It is appalling the GOP wants to defund Planned Parenthood, an important women’s health care clinic that provides affordable reproductive care to an estimated one out of every five women in the U.S. Without this organization, millions of women of all ages would go without access to birth control, STD tests, cancer screenings and reproductive health education. Pro-life politicians defunding Planned Parenthood say they care about life. But their stances on issues outside the realm of abortion prove otherwise.
Most controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood is based on the abortion services they provide. As a pro-choice Christian woman, I believe having an abortion is a decision to be made by a woman and her doctor. Though I would never have an abortion, it is the right of a woman to choose what is best for herself. I cannot imagine the pain and difficulty that goes into this decision, especially in the case of rape or if the woman is a minor.
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Planned Parenthood’s abortion procedures cover only 3 percent of their annual services. The organization is also forbidden from using taxpayer money to fund abortions. Planned Parenthood spends most of its time providing needed health care to women through STD tests, birth control and cancer screenings — not abortions.
Though Planned Parenthood provides needed care, many pro-life politicians want to defund this organization because they care about the life of the unborn child. These politicians say they care about life, but their other political stances seem to take the opposite approach.
If you were pro-life, you would be advocating for universal health care, providing welfare and food stamps to children and families in need or trying to stop gun violence and mass shootings that affect families every day. If you were pro-life, you would want to address racial discrimination regarding police shootings or help transgender students facing bullying and harassment in schools. If you were pro-life, you would care about the thousands of Syrian refugees trying to seek asylum in our country or be advocating to help children of illegal immigrants receive a college education.
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Republican politicians also stress the importance of individual rights. What about a woman’s right to choose? What about a woman’s right to privacy? What about a woman’s right to health care? A woman in poverty deserves access to reproductive care just as much as a wealthy woman who has health insurance through an employer. College students, like myself, deserve access to a quality women’s health organization like Planned Parenthood.
Republicans show hypocrisy in defunding Planned Parenthood. While these politicians claim a pro-life stance, their policies do not seem to support the life of a child who is transgender, a refugee escaping persecution or a poor, single mother who needs welfare to support her child. Republicans claim to be champions of individual rights and freedoms, but they invade a woman’s right to make her own private reproductive health care decisions. It is troubling to see this political party going against their self-proclaimed core values to defund Planned Parenthood.
Lauren Manier ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in community and nonprofit leadership and political science.