The Republican Party has announced that Planned Parenthood will be defunded as they repeal the Affordable Care Act. Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, went public with the decision five days into the new year, just a few weeks before the inauguration of Donald Trump. Planned Parenthood has been under fire for a number of years, with a direct argument against their abortion programs. It has become one of America's most renowned, safe, and affordable abortion facilities, which unfortunately has tainted the views of many. The organization, however, not only focuses on providing women with safe and affordable abortions, but also other much-needed healthcare services.
Let's break it down and talk about what Planned Parenthood actually does, why defunding it would be a bad idea, and what you can do now:
What does Planned Parenthood do?
Contrary to popular belief, abortion services only count for 3% of what Planned Parenthood actually does, so it isn't, in fact, an organization "about" abortion. Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, safe, and affordable health care for women, men, and youth, and is dedicated to educating others about sexual health and family planning. It has a direct interest in reproductive health, such as testing for STIs, providing contraception, and even giving cancer screenings.
Who does Planned Parenthood serve?
While many people think Planned Parenthood only helps women, it actually provides a range of healthcare options for men too. Over 2.5 million women and men visit Planned Parenthood facilities nationwide each year.
If Planned Parenthood is defunded ...
Federal tax support for Planned Parenthood gives people access to preventative care, allows for STI and cancer screenings, and more. This support allows many people on Medicaid to access good healthcare too.
So if Planned Parenthood is defunded, access to safe and affordable healthcare will be severely limited, especially for women, and this could have dangerous consequences. Without affordable access to family planning, cancer screenings, pap smears, sex education, contraceptives, and more, the world we live in is going to look a little different and feel a little less safe for those who seek support from organizations like Planned Parenthood. Finding safe and affordable abortion services will be harder than ever. Access to contraceptives will become limited, and may increase the number of unplanned pregnancies nationwide.
So, what now?
Now is the time for voices to be heard. President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Cecile Richards, spoke up about the fight to defund the organization. "Some of our states have been under attack for a long, long time. So they know how to fight back. We've been around 100 years and we aren't going anywhere."
And she's right — we aren't going anywhere. Americans have taken to the streets, spoken to representatives, and are making their voices heard. As Cecile Richards said, this is "an opportunity to grow our movement like never before."
What can you do to help support Planned Parenthood?
Right now, more than ever, Planned Parenthood needs all the support it can get — through donations, educating others, and letting your voice be heard.
Sign the pledge:
Donate to Planned Parenthood:
Promote and protect women's health by making a donation to Planned Parenthood. Funds will be used to "ensure that elected officials support policies and programs that help women and their families make responsible choices about family planning and reproductive health."