In 2011, Texas reduced funding for family planning programs by $75 million. This caused one out of every four family planning facilities in Texas to shut their doors to women in need of healthcare (Potter par. 4). Planned Parenthood can be a very controversial topic; however, it is an important one to discuss. There has been talk in recent politics and government to defund Planned Parenthood. This is a huge mistake. While controversial, Planned Parenthood is still a vital part of the healthcare system. Planned Parenthood doesn’t have a direct line of funding from the government, but it is funded through reimbursements by Medicaid for preventative care, as well as from Title X (How Federal Funding Works at Planned Parenthood par. 2).
If legislation were to block the funding to Planned Parenthood, they would cut off 60% of patients, according to Planned Parenthood’s website. Many of their patients use Medicaid or Title X in order to afford basic services like obtaining birth control or getting standard screening tests. Planned Parenthood should continue to be federally funded because it is a large source of health care for many individuals, saves taxpayers money overall, and promotes women’s rights.
Planned Parenthood is a large part of the healthcare system, especially when it comes to women’s healthcare and family planning matters. According to the article Family Planning Agencies: Services, Policies and Funding written by Stanley Henshaw, Planned Parenthood affiliates provide contraceptive services for an average of 2,041 clients per clinic site, compared with 761 per health department clinic (par. 1). This means that nearly 75% of people go to a Planned Parenthood facility for their family planning needs. Planned Parenthood has a very high number of facilities in comparison to health offices and hospitals, thus they see a higher number of patients. Planned Parenthood affiliates see, on average, 4-8 times more clients than other clinic types (Henshaw par. 17). If funding is cut, then many of these facilities would need to close their doors and turn away women who may not have any other places to go, simply because they cannot afford it. This was the case for Texas when they cut funding in 2011.
Many women then had to drives hours in order to get the services they required. Thus, defunding would cause this number to drop, and low-income women may be forced to negate healthcare altogether because of lack of money.
Funding that goes towards Planned Parenthood actually saves taxpayers money, thus defunding it would cost taxpayers more. In 2011 the legislation in Texas cut $75 million in funding to Planned Parenthood and other family planning sources (Messin’ With Texas: Religious Right Scheme Backfires In Lone Star State pg. 14). They thought this would save money, however, as a result, taxpayers ended up roughly $273 million on paying for unplanned births.
As a result of the cut in funds, women were no longer able to afford contraceptives such as birth control. In turn this led to more unintentional pregnancies that the mothers were unable to care for. The Family Research Council was a large supporter in cutting funding to Planned Parenthood because of its association with abortion (Messin’ With Texas: Religious Right Scheme Backfires In Lone Star State pg. 14). Many people and organizations are against federally funding Planned Parenthood because they do not want to be funding abortions, however federal fund doesn’t go towards abortions according to the Hyde Amendment (Kliff par. 4). The Hyde Amendment it illegal for Medicaid to fun abortion, unless in the case of rape, incest or in order to save the mother’s life. Thus, Planned Parenthood was not able to use the federal funds for abortion, instead it was being used to make birth control, other contraceptives and more services affordable. In 2010, it is estimated that for every dollar spent towards family planning services they saved $7, which comes out to a net total of $13.6 billion (Culp-Ressler par. 3). Taxpayers save money when funds are given to family planning programs because that money goes towards preventative measures, which is much cheaper than paying for raising a child that’s in the hands of the government. Thus, in order to save money, the government should continue to fund family planning programs such as Planned Parenthood.
While it is important for Planned Parenthood to continue to be funded, it could be argued that they should not because of some of their more controversial procedures and the idea that sex is a choice. It is well known that Planned Parenthood performs abortion procedures. This is one of the biggest reasons that people and organization fight to end Planned Parenthood, these groups mostly consisting of individuals who are pro-life. According to Planned Parenthood’s website they offer a few types of abortions, the most common being a suction abortion. This involves gentle suction that empties the uterus and its lining. This process usually takes places 14-16 weeks after the last period. If it has been longer than 16 weeks, then they would perform a dilation and evacuation or D&E. This involves using suction and medical tools to clear out the uterus (In-Clinic Abortion Procedure | Abortion Methods par. 2).
