What You Should Know About the Planned Parenthood Debate
The first time I heard of Planned Parenthood was on Mean Girls, I was 14 and just concluded it was for teenage girls who got pregnant. Now since life as labored me into an adulthood, I have full understanding of Planned Parenthood and an appreciation for what it represents in terms of women’s rights.
At my college, we were offered health coverage through Aetna that would provide yearly exams, pap smears, breast exams, STI treatments, and birth control. However, after college, so many of my friends have been left without insurance. Securing full-time jobs hasn’t been easy and even once you get a job the wait period for benefits still leaves you with no where to turn for immediate medical attention.
As women, we’re no strangers to painful UTIs, untimely cramps or even odd birth control side effects. The thing is, we never know when these issues are more than surface problems that can be cured with drug store remedies. A STI can easily be mistaken for a yeast infection and similarly, a kidney infection can feel a lot like a UTI. Without insurance these problems can go unchecked and have dire consequences, but many women seek out Planned Parenthood as a lifesaver, even if they can only detect the problems and offer referrals.
I say all these to show that while conservatives are urging for women to seek help at community health centers, because they “offer the same services,” they won’t offer the same level of comfort and care that a facility geared towards women’s health would. I’ve seen firsthand how uninsured patients are treated in community health facilities, as well as in hospitals, by the staff. It’s unpleasant and definitely uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want to trust these people with giving me helpful information, when they already treat me like I don’t belong here or deserve quality service.
Planned Parenthood offers quality service and care that does not discriminate. That’s why I stand with Planned Parenthood. Here’s what you should know about the debate over Planned Parenthood:
So what exactly is the debate about?
More money more problems….as per usual political drama, money is at the root of this problem.
Last year, Planned Parenthood received over $500 Million in federal funds to aid over 2 million women that have no other access to quality reproductive healthcare. After sketchy hidden camera videos were published accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally profiting from fetal tissue sales, the non-profit has sparked debates, rallies and now a possible de-funding. Republicans, who are upfront about being anti-abortion, are challenging Planned Parenthood about their fund usage and would like to see no more public funding for the organization.
What is Planned Parenthood Accused of?
The Center for Medical Progress captured video of Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Deborah Nucatola, discussing the prices for fetal organs. Planned Parenthood has issued apologies about the videos, but ensures that the video is edited to shape the statements in the oppositions favor. If Planned Parenthood is found guilty of selling fetal organs for profit they would be violating the federal law passed in 1993, which regulates fetal research. The law, 42 U.S.C. 289g-2(a) states it is unlawful for anyone “to knowingly acquire, receive, or otherwise transfer any fetal tissue for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce.”
Eric Ferrero, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood, states that with explicit consent from their patients they donate the fetal tissue for research. He admits that they do accept money for these donations, but these are expense reimbursements only, which is not illegal. Because “valuable consideration” excludes “payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”
The Center for Medical Progress also accuses Planned Parenthood of altering abortion procedures to recover more usable fetal tissue.
“These outrageous claims are flat-out untrue, but that doesn’t matter to politicians with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion and de-fund Planned Parenthood. Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned.” -Ferrero
Planned Parenthood Offers More than Abortions
Despite the fact that federal funds cannot be used for abortions, abortions are only about 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. Planned Parenthood provides nearly 400,000 pap smears to for cervical cancer screenings and about 500,000 breast exams annually. Planned Parenthood administers almost 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including 700,00 HIV tests. 80% of Planned Parenthood services are geared toward unintended pregnancy prevention.
Outside of medical examinations that are immensely needed by uninsured women. Low-income families can benefit from counseling, pregnancy resources and wide variety of sex education classes.
If Planned Parenthood loses Federal Funding…
41% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue, comes from state, local and federal funds, with the loss of federal funding millions will lose access to quality preventative health care. Millions of young uninsured women whether college students or working part-time jobs will lose access to affordable birth control. Uninsured women needing breast exams or pap smears will lose access to those services resulting in un-diagnosed cancers.
Here’s the Problem:
Now, the rebuttal to this has largely been, as mentioned before, women can go to other community health centers and the myriad of women’s healthcare facilities in every state. However, the important words here are quality and affordable. I’ve been to a women’s free clinic before and to say the least, I would never want to have to go there again. Not only did it feel communal and cold, the staff was unfriendly and treated us all like we were in an internment camp. I was a number without a face and without any empathy. I felt like I was in the way and just taking up their time as we went through the routine exam with minimal eye contact.
When you’re concerned about your health that’s not the way you want or deserve to be treated. However, like most other government funded facilities, the staff make you pay for their discontentment with their own lives. Every conversation is abrasive and you better not have a question, if you do be prepared to be half-way yelled at and scoffed at once their done with you.
If for some reason, you find yourself needing urgent care and you cannot get an appointment with these women’s clinics and you hop on over to the hospital, you’ll be left with a huge bill that you can add to your collection of debt.
Click here to find out how you can “Stand with Planned Parenthood”: