Planned Parenthood. To some people, those words conjure images of abortion.
To others, approximately three million American men and women (according to the organization’s statistics), Planned Parenthood represents cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, sexual education, contraception and family planning.
And if the Pence Bill, which was recently approved by the House of Representatives, makes it through the Senate, Planned Parenthood will lose $317 million in federal funding—a third of its annual budget.
While we may not all agree when it comes to abortion, which is obviously the big issue at hand, there are so many more things Congress should consider when they are shrinking the organization’s budget.
Extremist pro-lifers, who make up the majority of the proponents of the bill, either misunderstand that none of the government aid is actually used to fund abortions, or are simply ignoring this fact to further their agendas.
Moreover, the fact that Congress allows the military to spend $7 million a year to sponsor a race car driver proves that this bill is not about saving money. Rather, it is another example of politicians letting their personal beliefs affect policy making to the point of irrationality.
By saying no to Planned Parenthood, they are saying no to breast and pelvic exams, safe sex education, and testing for sexually transmitted diseases for people who can not afford them on their own—a fact that the writers of the bill conveniently ignored.
Such cuts would force many people to get their health resources elsewhere. That means more people would depend on the government for these necessities. Thus, the bill would not save the taxpayers $317 million.
Just think, the men and women who receive treatment at Planned Parenthood would have to go to county hospitals or, in some cases, end up in emergency rooms.
Maybe it’s just our teenage minds, but these alternatives don’t sound too great. In fact, they would probably be more costly to taxpayers in the end regardless of their stance on abortion.
Yes, as the Los Angeles Times reports, Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States, but the Guttmacher Institute reports that about 20 percent of abortion patients use Medicaid to pay for abortions. Ironically, Medicaid is a federally insured medical insurance program.
Slashing a third of its funds simply because it offers abortion services, the same services that are also performed in hospitals that receive government funds and are often paid for with government funded insurance, is denying dependents of this organization their right to health care.
So here is a message for our fellow Republican leaders: if you’re not going to allow universal health care, you might as well also slash funding for hospitals, Medicaid, and other health services. Just to be thorough, you know?