September 29, 2015

LIBERALLY BLONDE | Planned Parenthood

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Fury derived from deception, the call to defund Planned Parenthood is the conservative reaction to a series of stock footage and created scenes. With pro-life advocates and Congressmen urging a government shutdown based on a series of lies, it is time to examine the truth. A fake biomedical research company with forged government credentials and covert cameras produced a video saga of false information. In 2013, David Daleiden invented Biomax Procurement Services, which acted as a disguise for pro-life activists to pose as buyers of fetal tissue and secretly film Planned Parenthood officials during meetings. The footage Daleiden edited and released last July has been the ammunition that ignited the attack on Planned Parenthood and on women.  

While the videos initially released by Daleiden insinuate Planned Parenthood officials profit from the sale of fetal tissue, the unedited footage provides a more accurate picture. One moment in the original version of the tape reveals an executive stating that health centers are seeking to only cover the costs of performing abortions. This executive also mentions donating fetal tissue for scientific research. Rather than acting in the interest of their wallets, Planned Parenthood works in the national interest of women. The reproductive health care services offered by Planned Parenthood have reduced unintentional pregnancies, educated young people and saved lives. In 2010, Planned Parenthood provided an estimated 11 million medical services to three million clients. Of these services, 38 percent entailed administering STD treatment and testing to both men and women while another 33.5 percent included providing contraceptives. Less than three percent of Planned Parenthood services involved performing safe and legal abortions.

When the Texas state Congress voted to defund Planned Parenthood, it resulted in the loss of health care for constituents. Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University, studied what happened when Texas blocked Planned Parenthood grants. Despite other clinics existing in surrounding areas, Rosenbaum found that “they were overbooked with their own patients. What happened in Texas was the amount of family planning services dropped. And the next thing that happened, of course, was that unplanned pregnancies began to rise.” The overcrowding and under-serving that Texas experienced is inevitably due to the fact that millions of women rely on and require the preventative medicine Planned Parenthood offers. The organization purposefully locates clinics in rural and low-income areas in order for women, who could not otherwise access or afford alternative health care clinics and providers, to obtain services.

Despite the success of Planned Parenthood, Republican Congressmen are committed to cutting the program. Yet the defunding of this program would not result in Planned Parenthood’s inability to perform abortions; rather, it would affect access to medical care. The Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortions except under specific circumstances, thus the federal funding Planned Parenthood currently receives goes toward breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment. Ending government support for Planned Parenthood equates to ending preventative medicine for thousands of women who rely on the organization for care and support. Ending government support for Planned Parenthood equates to punishing women in low-income and medically underserved areas. Ending government support for Planned Parenthood equates to the loss of lives. It is time for the truth and it is time to stand with Planned Parenthood.