Planned Parenthood: What's Been Defunded And What It Does To Women's Health

There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the recent ruling that restricts federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The basic idea is that the government would take funding away from the part of Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit organization that is responsible for providing science-based reproductive healthcare and sex education, and direct it to faith-based, pro-life organizations so they would have a larger part in sex education. This is forcing a largely conservative idea of health care that could potentially endanger many women.  

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There is already a law in place that prevents government funding to go towards abortions. As of 1976, it has been illegal for abortions to be paid for through federal funds. Through the Hyde Act, women can only receive an abortion if the pregnancy is a risk to the mother's life, or if the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape. This ruling makes it so that even if a doctor recommends an abortion, the patient will not longer be able to follow through with their orders.. So what does this look like for women? With these strict and unrealistic limitations set in place, very few women would meet the criteria, and there are other reasons why abortion is a necessary procedure. For instance, test results could show that the fetus, if carried to term, would be born with illnesses that would force them to live a very short and painful life. Rape would need to be proven in the court of law. Underaged children would be forced to give birth, making many high schoolers who can't even do geometry right raise a child. Because no federal funding is going towards abortion anyways, the funding that is being taken away from Planned Parenthood is taking affordable health care away from people in need.

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Planned Parenthood provides services that every woman needs, some of which save women from life-threatening diseases. This ruling would be taking away access to the 1 in 5 women who depend on planned parenthood for basic health care needs. From menstruation to menopause, they can provide anyone with information and resources to care for their specific needs. But they don't stop at the basics - Planned Parenthood gives women access to life-saving screenings for things such as breast and cervical cancer and infections.

Planned Parenthood also covers the everyday issues we have as women such as board access to pads and tampons, birth control, STD screenings, prenatal care, and COMPREHENSIVE sex education. They provide services for the LGBTQ+ community as well, while faith-based organizations and most public school focus on heteronormative and abstinence-based programs that discriminate against these youth. Planned Parenthood is where young adults can go to receive the education they deserve and an education that is actually useful, instead of having a high school gym teacher take one day out of playing badminton to say, ‘don't stick it in your classmates’.

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Not only is this ruling taking away health care from Americans who already cope with very discriminatory and restrictive healthcare system, but it is putting the money directly into faith-based organizations, which is a large violation of the separation of church and state. Opinions about health in politics should be based on science, not ‘well, the Bible says...and I am a very devout Christian’. To make matters worse, women are being put in danger by even entering a Planned Parenthood facility because protesters are too busy screaming ‘murder’. Patients who could be entering the clinic for any number of reasons are being harassed by protestors manipulating the Bible as their excuse to be hateful. It's okay to be a religious person, but it should not hold a bias in the eyes of politics.

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When politics and religion mix, blatant facts are ignored. Having faith-based and conservative organizations in charge of sex education is dangerous, due to its exclusionary practices, which will, in turn, lead to more unplanned, underaged, and dangerous pregnancies. It is proven that high schools that have abstinence-based sex education programs have higher rates of teen pregnancies than those who rely on a comprehensive curriculum. Plus, since when does telling a teenager not to do something not make them want to do it so much more? Especially when they are basically wild hormonal animals, going through puberty. Like, have our nation's leaders ever watched Netflix’s Big Mouth? Geez!  The average age a boy loses their virginity is at 16.9 years old, and for girls it’s at 17.2 years. Sex is not a shameful act, but a very common decision amongst teens, so we should educate them accordingly. If conservatives want fewer abortions, then they need to increase the amount of comprehensive sex education programs, because you can't have one without the other.

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This ruling directly affects every woman in the United States. Whether you agree with it or not, it limits your access to health care. Obviously, it takes two to tango, but women are the ones who carry the burden. The burden of motherhood, the stigma of young pregnancy, but now will no longer have the freedom of choice. Just because someone may never opt for an abortion doesn't mean they have the right to take that option away from millions of strangers who come from different backgrounds and situations than the one they currently are in. The media is saying that this legislation only affects abortions, but it is actually taking away the funding that affects all aspects of Planned Parenthood, not just some. A majority of Americans will lose their virginity in high school, so why act like it isn't happening and give them access to an education that will help them do it safely? Sex is not a shameful act, and horny teens aren't going to stop, so let's stop taking away access to basic healthcare needs. America needs to stop being a prude and give the people what they need.      


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