Standing with Planned Parenthood

The public funding of Planned Parenthood has become a hugely controversial topic, surrounded by false rumors, misconceptions and misinformation. Republican presidential candidates continually bash Planned Parenthood for the fact that it provides abortion, which is one of the most disputed medical procedures in today’s society. Because of the conflict surrounding abortion, Republican representatives have recently introduced a bill to abolish federal funding for the organization. This is a decision that would be far from beneficial- and in fact potentially fatal- to many women living in the United States.

Firstly, it is important to note that this controversy is centered on a dangerous myth.

“Most people, when they hear the word[s] ‘Planned Parenthood clinics,’ think [of] abortion clinics, and that is a real misconception,”  English teacher and Young Democrats sponsor Marian Patey said. “[Abortion] is just one of the services that Planned Parenthood provides, but it’s a women’s health clinic, especially for women who don’t have health insurance, women who are poor [and] women who don’t have access to medical care at a hospital or through a doctor.”

The federal government already cut its funding of abortion through the 1976 Hyde Amendment, which banned the use of Medicaid funds for abortion, according to All abortion services that Planned Parenthood provides are funded through private donations or other fundraising. Pulling federal funding for Planned Parenthood would just destroy funding that goes to providing health care services for underprivileged men and women.

“I think people are very misguided on [the services that Planned Parenthood provides] because by law, Planned Parenthood cannot use government funding for abortions,” junior Ava Sharifi said. “When a GOP candidate is saying that they’re going to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood, they’re defunding cancer screenings, affordable healthcare options for women.”

Another argument against Planned Parenthood is that there is no need for it under the new Medicaid and ObamaCare programs. However, according to, millions fall in the Medicaid gap in states that didn’t expand Medicaid, even though ObamaCare has expanded coverage options to provide free sexual and reproductive health services.

By removing federal funding for Planned Parenthood, millions of Americans, many of whom are living in poverty, would be stripped of their access to healthcare and reproductive services.

Planned Parenthood provides a variety of helpful services ranging from cancer screenings to educational services and counseling about parenthood. These all seem to be overshadowed by the abortion services that Planned Parenthood provides, which, according to 2013 statistics provided by the organization, makes up only around three percent of the 10.6 million total services provided. Most media coverage of Planned Parenthood revolves around the fact that they provide abortions, which makes abortion the main concern of many citizens.

“I think what they are doing [in providing abortions] is immoral,” sophomore Randy Weidman said. “And I think it reflects poorly on the United States as a nation.”

Severe attitudes and statements against abortion, such as the branding of it as “the killing of an unborn baby,” as stated by, makes it difficult for many to focus on the constructive aspects of Planned Parenthood. Hopefully, more will begin to see the favorable services that the organization provides to many Americans.

“I think Planned Parenthood is a great organization, and it provides a lot of more affordable healthcare options for women all over the place that private healthcare companies [and] clinics don’t provide,” Sharifi said. “[Planned Parenthood centers are] very common, and it’s an easy option for women to go to get cancer screenings, get birth control, [and get] anything that they need, and I think it is hugely important. I think when such a small percentage of their funding is going toward abortion, it’s really ridiculous to try to defund the whole thing.”