mere three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services. The other 97 percent is made up of important healthcare services that will be lost if this defunding is put into action.

These necessary services include STD/STI testing, cervical cancer screenings, birth control provisions, and other general medical exams such as diabetes and cholesterol screenings. These are low-cost, sometimes free services offered to those who cannot afford to go elsewhere. Programs that provide free health insurance to those in need are also offered. Today, 2.7 million Americans rely on Planned Parenthood for their medical needs. These are usually people at or below the poverty line who can only afford healthcare from this organization.

Planned Parenthood also offers educational programs in reproductive and sexual health for teens and adults. They provide a safe space for teens who cannot get this important information at home. This education leads to smarter choices when it comes to practicing safe sex and other reproductive health concerns.

This organization prides itself in creating a safe space of acceptance for all gender identities. It supports the transgender community, and some clinics are even starting to provide hormone therapy. Over one million teens and adults today use the educational services provided by Planned Parenthood.

Combine these two statistics and you have over four million Americans who are served educationally and medically by Planned Parenthood each year. That’s four million Americans who will be deprived of their healthcare needs if this organization is defunded. Pro-life advocates need to look at the bigger picture and recognize the importance of the services Planned Parenthood provides. Planned Parenthood does not only offer abortion services—it also saves lives.

(Visited 89 times, 1 visits today)