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Guest Opinion: Planned Parenthood is More than Just Abortions

By Jennifer Dang

A graduate student is raped and is impregnated as a result. Her decision is to get an abortion, and so she makes an appointment with Planned Parenthood.

As you are reading this article, current legislation H.R 3134, is seeking to take federal funding away from Planned Parenthood. On estimation, Planned Parenthood prevented about 515,000 unwanted pregnancies each year with contraceptive services, which is the equivalent to the total population in Toledo, Ohio.

I am a young female adult, a Master of Social Work candidate at the University of Southern California, who has received various services from Planned Parenthood.

In general, people often associate Planned Parenthood with abortions only. However, Planned Parenthood Federation of America provides much more than just abortions.

In 2012, it was estimated that Planned Parenthood provided about 4.5 million tests and treatments for Sexual Transmitted Infections. The same year, an estimated of 3.7 million contraception services were provided. Also, about 1.1 million cancer screenings and preventions were obtained by clients, as well as 1.1 million services related to women’s health.

Overall, Planned Parenthood provided approximately 10.9 million productive and health services to men and women across the country. Abortion is only accountable for 3 percent of the total services provided to consumers of Planned Parenthood.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would have detrimental effects on all productive and health services provided by Planned Parenthood except abortion, as it is illegal to use federal funds for abortion services.

Low income consumers of Planned Parenthood would suffer greatly when federal funding is withheld, since 79% of Planned Parenthood clients have incomes at or fall 150 percent below the federal poverty level.

This is contradictory, based on the initial intended purpose of defunding Planned Parenthood which is to prevent abortions.

However, without federal funds as a safety net for clients to receive contraception, the result would be more unwanted pregnancies and abortions. According to Congressional Budget Office, it is projected that permanently defunding Planned Parenthood would increase federal spending by $130 million over a period of 10 years, due to the increase of unwanted births and children’s healthcare that would need to be covered by Medicaid, also known as MediCal in California.

In short, defunding Planned Parenthood would ultimately increase federal spending, abortions, and unwanted births, as well as creating obstacles for low income men and women to obtain productive and other health services.

Furthermore, it is also a violation of human rights as it is a basic human right to have access to health care services. It is estimated that as much as 650,000 women would be affected for the one year period that Planned Parenthood is cut off from federal funds.

This number would only increase exponentially if defunding Planned Parenthood is passed and enacted into law.

In short, defunding Planned Parenthood would affect low income men and women in the areas of cancer screening, testing and treating Sexual Transmitted Infections, contraception, and other women’s health services.

Take action now. Support Planned Parenthood. Contact your local representatives to oppose Defunding Planned Parenthood Act 2015.

  • Linda M says: