Discussion note for a class:
Planned Parenthood: Would banning funding for Planned Parenthood be a disservice for our economy?
In recent times, there has been an epic debate over the federal funding of Planned Parenthood facilities. The house passed a bill banning federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has been at the heart of America’s family planning for nearly 100 years. One in five women have visited a Planned Parenthood at least once in her lifetime1. Providing services such as Sexually Transmitted Infections testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, contraception, and several other women health services. It has been reported by the Washington Post that abortions ONLY comprise 3% of the entire patient care provided by planned parenthood2.
Now, I may appear to be as someone who is pro-choice but what really is pro-choice or pro-life? In my opinion they’re just categories we tend to place ourselves in as when people ask are you for or against gay marriage? Are you a Miami Heat or a Chicago Bulls fan? Even simpler, are you team skittles or team starburst? Do I believe a fetus has the right to live? Why, yes I do. However, do I believe a woman has the right to make decisions about her body for the sake of her health? Well, yes I agree as well. So if my opinions make me pro-choice or pro-life, that’s to the reader’s discretion. I ask that for the next 30 seconds, let’s just put all this religion, faith, pro-choice, pro-life talk aside and look into Planned Parenthood from a financial standpoint.
Planned Parenthood receives about a third of its money in government grants and contracts. By law, federal funding cannot be allocated for abortions3. Hence, a cutoff in funds would hurt the health care for low-income women. This means, “there’ll be less money for cervical cancer screenings and breast exams, no money for testing or treatment of STDs, not even testing for HIV. No money for birth control”4. In a state like Texas where half of the pregnancies were unplanned in 2011 and one in three women lacks health insurance, cutting back on federal funding for Planned Parenthood will be very problematic. Due to providing less contraception, Texas is projected to seeing 24,000 unplanned births between 2014 and 2015. Well how does this affect you personally? This will raise state and federal taxpayer’s Medicaid costs by up to $273 million5.
So back to my original question, am I pro-life or pro-choice, it just depends on the situation. Should being pro-choice or pro-life have anything to do with Planned Parenthood funding? Not at all. But what I can agree with is that the government shouldn’t cut back on Planned Parenthood because that would only be causing us a disservice.
3Rovner, Julie (April 13, 2011). “Planned Parenthood: A Thorn In Abortion Foes’ Sides”. Morning Edition (NPR). Retrieved 2011-04-13.