The Threat of Defunding Planned Parenthood

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Many people recognize Planned Parenthood as simply an abortion clinic, yet they continue to spread awareness on reproductive health to multitudes of people on a daily basis. Planned Parenthood offers affordable, high-quality medical services including STD testing and treatment, birth control, wellness exams, cancer screening and prevention, abortion, hormone therapy, infertility services, and much more.

The vital reproductive health care they supply also includes sex education and general information to millions of people worldwide. Not only do they provide necessary assistance to women and men every day, but it is also a safe, judgment-free haven for anyone to turn to.
So, what is threatening to deprive and defund this fundamental, non-profit organization that is dedicated to advocating reproductive health?

The risk of losing Planned Parenthood will cause detrimental effects for so many patients nationwide. Women and men alike rely on this inexpensive and reliable service to sustain their procreative health that is, otherwise, too costly to receive elsewhere.

Over President Trump’s last four years in office, he has made taxing attempts at diminishing the funds of Planned Parenthood entirely. As well as anti-abortion protesters who gather outside of Planned Parenthood buildings, with the same goal.

The Planned Parenthood website caters information on the latest efforts made by Trump, “The Trump-Pence administration keeps trying to block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers, which serve more than 2.4 million people each year — including many who have nowhere else to go for basic health services.”

In many speeches, ads, and Republican Party platforms, Planned Parenthood defunding is frequently utilized for publicity time and time again. It has become distinctly exploited as one of the largest components of the Trump administration’s aims at gaining more supporters.

An entire section on the website is dedicated to tracking Trump in order to keep people updated with what is truly at risk. “Since coming to power, the administration has tried to shut down Planned Parenthood in every way possible — in presidential budgets, health care reform bills, tax reform legislation, and federal resolutions and regulations, as well as in nominating anti-Planned Parenthood judges and appointing anti-Planned Parenthood officials.”

The website also clarifies that “‘Defunding’ means blocking people who use government health programs, like Medicaid and Title X, from accessing preventive care at Planned Parenthood health centers.”

These efforts have not gone unnoticed though. With Trump’s influence, many states have revised their original abortion laws that proved to be effective in years past. An article by Nora Ellmann from the Center for American Progress says, “These laws disproportionately affect those whose access to abortion care is already most limited, including people of color, young people, people with disabilities, people with low incomes, LGBTQ people, and people in rural areas, among others.”

Restrictive abortion laws are not something new, since the Roe v. Wade decision, anti-abortion policymakers have used a variety of laws to limit access to abortion care. Ellmann continues to highlight recent events, “At the outset of the coronavirus crisis in the United States, 11 governors explicitly excluded abortion care from the essential services that were allowed to operate amid shutdowns, essentially manipulating the pandemic response to ban abortion care from being provided in their states.”

A resource that has helped millions is at risk, and while the debate between anti-abortion and pro-abortion supporters continues, the fight to defend Planned Parenthood funding will remain. Despite the controversy, they grant crucial work around the world in order to increase the access of sexual and reproductive health information and services to anyone in need.

To learn more about what “defunding” really means:
A list of restrictive laws already passed this year: