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Cutting Planned Parenthood funding is not the disaster we’ve made it out to be

The organization services only small segment of American women, most of whom can find alternatives

· Feb 1, 2017 Tweet

Marissa Haegele/The Badger Herald

The Planned Parenthood debate has fired up again as U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, has introduced legislation to end federal funding for the organization. There has never been a more opportune moment to achieve such a long-sought goal.

In the wake of the inauguration of a new Republican president and a massive pro-life demonstration during which Vice President Mike Pence gave an address, social conservatives have reason to celebrate and make their voices heard.

Legislation banning state funds from going toward abortion forces many women to pay for procedure out-of-pocketAs conservative efforts across the country have limited access to abortion clinics, the question of whether or not recent legislation Read…

At the March for Life demonstration, Pence said, “Life is winning in America.” I think a federal defunding of Planned Parenthood is likely to happen, but I’m not sure the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade since the precedent has already been sent.

Planned Parenthood has had to circle the wagons in recent years due to scandalous videos from the Center for Medical Progress. The footage revealed officials from the nonprofit organization discussing the sale of body parts. This led to a national uproar.

Arguments made against defunding Planned Parenthood often include the need to fund women’s health, and that it would be atrocious to remove funds from such a needed service. These arguments are flawed and ignore the truth.

Nasty women did not need your vote: Stand up for Planned Parenthood“I mean, if someone is, like, homophobic, or transphobic, or racist, then of course they’re just an asshole. I’m pro-choice, Read…

In July 2015, former U.S. Senator Harry Reid, D-Nevada, claimed Planned Parenthood “is the only health care that a significant number of women get. About 30 percent of women, that’s their health care.” A PolitiFact analysis rated Reid’s statement as “pants on fire.”

The fact-checking website found in order for his claim to be true,  Planned Parenthood would have to provide health care to roughly 39 million women. In truth, the nonprofit only serviced 2.7 million patients in 2013. That figure is unlikely to have skyrocketed in recent years.

There are plenty of places where women can receive health care aside from Planned Parenthood. It is not as essential as many think. According to the numbers from 2015, Planned Parenthood runs 665 clinics across the United States, but there are also 13,540 other clinics. These clinics can easily absorb the Planned Parenthood patients.

One example of this is in Texas. After defunding Planned Parenthood statewide, Texas opened up the state-funded Women’s Health Program on Jan. 1, 2013. The program provides medical assistance and knowledge, without the abortion services Planned Parenthood offers. What Texas has done could be done nationally.

Wisconsin now has only two Planned Parenthood abortion clinicsPlanned Parenthood of Wisconsin is closing its Appleton abortion clinic, leaving the state with only three other centers that offer abortions. In Read…

Then there’s the budgetary issue. I believe everything and anything needs to experience some kind of spending cuts from the federal government to bring America toward a balanced budget. Planned Parenthood might only get around $500 million, but in the current financial dilemma every penny counts. The organization has gotten along just fine during periods of defunding in the past.

More than half of their revenue comes from private donors anyway. In fact, it looks like private funding is going to very helpful for Planned Parenthood during the Trump era, as 128,000 people have donated to it since Nov. 8. Some of them even jokingly list the donor’s name as Pence. Further, if Trump and the Republican Congress do plan to commit to tax reductions, then more people will have money in their pockets to donate to whatever organization they wish.

The bottom line is Planned Parenthood is one of many organizations that provides health care. It will likely stay afloat without federal funding and there’s plenty of alternatives out there. Any problems stripping federal funds creates can be easily solved.

John M. Graber ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in history and political science.