Staff Editorial: Planned Parenthood essential for all, should not be defunded

Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization that provides health services related to reproduction and sexual education. However, it is greatly opposed by those against abortion and who advise retracting funds to support the organization. Planned Parenthood should not be de-
funded because it provides basic healthcare services that are beneficial, and in most cases, essential to many people.

Congress is dominated by Republicans, many of whom will take advantage of Trump’s presidency to cease federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Former President Barack Obama vetoed this proposal last January.

National Public Radio (NPR) stated that in order for the measure to pass, 60 votes in the Senate are required to overpower the Democratic vote. There are currently 52 Republican votes.

Many people who are anti-abortion support retracting funds from Planned Parenthood. But they fail to recognize the vital healthcare and education that Planned Parenthood provides to its 2.5 million annual patients.

Planned Parenthood is over 100 years old. It is not solely an abortion clinic. According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2014, it was estimated that only three percent of the care provided by Planned Parenthood was for abortions. The rest of the services included: breast examinations, cervical cancer screenings, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

It is unreasonable for congressmen to strip federal funding for the organization based on personal opposition to abortion services, which make up less than five percent of its overall purpose, CNN argued.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would equally affect men and women. Fosters.com, a newspaper based in New Hampshire, stated that the most popular medical services of Planned Parenthood from 2014 to 2015 were STI/STD testing and treatment, which make up 44.6 percent of its total services, with contraception following at 34.1 percent.

If Republicans are successful in ending federal funding for Planned Parenthood, it would deprive countless people, most of them low-income, of their healthcare needs.

Republicans have proposed sending funds to community health centers to compensate for abolishing Planned Parenthood. However, it would be difficult for small local clinics to replace an organization that provided services nationwide in such a short period of time.

Moreover, suggestions for new programs to replace the organization have yet to be made.

Sara Rosenbaum, health policy and law professor at George Washington University, stated in 2015 that “asking community health centers to move into new areas displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how long it takes a new provider to move into a potentially new community.”

Instead of defunding Planned Parenthood, it is crucial to consider the millions of people who would lose access to dependable, specialized healthcare centers and their benefits.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, stated, “the millions of supporters across the country are ready to defend care with everything we’ve got.”

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