Dear Future President,
Since 1916, the non-profit organization Planned Parenthood has offered several health services and helped millions of American’s lives. However, the issue of whether federal funding should be given to financially support Planned Parenthood has been very controversial within political discussion. Planned Parenthood is beneficial to the U.S population and should continue receiving federal funding. It provides a wide variety of services to many and is available to individuals who cannot afford or receive alternative healthcare options. Therefore, if this organization was defunded, it would cause many to lose access to care.
Annually, Planned Parenthood contributes to improvements in millions of people's health. “Planned Parenthood provides essential services to over 5 million Americans. Only three percent of all Planned Parenthood health services are abortion services. From June 30th, 2013 – June 30th, 2014 they provided 10,590,433 services for over 5,000,000 Americans; 327,653 them were abortions” (“Do We Still Need Planned Parenthood?”). In the beginning, Planned Parenthood specialized in primarily female health care. Advancements were made when popularity began rising because of this organization’s success. Currently, Planned Parenthood offers a wide variety of health options for not just women, but any other gender as well. “Planned Parenthood’s services include information, counseling, and services related to: Adoption, Abortion, Birth Control, Body Image, General Health Care, Men’s Sexual Health, Morning After Pill, Pregnancy, Relationships, Sex & Sexuality, Sexual Orientation & Gender, STD’s, Women’s Health, and More” (Do We Still Need Planned Parenthood). In fact, most of their services are precautionary and protective against possible health conditions/situations. “Over 93% of the services provided by Planned Parenthood are preventive – including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, and STD testing and treatment” (“10 Reasons I Support Planned Parenthood”).
Since the beginning, Planned Parenthood has made it their mission to provide help to anyone willing, especially those with no other option. “Planned Parenthood gives millions of low-income men and women in non-expansion states somewhere to turn for reproductive health services, education, and information” (“Do We Still Need Planned Parenthood?”). Even with the current U.S healthcare system, low-income individuals depend on Planned Parenthood and the financial set-up behind it. This organization provides quality, needed medical care to Americans who normally wouldn’t be receiving it due to personal and nationwide reasons. “To emphasize the gap that Planned Parenthood fills, almost 80% of those they serve have household incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty cutoff, which is $28,410 for a family of five or $11,770 for a one-person household” (“Why We All Need Planned Parenthood”). The next statistic explains this further.“It expands coverage by offering cost assistance through the Health Insurance Marketplace to those with 100% – 400% of the Federal poverty Level and Medicaid (which is free or low cost coverage) to those with incomes below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level” (“Do We Still Need Planned Parenthood?”).
The importance of Planned Parenthood can be found in many ways. This organization’s absence could lead to many proven consequences.“For instance, The Congressional Budget Office (CBO, which produces independent analyses of budgetary issues for Congress) has estimated that up to 25 percent of patients served by Planned Parenthood could lose their access to care if the organization lost its federal funding” (“Four Reasons Planned Parenthood Is an Essential Health Care Provider”). American people would lose essential health care access.
A woman named Kanisha shared her experience with the Planned Parenthood organization. “I would not have been able to afford birth control, which I needed for a medical reason, without Planned Parenthood. That’s why it’s so important to have birth control without copays — so that women don’t face another barrier in accessing the care they need” (Planned Parenthood). She and many others agree that Planned Parenthood played(s) a part in helping them live the life they want and deserve. Another example of the importance of Planned Parenthood was represented in 2011, when Texas cut its family planning budget by two-thirds and banned Planned Parenthood from participating in the state’s Women’s Health Program. “Before this, Planned Parenthood served nearly 50 percent of the program’s patients. By 2013, the number of women who received care through the Women’s Health Program had dropped by more than 50 percent” (“Four Reasons Planned Parenthood Is an Essential Health Care Provider”).
The two most common arguments against Planned Parenthood are the abortion services offered and the economical impact this organization creates. It is very relevant in current politics. In specifics, many GOP leaders have expressed they are against federal funding being provided to an organization, such as Planned Parenthood, that offers abortion services. “The solution the GOP has come up with is to redirect $235 million of the organization’s funding to health clinics that offer women’s health services besides abortion” (The Washington Times). For example, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican House Majority Leader stated, “This bill will stop taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, as the House continues to investigate allegations of the horrific harvesting of children’s organs and the handling of infant lives” (The Washington Times). However, the following quote represents that defunding Planned Parenthood would only increase the demand for abortions as well as many other issues. "The Congressional Budget Office stated that some of the services that would not be used if Planned Parenthood defunding was enacted would include those that help women avert pregnancies and deliveries. Reduced use of such services would be expected to lead to additional births, increasing federal spending, primarily for Medicaid, and an increase in abortions. In addition, some of those children would themselves qualify for Medicaid and possibly for other federal programs” (NPR). This further emphasizes that defunding would affect nationwide health and cause economical increases to occur.
“Planned Parenthood receives about $450 million a year in federal funding. Of that, almost $400 million is reimbursement for services covered by Medicaid. It is prohibited by law for any federal funds to be used for abortions. The government funding covers 40 percent of the organization total $1.3 billion in revenue for last year, meaning it would be in huge financial trouble without the funding” (NPR). There is no denying that Planned Parenthood relies on funding to stay in business. Yet, it would be more expensive for the government to defund and replace Planned Parenthood’s crucial role in health care, then continuing to support it. In addition, there are many proven personal benefits Planned Parenthood contributes to American citizens, especially women. “In a Guttmacher Institute study of women seeking contraceptive care at publicly funded clinics, 63 percent of women reported birth control had allowed them to take better care of themselves or their families, and 56 percent said it allowed them to take care of themselves financially. Half reported that it helped them stay in school and complete their education and that it helped them get or keep a job and advance their careers. In a recent poll, 72 percent of Pennsylvania voters said a woman's ability to control the timing and size of her family impacts her financial stability, and 62 percent believed that laws that made abortion harder to access can negatively impact a woman's financial security. Polls of voters in New York and Virginia showed similar results” (The Atlantic). This shows that many women believe their control and quality of life would decrease without existing clinics like Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood has made it their mission to believe in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence. Every individual should have the opportunity to live the life they choose.
Saint Paul MN
"Do We Still Need Planned Parenthood? - Obamacare Facts." Obamacare Facts. Obamacare Facts Organization, 07 Oct. 2015. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
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Willingham, Emily. "Why We All Need Planned Parenthood." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 29 Nov. 2015. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Kurtzleben, Danielle. "Fact Check: How Does Planned Parenthood Spend That Government Money?" NPR. NPR, 5 Aug. 2015. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Mitts, Lydia, and Shannon Attanasio. "Four Reasons Planned Parenthood Is an Essential Health Care Provider." Families USA. Families USA, 4 Nov. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
Ross, Dr. Sherry. "One OBGYN Physcian's Take: 10 Reasons I Support Planned Parenthood - Maria Shriver." Igniting Architects of Change. Maria Shriver, 19 Oct. 2015. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Jr., Tom Howell. "House Republicans to Vote to Strip Planned Parenthood Funding." Washington Times. The Washington Times, 5 Jan. 2016. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.
Flynn, Andrea. "The Economic Case for Funding Planned Parenthood." The Atlantic.Atlantic Media Company, 17 Sept. 2015. Web. 31 Oct. 2016.