Planned Parenthood’s Government Funding: Yay or Nay?

“The women who come to Planned Parenthood don’t do so to make a political statement; they come to get high-quality, affordable, and compassionate care. When a patient comes to us, we don’t ask her if she’s a Democrat or a Republican because health-care provision should never be political.” -Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood

The funding of Planned Parenthood has been a topic of political debate for quite some time. They’ve been debating whether they should continue to fund Planned Parenthood or not. However, most people are misinformed about what they do for families across America and around the world. They provide tests and treatments for STIs, breast exams, and pap tests, and offer sex education for anyone of any age. Planned Parenthood provides general health care services at an affordable price and provides vital information for millions of Americans. The government should continue to provide funds for Planned Parenthood. In the annual report published on the Planned Parenthood website, it says government funding makes up more than 40% of their $1.2 billion annual funds. If the government stopped funding, they’d be down $528 million and may not be able to continue to provide all the necessary services for families.

In a pamphlet available on the Planned Parenthood website, it says “In 2013 (the latest year for which we have figures), Planned Parenthood provided more than five million people worldwide with the means to make responsible choices about their sexual and reproductive health.” According to the 2014-2015 annual report published by Planned Parenthood, 635,000 pap tests and breast exams were performed. That means those women were tested for cancer and either tested positive and got treatment or were healthy and didn’t have to worry. Nearly 3 million birth control information and services were provided and unintended pregnancies were prevented. Nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for STIs were provided. Those people don’t have to worry anymore. Only 3% of services provided were for abortion, as opposed to the 95% most people think it is. Those services are important for everyone and should be available regardless of family income or gender or sexuality.

Planned Parenthood not only provided sex education and services, they also provide general health and family services. Regular check-ups and physical exams for sports or employment are offered. They screen for cholesterol. diabetes, high blood pressure, and thyroid. They provide flu and tetanus vaccines, testing for anemia, and they help with quitting smoking. For people who can’t have children or who want to adopt, they can also refer you to adoption agencies in the area. And for people who have just begun a family, pregnancy tests and prenatal services are offered. All those exams and tests are necessary to make sure every person is healthy and able to live a happy life and the family services offered are great support for low income families.

But how would families pay for those services? Planned Parenthood bases their fees on the income of the client, which is great for low income families who may not have health insurance. They use funds from Title X, which guarantees a woman’s right to family services regardless if they can pay for it. If they do have health insurance, Planned Parenthood will most likely accept it. People get any health service they need and don’t have to worry about going broke from it. Now parents don’t have to worry about whether they can take care of their children.

Despite many attempts by many organizations trying to defund them, Planned Parenthood is still going strong. In an article written by Danielle Kurtzleben for NPR, she says, “Once again this week, an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s alleged sale of fetal tissue came up empty.” about the many videos released by the Center for Medical Progress. State and government officials have investigated and still are investigating the allegations about Planned Parenthood trying to sell fetal organs from abortions. All investigations so far have come up empty. After the shooting at a clinic in Colorado, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards said, “The extremists will not win this battle. The goal of these attacks is to get Planned Parenthood to stop providing care – and that will never happen. We have proudly provided reproductive health-care services for 99 years, and we are only getting started.”

Planned Parenthood has provided necessary health services for millions of people for almost a century. The government should not stop funding them because so many families don’t have the money to pay for private practices or to pay to go to the hospital. They can go to Planned Parenthood to get the same services as at a doctor’s office, but for a smaller fee. Parents won’t have to worry if they have the money to pay for a checkup for their children. Teens can go to get any questions they have answered by a professional and learn anything else they need to know.

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