ISABELA GONZALEZ (GRADE 10)
Defunding Planned Parenthood is not about being pro-choice or pro-life. I am pro-choice, and I do believe that government, a male dominated government especially, should not have a say in what women do with their bodies. It is also important to note that the republican party, a party built on the belief that government should be separate from the economy, is so bent on completely intervening when it comes to women’s bodies.
Pro-choice v. pro-life arguments aside, there are plenty of helpful services that centers such as Planned Parenthood provide, besides abortion. This includes free health care, which is something under-served communities may not have easy access to. Along with this, they provide different methods of birth control, which shockingly, when used appropriately, eradicates the need for a pro-life v. pro-choice argument at all.
A staggering 60% of Planned Parenthood’s patients use their free health care, equaling a total of 2.5 million people who, if Planned Parenthood was shut down, would lose their health care. Anti-abortion activists, such as Vice President Mike Pence, and Health and Human Services Secretary designee Tom Price, have created this idea that by defunding Planned Parenthood, all that will be lost is the ability to get an abortion, when in reality, 2.5 million people will lose their healthcare. Furthermore, this comes right after an effort to repeal Obamacare, in which an estimated 24 million people will have lost their healthcare by 2026. So really, defunding Planned Parenthood would hurt lower income people, especially women, which is counterproductive in a so-called pro-life campaign.
Additionally, if safe abortions suddenly become illegal, all abortions will not suddenly stop. There are plenty of ways to get unsafe and possibly life-threatening abortions, ways in which women in countries where abortions are illegal try, and ways in which American women used to try before abortions became legal here. Abortions will never stop, they will just become more dangerous.
Planned Parenthood is more than just a place to get an abortion, it is a healthcare provider for two and a half million low-income Americans and it supplies many women with the supplies they need to ensure they have safe sex. Before you criticize them for providing women with a service you may not agree with, make sure you understand the real cost of defunding Planned Parenthood.
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