They claim that their abortion services are 99% effective, and rarely do they need to be performed a second time. For those are pro-life, these services are frowned upon because they do terminate the pregnancy and eliminate the embryo or fetus. Another argument against the need of Planned Parenthood is the idea that sex is a choice. While in many cases this is very true, there are few instances in which sex is not a choice and women or men are forced into sex. In most cases however, sex is engaged in by two consenting adults. The only 100% effective form of birth control is abstinence. Planned Parenthood promotes the use of preventative measures of birth control, which for many is not needed unless they plan on having sex. Sex is not necessary for survival outside of creating new life, and thus is a choice. Thus, Planned Parenthood’s offering of abortions and the idea that sex is a choice would be an argument against continuing to fund planned parenthood.
Planned Parenthood should continue to be funded in order to help protect women’s rights and keep services for women affordable. For decades women have had to fight for more rights. Just under a century ago women were still not allowed to vote and limiting funding for Planned Parenthood start going backwards in terms of women’s rights. When the government defunds Planned Parenthood, they are taking away many things from all types of women, like those who are lower class, women of color and many more. Yes, Planned Parenthood offers the service of getting an abortion, but they offer so much more than that. Through Planned Parenthood you can; get birth control, emergency contraceptives, HIV tests, STI tests, STI treatment or vaccination, pregnancy tests, prenatal care, etc. (Our Services | Affordable Healthcare & Sex Education par. 1).
Taking away Planned Parenthood is taking away important healthcare to ensure a healthy life for many women, as well as men looking for testing and treatment. In Texas, when legislature defunded family planning programs, the unintended birth rate increased because women could not afford contraceptives. The burden should not land on women to pay for contraceptives while men do not have that expense. Let’s talk about the expenses of being a woman in terms of reproductive expenses. One of the common methods of birth control is the pill. The pill can cost between $15 to $50 a month, which is anywhere from $160 to $600 in a year. Another form of birth control is an IUD (intrauterine device).
While this form can last up to 12 years, the upfront cost can be $500 to $1,000 (Palmer par 5, 11). However, many IUD are designed for shorter use, which makes them even more expensive as you must get the more frequently than every 12 years. This is an extra expense that women need to pay if they want to engage in safe sex without the risk of getting pregnant. The only real form of non- permanent male birth control are male condoms, which still are not as effective as something like the IUD which is 99% effective, over the condom which is only 85% effective (Palmer par. 11). There have been more recent studies developing a hormonal birth control for men, but men were dropping out because of undesirable side effects, side effects that are just the same for women and even more than men (Staff par. 2). It is unfair that men don’t have to pay financial or physical burden of birth control, especially when men make more than women on average. Let’s also think about the women who are raped and get pregnant by their attacker and have no real control over it because the government has put restrictions on their bodies. There are women who will seek out ways to get an abortion and will do things that put their body and selves at risk. Planned Parenthood gives women a safe environment to handle their pregnancy as they wish. Women should be provided birth control free of cost and they should be allowed the option to decide for themselves what they would like to have happen to their body.
It is important to continue funding to Planned Parenthood because it is a large part of the health care system, it saves taxpayers money and helps to promotes women’s rights and activism. There are many Planned Parenthood locations through the US, which provide sanctuary to many women. Young women go there when they are looking for council, because they may be too scared to face their parents or guardians. Planned Parenthood also helps give women of low income the chance to receive affordable healthcare in the form of contraceptives. When money is provided to family planning programs such as Planned Parenthood, there is less money that the taxpayers need to spend on more expensive issues, such as the problem of increased unintentional pregnancies.
Thus, the defunding of these programs would cause more tax dollars to be spent on resulting pregnancies rather than preventative measures. We are also giving women more freedom and more choice when we continue to fund Planned Parenthood, and we do so without funding abortions. Although Planned Parenthood performs abortions, no government money is used to pay for such procedures. Thus, it is in the best interest of the people that Planned Parenthood continues to be federally funded.
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