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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Defunding Planned Parenthood is a mistake


John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

For many years, anti-abortion groups have stood outside Planned Parenthood offices in hopes of changing young women’s decisions about having an abortion. 

Planned Parenthood has faced almost daily accusations ranging from being “baby killers” to being accused and wrongly framed for selling the body parts of aborted fetuses online.

A lot of people’s views of Planned Parenthood are completely out of touch with reality. 

Planned Parenthood’s main job is to give affordable health care to men, women and adolescents. Their services include sex education, tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases and women’s health care, such as cancer screenings, HIV testing and birth control. In fact, according to the Planned Parenthood website, abortion counts for only 3 percent of the services they provide.

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On Jan. 5, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that Republicans are planning to defund Planned Parenthood to stop the abortion services they offer. The truth is that federal tax dollars don’t pay for abortion services because of the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment blocks federal Medicaid funding for abortion services with the following exceptions: when continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the woman or when the pregnancy is a result from rape or incest.

Approximately 60 percent of patients rely on Medicaid and Title X to provide their preventative and primary care visits at Planned Parenthood. Why is this important? The federal funds received by Planned Parenthood are from Medicaid reimbursements and from Title X. Funds from Title X can only be used for family planning health care.

The lack of funds would mean that the 2.5 million people who go to their local Planned Parenthood annually won’t get the health care services and information that they need. Low-income families and minorities who rely on Planned Parenthood would lose access to their affordable health care. 

President-elect Donald Trump is infamous for his complaints and his tendency to opine on everything. Trump said that he would sign a bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood and that, “We’re not going to fund, as long as you have the abortion going on at Planned Parenthood. We understand that, and I’ve said it loud and clear.”

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Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, argues such defunding will hurt low-income families. “You can’t completely end a public health care system in America and not think about what the impact will be on the folks who have least access to care,” she said.

As a young college woman, having affordable health services available is important. Being able to have somewhere to go where they don’t judge their patients and where they educate their patients on their body is a relief. It allows young people to feel comfortable and to open up and trust health care professionals with the concerns they have.

With all the negativity surrounding Planned Parenthood, they still remain strong and are putting up a fight to continue giving low-income patients the affordable health care that they need and deserve. The endless fight to shut down Planned Parenthood for good is not over.

Follow Aurora Begay on Twitter.

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