When you hear the words Planned Parenthood (PP) what is the first thing that goes through your mind? I can
almost bet my last dollar that it was abortion. I know there are people who are pro-choice and there are those that are pro-life, but that isn’t what PP is all about. Whether it is believed or not, PP has a major positive impact on women’s lives, and in 2012 alone, 1,040,000 breast exams and Pap tests were performed. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Women’s Health Office, Pap tests can save lives by detecting signs of cervical cancer and women age 21 to 65 should get Pap tests as part of routine health care. Although it seems to be a hot topic of discussion that PP is just an abortion clinic, those statements simply aren’t true.
In the 2013-2014 fiscal year, 42% of PP’s services were categorized into the STIs and STDs genre, 34% of
services involved contraception, 9% cancer screenings, and only 3% abortion services. The remaining percentages accounted for the “other services” category. Needless to say,
the services provided outside of abortions make up 97% of what PP has to offer women. Now, who does this clinical resource generally help? PP is funded both by Title X and Medicaid which are programs that target low to middle income Americans, and the population that accounts for 79% of received services also comes from the same low to middle class category. So, how are the 42% of STI and STD related cases quantified? In 2012 alone, 4,470,000 tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections were conducted by PP. These treatments are most often given to people who, without PP, would not have been diagnosed and surely not treated. Is this something that should lose funding across the nation? Should Americans be denied a portal of access to STI and STD detection and treatment?
Many people in this particular financial bracket aren’t normally able to receive birth control, but Planned
Parenthood was able to provide 2,130,000 women with birth control services and information in 2012 alone. Some may view contraception as something that shouldn’t be used, but for those who choose to prevent unplanned pregnancies by not allowing conception to occur, PP provides the resources needed. It shouldn’t be considered a crime to want to wait to have a family. People also shouldn’t be restricted from having sex with their significant other simply because they have chosen to not have a child at a particular moment. I would say that it is pretty obvious that not only emotional, but also physical connections exist between couples. To deny that intimacy when there are options to prevent unplanned pregnancy just seems silly. Why should a couple have to eliminate any form of a sex life because they aren’t ready to start a family? Why should the only reason for having an intimate sexual relationship with someone be for procreation?
I understand people having their individual beliefs, and they are very much entitled to that. However, to make someone feel as though they are the worst person on earth for supporting an organization that provides one service they don’t approve of is absurd. I know not all of you will agree with me, but to tell a woman she can’t make a decision about where she chooses to go to receive information and treatment concerning her own sexual health is not right. Also, to intrude on someone’s personal choices, such as in the event of an abortion, is not only rude, but also places undue burden on that woman. If anyone can think that someone can undergo an abortion without feeling remorse or extreme sadness then they really don’t understand the situation. No one has ever been angry or picketed in front of a fast food restaurant because parents choose to let their kids eat unhealthy foods. Just as it’s not everyone’s job to tell someone how to raise their children or life their life, what a woman chooses to do behind closed doors is her business, and it’s not anyone else’s right to make her feel worse about an already difficult situation.
Those who are attempting to “defund” Planned Parenthood are hoping that the organization will lose the funding and that it will be directed to other qualified organizations to provide women’s health care services. Although this was a very turbulent time, the bill was not passed through the Senate, and PP was not denied their funding. Something I don’t think people realize is that Planned Parenthood isn’t just another abortion clinic; they offer so many life-changing services to those in need. Just looking at the personal stories from those who have visited Planned Parenthood will more than prove that PP has not only a positive goal, but creates a bright outlook for women across the nation.