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Planned Parenthood defunding offers closer look at issues

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Texas Governor Greg Abbot’s recent elimination of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s recent attempt at the same action expresses one side of the argument on Planned Parenthood while giving other side a chance to be focused on.

A statement issued from Abbot’s office on Monday said that the women’s reproductive health organization Planned Parenthood will no longer receive Medicaid funding in the state. Although in vain, Jindal attempted to reach the same result for the state of Louisiana. Both statements followed allegations of Planned Parenthood discussing the illegal sale of fetal tissue on video; however, according to The Washington Post, Planned Parenthood responded to the allegations as being “offensive and categorically untrue.”

Despite the source of the accusations dismissing the claims, governmental funding of Planned Parenthood still remains a subject of heated discussion based on the organization’s involvement with abortion services. Although abortion is a controversial and complex topic that will never reach unanimity, it doesn’t mean that certain aspects of Planned Parenthood should be ignored or misunderstood in order to defend a stance on abortion.

One of the biggest mistakes to be made about Planned Parenthood is the misunderstanding or lack of knowledge concerning what the organization does and provides. Although there will always be people against situations and organizations based solely off of an affiliation with abortion, it needs to be fully understood that Planned Parenthood’s association with abortion includes it’s attempt to reduce it.

Although Planned Parenthood provides the category of abortion services, other services fall into the categories of STI/STD testing and treatment, contraception, cancer screening and protection, other women’s health services and other services. The most recent data released from Planned Parenthood shows that the contraception category makes up 42 percent of services, making it the category patients utilize most. According to the same data, 3 percent of services at Planned Parenthood are in the abortion service category, making it rank second lowest after the 1 percent in the “other services” category.

Planned Parenthood also released a report estimating 216,000 averted abortions per year, as well as an estimated 515,000 averted unintended pregnancies per year due to their contraceptive services. These statistics show that abortion rates and unplanned pregnancy rates would surely increase without the organization’s additional services, which brings into question the impact of defunding Planned Parenthood for multiple reasons.

Defunding Planned Parenthood will not stop the act of abortion. If anything can be deducted from the aforementioned statistics, it’s that Planned Parenthood, although an abortion service provider, aids in lowering the need for abortion and the number of unintended pregnancies in addition to providing healthcare needs and education. If the additional services provided by Planned Parenthood are still null to a person’s stance on the organization based off of the fact that abortion services are provided, it is important to keep in mind that defunding Planned Parenthood won’t stop people from getting abortions. Even without safe and legal access, people will still seek out the medical attention they want and need.
Defunding this organization not only takes away additional services, but it puts people at risk.

This situation is much more than just picking a side to be on about abortion, it is about having access to safe and legal healthcare and information. If someone will let the debate of abortion get in the way of that, then there is a bigger problem.

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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University
Planned Parenthood defunding offers closer look at issues