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Let’s Talk: Education on Planned Parenthood

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PS Behrend chapter.

            On November 27, 2015 as I was sitting on my bed in my dorm room, I found a news article that said there was an ongoing shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility. Both civilians and police officers were shot and killed, and fear immediately raced through my mind. I texted my mother, with no reply. She was working at a Planned Parenthood facility that day, and although she was 1,000 miles away from Colorado Springs, I knew that the hatred for Planned Parenthood ran deep in the veins of some Americans. I was absolutely terrified that my mother’s facility would be targeted next.

But why would a women’s health facility be targeted by a domestic terrorist considered a “warrior for the babies”? Planned Parenthood is often referred to as an abortion clinic, but it is so much more than that. In fact, only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s procedures are abortion services out of the total 10,590,433 services in a single year. So what exactly do they do, if not just abortions?

First off, the majority of services Planned Parenthood performs are actually Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and treatment. This includes both male and female STI testing, human papilloma virus (HPV) treatment, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, and other such treatments. STI testing and treatment accounts for over 4 million of the cases that Planned Parenthood treats in a year.

Contraception, or pregnancy prevention measures, account for over 3 million of the cases Planned Parenthood sees in a single year. Contraception not only includes birth control pills and intrauterine devices, but it also includes emergency contraception such as Plan B, as well as male and female sterilization procedures.

Another huge service that Planned Parenthood provides is cancer screening. Pap smears, which check for abnormal cells on a woman’s cervix that may indicate cancer or HPV, are a huge portion of this testing as well. They also provide HPV vaccinations, breast exams, and so much more. Of course, as the name “Planned Parenthood” suggests, they also conduct pregnancy tests, prenatal care, adoption referrals, and urinary tract infection (UTI) treatment.

So when someone asks why I fight so hard for Planned Parenthood as an organization, I think about all the good they do for the men and women in this country, about all the sacrifice they make every day fighting their way through protesters to get to their jobs. I think about all the men and women who seek cheap medical care and have to fight through the same fear and hatred to get it. Most of all, I think about my mother, who fights hard to help innocent men and women, only to fear for her life when walking into work every day. I dream of the day women can receive affordable healthcare free of stigmatization and trepidation, the day when family members of healthcare providers don’t have to fear for their loved one’s safety.

Photo credits: 1 2 3 4


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Kayla McEwen

PS Behrend

Kayla A. McEwen: President and Campus Correspondent  Senior at Penn State Behrend Marketing & Professional Writing Major Part-time dreamer and full-time artist Lover of art, fashion, witty conversation, winged eyeliner, and large cups of warm beverages.