How the defunding of Planned Parenthood impacts more than just women

It’s no secret that the current administration has continually taken action against Planned Parenthood and other family planning facilities. In March of 2017, Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate to dismantle Title X, a federal law designed to fund family planning programs for low-income individuals. President Trump followed suit by signing the bill into law. In May of 2018, the Trump administration announced a rule that would stop federal funding to clinics that either provide abortions or refer patients to other clinics that do. Today, they continue to attempt to pass bills defunding Planned Parenthood and other clinics that offer abortion services, and this trend won’t be ending anytime soon.

These changes made by the current administration directly affect Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of reproductive health services in America. Trump has made multiple comments mentioning the organization directly. In several interviews he has stated that he recognizes millions of women are helped, but ultimately believes in defunding the organization due to it being an “abortion factory, frankly.”

Trump and his administration fail to realize that abortion is not Planned Parenthood’s main focus. In fact, they report that only 3 percent of their services are abortions. According to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-14 annual report, 76 percent of their services were STI/STD testing and treatment and providing contraception. These services are available to not only women, but men as well, another fact that the administration fails to address.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood reported that their health centers across the US served more than 250,000 male patients. They offer male reproductive services, sexual health services, cancer screenings and general health care. They also serve young men through their sex education programs in schools across the country, which reach 1.5 million people per year. Planned Parenthood may carry a stigma of just being a women’s health clinic, but the statistics show that they are much more than that.

Our administration’s seemingly constant efforts to defund organizations like Planned Parenthood is an attack on the entire American population. Men and women across the country have expressed their outrage through marches, fundraisers and protests, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

If you feel passionate about this issue, take a stand! Volunteer for your local health center, research local protests or marches happening near you, or simply keep yourself informed by signing up for email and text alerts from Planned Parenthood. More ways to help are available online.