BY RILEY FANNING
Recently, cries to defund Planned Parenthood (PP) have emerged. It’s been depicted as a monstrous organization, lurking in the shadows of immorality, lying in wait for the arrival of pregnant woman to have their unborn children dismembered and sold.
The misinformation and witch hunt needs to come to an end. There is a lack of knowledge about PP by the general public due to its skewed representation in mass media.
Conservatives and conservative media have been creating a smear campaign against Planned Parenthood as a political tactic.
Republican candidate Jeb Bush was quoted saying “…the next president should defund Planned Parenthood” and “…I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues…” Despite ongoing debates over women’s rights to autonomy over their own bodies and the morality of abortion, Planned Parenthood is not just a woman’s issue, and should be viewed in the correct context.
So what exactly is Planned Parenthood, and why is it so essential? In essence, it is a non-profit, government-funded health care provider.
Despite what has been portrayed, the sole purpose of Planned Parenthood is surprisingly not abortions. In addition, PP provides STI and STD testing, contraceptives, cancer screenings and the list goes on.
These procedures are not gender based. Women and men alike use these services. To defund Planned Parenthood is to raise the costs of all of these services, affecting millions of people and families whose only option to get proper medical care is through PP.
While some people’s disapproval of abortion sways them to a negative opinion of Planned Parenthood and its government funding, things are not as black and white as they appear.
If the goal is to lessen the number of abortions, everyone should be a PP supporter. A huge portion of what they do is provide sexual health information and easily accessible forms of birth control.
Common sense dictates that being informed, plus contraceptives, equals less unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, by law, abortions cannot be funded by the government, which means that not one drop of tax payer money goes towards them, and instead are privately funded.
This new wave of disdain for the organization came about through a secretly filmed video posted online by an anti-abortion group depicting PP officials discussing a procedure where tissue from aborted fetuses is taken and used for medical research.
The activists claimed that PP was illegally taking and selling body parts of the aborted fetuses for profit.
When the video came to light, much coverage of the situation painted Planned Parenthood as “sellers of baby parts.” This phrasing is not only inaccurate and damaging, but created purposefully to inspire fear and hate mongering.
In actuality, what is being referred to is the practice of donating the tissue to medical facilities for things like fetal development and stem cell research, which Planned Parenthood stated is only done “with full, appropriate consent from patients and under the highest ethical and legal standards.”
The only money involved in tissue donations is to cover the expense such as transportation.
Defunding Planned Parenthood is a callous idea, that disregards all the people who benefit from the health services. The decision to defund is both impulsive and irrational, stemming from people’s personal views, whereas instead we need to collectively step outside the scope of our own lives and consider another.