Truth be told, I don’t know my stance on abortion. I was super pro-choice once upon a time, as I’ve always believed that a woman should have 100% control of her body and her life.
Then I became a mom.
Now I’ve witnessed that ugly little peanut shaped thing from an ultrasound grow into a tiny little person; a little person who baffles me every day with just how much she knows and feels. Now I’ve seen firsthand just how much we constantly underestimate these little humans. Now I know how much society as a whole doesn’t really know about the human life at that stage. Now… I’m not so sure I can call myself “pro-choice” at all.
There is one thing I am sure about though: defunding planned parenthood does not mean defunding abortion. It does, however, mean at least partially denying low-income and rural women access to affordable women’s healthcare services – an estimated 650,000 women nationwide according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Choosing to Save Lives
You want to talk pro-life?
What about the 1,121,580 cancer prevention and screening services planned parenthood provided last year that potentially saved lives? Or the STD/STI testing and treatment that accounts for 41% of their services and may have done the same? What about the one million educational programs they offer or the access to affordable birth control they provide that can help prevent pregnancy all together, thereby preventing abortions as well.
Abortion only accounts for three percent of the services they provide; three percent which is not currently paid for by government funding at all. How does it make sense to take away government funding for necessary, quality women’s healthcare services over abortions that aren’t even covered by these government funds in the first place?
News flash: planned parenthood is not the only organization that performs abortions. It is however the only place where as many as 650,000 women have access to affordable women’s healthcare. Women who may not qualify for Medicaid, yet still do not make enough for decent insurance; women who may not live within reachable distance of another affordable health center; women whose bodies still get sick whether or not they can afford it; women whose lives are potentially at risk without access to decent healthcare.
Living where Planned Parenthood has been Defunded.
I live in a bright and sunny southern state where there has been no government funding for planned parenthood since 2001 . Where is that state in the women’s health department? Why we are number 46 in the number of women who have had pap tests in the last 3 years! We are also so proud that 20% of women report to be in fair to poor health here, 20% don’t have a doctor, and one third of our counties don’t have OB-GYN’s at all.
Yet somehow we still managed to make up 8% of the abortion procedures in the country, with 24% of our pregnancies here ending in abortion in 2011. This was a year where the abortion rate nationwide was 16.9 while Florida, a state without Planned Parenthood funding, had an abortion rate of 23.7.
Don’t Blur the Lines.
Since the release of some highly edited videos of stock abortion footage and GOP candidate Carly Fiorina’s misinformed comments on them at the GOP Debate, there has been a huge attack Planned Parenthood. Everyone’s debating: “is abortion ok?”, “should the government fund it?”, “should we defund Planned Parenthood?”. Somewhere in the mix, we’re blurring the lines between the abortion debate and the Planned Parenthood one.
Should abortion be legal? Maybe, maybe not. But this debate, it’s not about abortions. Defunding planned parenthood has not proven to reduce the amount of abortions performed. Rather, it will leave hundreds of thousands of American women without proper care and at risk.
In a country where cervical cancer was once the leading cause of death in women, we need organizations like planned parenthood to offer affordable women’s healthcare service to detect, treat, and prevent potentially life threatening medical issues. If it came down to a vote on whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood, I’d check the box for hell no. Where do you stand?