Abortion is one of the few hot button issues that never fails to make an appearance during election time. The upcoming 2016 election is no exception, particularly when 15 out of the total 21 candidates are pro-life. Thankfully, the Senate rejected these legislative appeals made in the House, but even the root of the discussion surrounding the issue is alarming.
It’s important that we get our facts straight about Planned Parenthood and the services it provides for women. Check out these expenditures from the Planned Parenthood’s Annual Report from 2013-2014:
- 42% for STI/STD testing
- 34% for contraception
- 11% for other women’s services
- 9% for cancer screenings
- 3% for abortion services
- 1% for other services
Planned Parenthood also just released the hit YouTube video, “How Do You Know if Someone Wants to Have Sex with You?” The video clearly spells out what consent is. It appeals to a younger audience (as it was featured on the Seventeen’s social media sites), specifically those who are less experienced or those who don’t know the “rules.” The video even showcases a much-needed diversity with both same-sex and interracial couples that high school (and even college students) sometimes aren’t exposed to in their sex education classes.
But it’s ever-so-important that we defund Planned Parenthood to stop all the funding that goes towards people having abortions, right?
Planned Parenthood’s funding comes from two government sources: Medicaid (which operates on both federal AND state funds) and Title X. Although states received 90% reimbursement of any Medicaid costs used for family and planning services, Title X isn’t allowed to provide any funding for abortion services. And while Medicaid does allow government money to be spent on them, the allocation is restricted to very few cases (those involving rape, incest, or in the interest of protecting the mother’s life). Therefore, while abortion is the issue that’s got House Republicans and candidates revving to strip the non-profit’s funding, it’s not even the prime target that would suffer among the many good things Planned Parenthood works to provide.
Those who argue that these other services could be sought out through other venues (namely, though a personal doctor or specialist). However, the unfortunate fact is that this simply isn’t the case. Most of the people who benefit from Planned Parenthood are recipients of its major source of funding: Medicaid, the government healthcare provider for low-income Americans. Most women (and even men) who seek Planned Parenthood services are less likely to be insured, despite the complete passage of Obamacare.
Abortion is one of the few issues we as a nation keep revisiting, even after a Supreme Court ruling decided 42 years ago. Even if this discussion absolutely had to come down to the issue of pro-life versus pro-choice, removing a safe place to have legal abortions wouldn’t stop abortions from happening. Women will just use unsafe and illegal methods as a result of the limited access to contraceptives.
JASMINE SPITLER / Contributing Writer