This past week has led to a controversial face-off between Pro-life and Pro-choice supporters in the wake of a new bill that has passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. This bill supports the efforts of defunding Planned Parenthood for one year so that the government can investigate what exactly happened in recently released videos.
These controversial videos show Planned Parenthood officials possibly selling fetal tissue. If this bill passes, it would do serious damage to the other health care services provided by Planned Parenthood.
In recent years, people have questioned exactly what the federal money given to Planned Parenthood goes to. Many politicians would insight that it is used for abortions. They are wrong. The federal money that Planned Parenthood receives comes from different areas. One is Medicaid and the other is Title IX. In both cases, this money is not used toward abortions because of restrictions. Title IX states that the money cannot be used for abortions in the case of family planning.
Medicaid is a little more complicated, as The Hyde Amendment allows for the money to only be used in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother. These restrictions highly limit the usage of federal money for abortions.
Abortions only make up three percent of what Planned Parenthood offers. The rest is put toward services like contraception and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.
These two areas make up most of what Planned Parenthood does and to suspend funding would critically hurt these services. Planned Parenthood is given half a billion dollars by the government every year for services. Without that funding, women would not be have a safe place to get contraception or get tested for STDs.
In light of this bill, women are speaking out about what Planned Parenthood has done for them in the past. In many cases, it has become a safe haven for those not able to afford contraception, testing for STDS or cancer screenings. Also, the tests provided have helped save many lives. It would be detrimental if funding was cut, because it would mean less money towards these services.
I do agree that a formal investigation should be held to investigate the officials shown in the video and for the content of the video itself. However, the defunding of the whole institution would be outrageous in terms of the impact on the other services it provides.
Perhaps the government could find a better substitute into investigating the video that does not include cutting funding especially because federal funding is not used in cases of abortion. There really is no point in taking money away from something that provides people with a place to get other health care services.
As far as abortions go, if Planned Parenthood must close its doors to those who want or need abortions, who is to say that back-alley abortions won’t pop up again.
Without a place to go for contraception, tests and screenings, women’s rights would be effected and women’s health would be put at risk. It would also be a step backward from how far the U.S has come in providing women alternative places to receive health care.