Planned Parenthood Protects Women

Alexia Gardner, Kate Seed

President Donald Trump often spoke of defunding Planned Parenthood during his campaign and Vice President Mike Pence repeatedly introduced legislation that would ban abortion-providing entities during his time in Congress, but the terror of the war on women truly struck when America elected these men to run our country.

It is unfortunate that our President, as well as many conservative Republicans, see Planned Parenthood as an evil program. In addition to providing safe, affordable abortions and birth control, Planned Parenthood provides over 270,000 pap tests (a test to check for cervical cancer), and 360,000 breast exams per year which are critical in detecting breast cancer. Some clinics also offer general health care such as high blood pressure screenings, tetanus vaccines, and thyroid screening.

Although President Trump is aware of the benefits this program provides, he continues to oppose the use of public funds to promote or fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood. They don’t believe in the funding of an establishment that provides abortions, but according to Planned Parenthood the funds given aren’t even used on abortions.

 In a Republican debate in Houston, President Trump said, “I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. I don’t know what percentage it is. They say it’s 3 percent. But I would defund it, because I’m pro-life. But millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.”

Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina shared the same opinion as Trump. She said, “[Abortion] isn’t about ‘choice.’ It’s about profiting on the death of the unborn while telling women it’s about empowerment.”

Defunding these clinics will be unsafe for the 2.5 million men and women in the US who visit per year. According to the Pro-Life Action League statistics, Planned Parenthood performed about 324,000 abortions which is about 31 percent of all abortions. They want the defunding of this health care center immediately, but they don’t realize that denying women the access to safe abortions does not stop abortions from happening, it only stops the safe ones. Illegal and unsafe abortions cost the lives of women everywhere.

Defunding this establishment has become a part of the Republican platform. Even though Republican voters were informed about Trump’s plans for Planned Parenthood, they didn’t pay close enough attention. Now, they may regret voting for him because he will take away a health facility that offered low cost health care for women.

 “My vote for Trump was not a vote against Planned Parenthood. I voted for him based on the issues he campaigned on: creating jobs, making healthcare more affordable, and making our country great again,” Melody Forbes, a journalist for USA Today, said.

“I’m hopeful that Trump will see that defunding Planned Parenthood is the kind of campaign promise he shouldn’t keep,” she stated. “I’m grateful that Planned Parenthood was there for me, and I want it to be there for every woman who needs it.”

Those against the funding of Planned Parenthood have their reasons. For starters, some believe life starts at conception and the fetus, or baby, as they call it, would feel the pain as the abortion occurs. They argue that there are other methods besides abortion that could help the mother out if she didn’t want the child, such as adoption. However, the argument of the mother just giving the kid up for adoption is absurd. As of 2014 there are 415,129 children in foster care. Once these kids “age-out” of the system most of them have nowhere to go. The argument telling these women it is their responsibility to give birth is absurd as well. The children born due to denied abortions face neglect from their mothers and require assistance from the government such as welfare. Dr. Henry P. David said, “[Those children] felt more rejected by their mothers than did the matched-pairs; and relationships with parents deteriorated over time.”

Another argument against Planned Parenthood includes the mental health risks of abortions. According to the Pro-Life Action League, the psychological risks of a woman having an abortion include disorders such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunctions, and suicide. Scientific research shows that having an abortion does not increase the risk of a woman to suffer from these mental illnesses. While abortion may be an emotional experience, Dr. Roch Cantwell, a consultant perinatal psychiatrist said, “Our review shows that abortion is not associated with an increase in mental health problems. Women who are carrying an unwanted pregnancy should be reassured that current evidence shows they are no more likely to experience mental health problems if they decide to have an abortion than if they decide to give birth.”

The Huffington Post states, “Among women hospitalized for serious psychiatric disorders, child relinquishment was reported to be far more distressing than was abortion.”

Kelly Robinson, Planned Parenthood’s deputy national organization director, states, “We won’t back down, we won’t be silenced, and we will not let these politicians attack our health and rights without a fight.”- Kelly Robinson, Planned Parenthood’s deputy national organization director

In conclusion, Planned Parenthood provides services for millions who rely on its clinics every year for affordable, quality health care. This facility should be funded because the government should not make the decisions to deny women the right to their own bodies. It is vital to protect the health of everyone.