During the presidential campaign, most, if not all, Republican candidates campaigned in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood, an organization dedicated in providing care for millions of women, especially for unintended pregnancies, births, STD infections and cervical cancer screening. The said campaign was motivated by an undercover video where Planned Parenthood doctors aborted a baby and sold its parts.
This caused a major outcry from right wingers and has made them favor defunding Planned Parenthood even more. Eventually, it was revealed that the video was heavily edited. Instead of suing Planned Parenthood for the use of federal funding for abortion and sales of baby parts, the people behind the video were sued instead. This did not stop the Republicans from still crying out for defunding Planned Parenthood.
President Trump has mostly quiet about this issue during the campaign. Now that he is president, it seems like he is going for what the Republicans wanted all along. The Republican-controlled congress also can’t wait to finally defund Planned Parenthood as they have the numbers to do it.
Pro-life versus pro-choice
Most Republicans would argue that they are being pro-life for taking a stand against abortion. They are pursuing the idea that these children have the right to live, even if abortion is a settled law. Planned Parenthood has also spent less than 1% for abortion, and it was only during exceptional cases allowed by the law. Their hypocritical pro-life argument would actually kill more people in the long run according to studies.
In a Guttmacher Institute study, it was revealed that contraceptive care provided by Planned Parenthood has made 63% of women be able to take better care of themselves. 56% of them also said that they became more financially stable because they did not have unwanted pregnancies. A huge chunk of them has also said that the services helped them complete their education and keep a good job. Furthermore, in a poll conducted among residents of Pennsylvania, 72% of them said that when a woman can control the timing and size of her family, it can positively affect her financial stability. On the other hand, 62% of them believe that abortion restrictions have negatively impacted women’s financial security.
In a separate study, it was also revealed that the availability of birth control pills through public clinics allowed women to have more involvement in the workforce, especially in fields that used to be dominated by men. Their improved educational attainment led to better wages and savings. Children coming from family with some forms of birth planning programs in place are better off financially. They are also 5% less likely to live in poverty and 4% less likely to have a single parent.
Investing in reproductive health
Most Republicans argue that supporting Planned Parenthood is tantamount to supporting abortion. The truth is that in 2013, the services provided by the agency has stopped around 693,000 abortions. The number of women with unplanned births has also dropped by 50% in 2010. Take note that expenses related to abortion, miscarriages and health care for women who have suffered from these problems would cost the government over $2 billion a year.
In short, spending $500 million a year for Planned Parenthood can go a long way in helping save lives and making children’s lives better. Despite that, it didn’t prevent Republicans from slashing the federal funding, and now, a threat for total defunding. If only these hypocrites read facts and believe in statistics, they would have easily understood how crazy their arguments are.
Featured and 1st image by PBS NewsHour from Arlington, Va., USA (082812_Planned Parenthood_007) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by PBS NewsHour from Arlington, Va., USA (082812_Planned Parenthood_003) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons