The US should not discontinue funding to Planned Parenthood

Do you really want the government to make decisions on women's health care?

October 6, 2015

The Republican House has voted on a one year ban to the $540 million funding for Planned Parenthood as of Friday, September 18.  The bill still has to be voted on by the Senate Democrats and President Obama.  This vote has come after a long debate of whether or not to discontinue funding due to allegations of the selling of fetal body parts.

A video released by The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) this summer shows ex medical director, Dr. Savita Ginde, talking about selling fetal tissue of aborted babies.  Anti-abortion groups claimed that Planned Parenthood broke the law by selling “body parts,” and that government funding should be suspended.

However, this is not the case.  According to studies done by the NY Times and multiple other news sources, Planned Parenthood donates fetal tissue to scientific research at the woman’s request, which is completely legal as long as the woman signs off on it.  This tissue is then used to search for vaccines and cures to diseases such as Parkinson’s, blindness, and paraplegia.  Also, Planned Parenthood does not profit from or sell the tissue, the only money they receive is from the researchers for shipping and storage fees.

“Body parts” have nothing to do with it.  Planned Parenthood only gives tissue to researchers, tissue such as muscle tissue and skin cells, not body parts or organs.  In fact, about 92% of abortions happen during the first trimester of a women’s pregnancy, most before ten weeks into the pregnancy.  Body parts and the nervous system don’t begin forming until the thirteenth week.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t just administrate abortions; out of the 10.6 million services provided last year, only 3% of their work was on abortions.  According to the Planned Parenthood website and other studies done, the other 97% of work was on STD prevention and treatment, general health care for both men and women, pregnancy tests, birth control, breast cancer examinations and sexual education.  About 2.7 million people visit Planned Parenthood each year, including men and teens.  So, not only are women losing another safe place for abortions, others lose affordable STD/STI treatment and breast examinations.

Without safe, reliable abortions, women seek illegal or unsafe options.  They risk death and physical and emotional trauma and even death.  According to the 1 in 3 Campaign, one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime.  In 2013, almost one million legal abortions took place in the United States.  Half of pregnancies in America are unplanned, and four out of ten of these pregnancies result in the woman getting an abortion.  Planned Parenthood has helped some of these woman get safe abortions since 1970.

Many politicians were persistent in their efforts to end funding for Planned Parenthood.  Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal, pulled Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding, even though the two facilities there do not offer abortions.  Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, has threatened a government shut down if federal funds to Planned Parenthood are not stopped.

This seems like a lot of uproar for something that doesn’t affect anyone but the woman getting the abortion.  A lot of people that are raising their voices against Planned Parenthood and abortions happen to be men.  This includes the men running for office in the United States.

Some Republican candidates expressed their hatred for Planned Parenthood during the GOP debate.  Most of them claim to be “pro-life” instead of “pro-choice”.  During the debate, Donald Trump said, “I hate the concept of abortion.” Well, it doesn’t look like he’s ever needed, nor received, an abortion.  In fact, only one of the candidates there was a women.  Maybe we really are bringing reproductive rights back fifty years.  Many of the politicians sound like they are living in the 19th century the way they talk about what a woman should do with her body.  What they don’t seem to understand is this: women in the America have the right to their own body.

As Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders tweeted during one of the GOP debates, “Does any GOPer care about whether or not a woman, rather than the gov’t, should make decisions regarding her own body?” A woman should be able to make these decisions for herself, not the government.  These decisions start with continuing to fund Planned Parenthood.

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