Planned Parenthood, needed rather than removed

Infographic by Jack DeGonda

Planned Parenthood is a non-profit foundation that provides vital reproductive health care, sex education and basic information to millions of women and men worldwide. Recently, President Trump has decided to cut government funding for Planned Parenthood organizations worldwide.

The reason why Trump has done this is because many Planned Parenthood organizations provide abortions to women, which goes against his pro-life policy. This issue goes back further than one would expect, to when Ronald Reagan instituted the “Mexico City Policy” to bar government funding to foreign organizations that perform abortions overseas or lobby for the practice’s legalization in other countries. This issue is what prompted the actions of the president, but looking deeper into what Planned Parenthood stands for one can see that the wisest decision may not have been made.

Looking deeper into what services Planned Parenthood provides, it is obvious that the issue of abortion does not need such drastic actions as to cut virtually all funding to the organization. Statistics from show that sixteen percent of the patient care goes toward cancer screenings and cancer prevention, thirty-five percent of patient care goes to the testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases/infections, and another thirty-five goes toward contraception. This leaves roughly eleven percent of patient care to go towards other health services, and a mere three percent of patient care goes toward abortions.

This is significant because the grounds on which Trump cut government funding to this whole organization was because it supported abortions. In reality, Planned Parenthood may still support abortions but the amount of patient care towards those in comparison to all of the other services that the organization provides for women vastly outweighs in significance the abortions, making the argument to cut funding to the whole organization rather invalid. What it really does is make it that much harder for women who rely on Planned Parenthood for contraceptives, STD treatment and cancer screening to receive those services and it just hurts the overall health rather than doing what the cut was designed to do- stop abortions.

A comforting fact is that the International Planned Parenthood Federation said it will continue to promote abortion around the globe and forfeit the $100 million it had received annually from the U.S. government.

“We cannot — and will not — deny life-saving services to the world’s poorest women. We will work with governments and donors to bridge the funding and service gaps the Global Gag Rule creates,” The group said in a statement. “We will ensure that women can exercise their rights and access safe abortion and family planning.”

SAHS junior Siri Bohacek said, “In recent years the number of abortions has gone down because of people being educated by these planned parenthood programs, and no matter whether funding is cut or not abortions will occur and having organizations like this that support them provides a safe environment as opposed to a desperate dangerous one.”

A good point is that cutting government funding to these organizations will not necessarily outlaw abortions, they will continue to occur but just without the safety and reassurance that Planned Parenthood provides. Cutting the governmental funding really means in a sense a cut to women’s health funding, and many see it as a women’s rights step backward in the government rather than a pro-life step forward.

Overall, the funding cuts by the US Government to Planned Parenthood programs isn’t the most effective way to get the pro-life point of view across, because it comes at the expense of millions of women’s health care needs.