The Defunding of Planned Parenthood

In July 2019, the Trump administration took big steps towards defunding Planned Parenthood through what many call the “gag rule.”

Why is Planned Parenthood important? 

Planned Parenthood is the country's largest provider for women's healthcare. Despite what the Republican party may think, abortions make up only 3% of the services provided by Planned Parenthood. The organization serves 40% of Title X patients in the country. Thanks to the affordable healthcare that Planned Parenthood provides women, outcomes from death in childbirth to teen pregnancy to contracting sexually transmitted infections and developing cervical cancer are all preventable, regardless of a woman's economic status. If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of the organization, visit their website.

Why is the Trump administration doing this?

As a whole, the conservative party has been trying to dismantle Planned Parenthood, due to the organization providing abortion services, among many other things, to women all across the country. Trump’s war on women’s rights is just getting started. Put into effect July 2019, Trump’s new Title X rule, now blocks federal funding for abortion services, even including referrals, or just simply informing their patients about the procedure. Planned Parenthood later announced that they would be withdrawing from the program, rather than comply with the so-called “gag rule”. Planned Parenthood is not the only aspect of women's rights that is in danger right now. The Trump Administration and Republican politicians all over the country are making strides towards overturning Roe v. Wade. What would happen if Roe V. Wade was overturned? It would not outlaw abortion as a whole, it would simply give the power back to the states. In more liberal states like Oregon, New York, and California, abortion would most likely stay legal. But in the more red states, governors and senate members are already taking action towards outlawing abortion completely. By now, I’m sure you've heard of the fetal heartbeat ban in Alabama, which could criminalize a woman for having a miscarriage. There are also many similar laws being created in states such as North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana, and more. If Roe v. Wade was overturned, those laws would go into effect almost immediately.

What does this mean for Planned Parenthood?

For now, Planned Parenthood will be able to keep their doors open, due to the amount of funding they have from private sources, but that won’t last forever. With the continuing war on women's reproductive rights, such as the fairly new abortion laws in states such as Alabama, Kentucky, etc., we could be seeing serious cuts to women's healthcare starting as early as January 2020. “Due to an unethical and dangerous gag rule, the Trump administration has forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X,” said acting Planned Parenthood president and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson on the call. “We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients. Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them.” Dismantling Planned Parenthood would impact the lives of millions of women all across the country. 

Whichever side you're on of this debate, it is important to make your voice heard. If you're able, vote. Take action in the upcoming election cycle, and support your favorite candidates. Contact your representatives, go to rallies, use social media. In this country, policy equals change, so if you want something to be changed, take action. 

If you're not sure who your representatives are, you can find them here. If you'd like to learn more about Title X funding, and how it may affect you, go here.