In the free-speech area of my campus, the line stretched across the square full of people ready to sign a petition or change their profile picture. Regardless of whether or not they were doing it for the sake of supporting a worthy organization or receive a free pink wafer or condom, hundreds of signatures were gathered that day in Red Square at Western Washington University, as well as campuses across the nation.
It's everywhere -- on campus, around town, on bumper stickers. The bright pink #StandWithPP is becoming a massive campaign in defense of Planned Parenthood, who recently won in court against the state of Utah, who's governor was trying to retract the organization's federal funding after claiming they were illegally selling fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood says the videos are not only doctored, but fetal tissue is used for scientific research and related donations are ethically received.
Defunding Planned Parenthood would restrict access to affordable women's health care and, in turn, patients with low incomes, such as college students, that rely on the organization would lose to access to things beyond condoms and abortions. In fact, abortions are an incredibly small portion of the services offered.
Many of those who stand against Planned Parenthood probably haven't even taken a look at their website. On their homepage there is a tab with a list of all their services, and it stretches far beyond that of abortion. To name a few: Body Image, Men's Sexual Health, Pregnancy, STDs, Sexual Orientation and Gender, General Healthcare. Whether they are helping people first-hand or educating and raising awareness about things like sexual orientation and body image, Planned Parenthood is a valuable and accessible resource for girls (and guys) in college, and wouldn't be made possible without necessary government funding.
Since abortion was just one of the twelve things listed under the Learn tab on the website, I was curious as to how many they actually assist with in relation to their other services. What I found from factcheck.org is that only 3 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood affiliated healthcare clinics were abortions. They even had a handy pie chart to show us what's really going on, and attributed this research to Arizona Senator Jon Kyl claiming that over 90 percent of Planned Parenthood services were abortions.
I definitely see it as important as a college student to get tested for STDs, as well as have a form of contraception available if you choose to be sexually active. It's hard to argue with the organization when 70 percent of what they provide is helpful to my generation, and another 16 percent is cancer screening and prevention.
Often, people allow their political opinions and religious affiliations to interfere with each other, but more importantly with how they look at the facts. The good outweighs the bad with Planned Parenthood, according to the judge's recent verdict that says they keep their funding, and I couldn't help but agree.