Despite the common belief that Planned Parenthood focuses only on abortions and birth control, the clinic also provides contraception and general healthcare to men and women. Offering health services actually leads to fewer abortions. Even knowing this, the Republican Party plans to defund these clinics.
Planned Parenthood, a non-profit, helps educate people across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Services include: information on topics such as body image and relationships; contraception; checkups for reproductive or sexual health; colon, prostate, and testicular cancer screenings; physical exams, for employment and sports; flu vaccines; and help to quit smoking. They provide an easy access to appointments to talk about sex, sexual health, and sexuality with staff members. This benefits those who need credible and up-to-date information, but do not have a general practitioner doctor or can not afford to go to a for-profit clinic, like investor owned hospitals.
People without access to health care run the risk of poor health. Planned Parenthood offers affordable health care to both men and women. According to PBS, approximately 44 million Americans lack the financial means for health care insurance. Planned Parenthood provides this necessary care for those less fortunate.
The pro-life community may argue that they do not want their tax money to go towards a cause that violates their morality. With clinics that provide affordable contraception, less women will need abortions. According to Planned Parenthood Action, defunding the clinics blocks patients who rely on public health care programs.
The Hyde Amendment prohibits taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortions. Only 33.5 percent of all Planned Parenthood health services focus on contraception and three percent on abortion services. According a to LA Times “After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies,” researchers calculated a 27 percent relative increase in births for women who lost access to Planned Parenthood.
Teens do not have easy access to information about sexually transmitted diseases and contraception. Sex-ed in Florida varies by school and students often miss out. Since the Florida healthy teens act, a bill that aims to provide comprehensive health instruction and factual information, no longer applies to schools, Planned parenthood welcomes students to come for education about diseases and life choices. The better educated people become, the more likely they take the necessary precautions to stay safe .
Rumors, like sales of fetal body parts, also provide opposers a reason to rally against Planned Parenthood. In 2015, Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott ordered an investigation into sales of body parts, but the agency found no substantial evidence. Conservatives use scare tactics and create these stories to impose their religious beliefs on citizens, effectively disregarding the separation of church and state doctrine.
Planned Parenthood benefits both men and women of all ages. No matter one’s personal views on abortion, this alternative health care program affects other people and offers important and helpful services that may change someone’s life.