Opinion: Pro-life individuals can support Planned Parenthood

Madison Newingham

Being pro-life and supporting Planned Parenthood are not mutually exclusive.

Planned Parenthood is a health care center with the best interest of its patients’ safety and comfort in mind. Everything the clinics do, they do to secure life.

When pinned into the labels of pro-choice and pro-life, some people pick one that they may not empathize with, but want to feel included.

Under the umbrella of pro-choice, one can never personally decide to have an abortion if in that situation, but does not want to impress that belief on others. Also, there are many facilities aside from Planned Parenthood that do perform abortions; however, those clinics are not being targeted and many who identify as pro-life still use those clinics and hospitals.

That said, if you feel the labels pro-life and pro-choice are too polarizing, you do not have to call yourself either. Your opinion can be private if you so choose, or it can be something that only applies to yourself and not society as a whole.

Just because you are pro-life, this does not mean you must support defunding of Planned Parenthood, despite the rhetoric of conservative politicians. Out of all of their services, 96.9 percent are unrelated to abortions.

Consequently, supporting Planned Parenthood inherently means you support accessible healthcare. That said, I completely stand behind abortions. However, suggesting that the organization only provides abortions is very incorrect.

If you are still weary, allow me to elaborate. In case you are concerned that your tax-paying dollars are funding abortions, I want to reassure you that this is not the case.

No federal taxes go toward abortions. I reiterate, the Hyde Amendment bars federal funds from paying for abortions with the exceptions of life of the mother, rape and incest.

So, you are not breaking your personally indoctrinated moral code by standing with Planned Parenthood.

I also want to stress that Planned Parenthood intends to reduce the number of abortions needed and the entirety of its work contributes to lowering the number performed. Defunding Planned Parenthood will not reduce the number of abortions.

Contraception, which the organization obviously offers, counters the need for abortions. Planned Parenthood offers proper sex education, birth control and condoms to reduce this number.

Similarly, Planned Parenthood clinics offering abortion services are not the only clinics where one can receive an abortion. Defunding the organization will inhibit it from allocating the necessary funds for contraceptives, screenings and proper sex education.

I also want to note for the state of Ohio, sex education is not standardized. Thus, schools get away with preaching abstinence despite being public educators.

If an individual experiences a pressing issue and needs a prompt appointment at a health care provider, one can make same-day appointments with Planned Parenthood. Most clinics and hospitals have waiting periods of around two to three weeks. Planned Parenthood offers last minute appointments and free gynecological services to women who otherwise may not get treatments they need in general or in a timely manner.

Interesting to note, as many who identify as pro-life are social conservatives and vote Republican, Planned Parenthood has been receiving federal funds since 1970 when former Republican President Nixon signed the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act into law.

Again, I want to repeat that Nixon, a Republican, secured funding for Planned Parenthood.

I understand if you are morally drawn on the issue of abortion; it is a really uncomfortable talking point that draws back to values. Since debating a resolution over values has shown to be impossible, I urge you to consider the women who will be put at risk without abortions.

In pre-Roe times, it was normal for women to die from unsanitary abortions, and reverting back to this period is unsafe for the women living right now.

Planned Parenthood affiliate groups actively support and advocate for reproductive rights and the necessity of reasonable care. This is just a reminder than Planned Parenthood is health care ‒ that’s it. Attacking clinicians and clinic workers only hinders their ability to provide basic services to patients and threatens the lives of those employees.

Protesting clinics suggests the protesting of health care because Planned Parenthood is not a political organization.

The notion of defunding Planned Parenthood is an unfair, poorly targeted proxy war, which, if successful, will cause nearly 3 million to lose readily accessible care, including STD testing, cancer screenings, birth control and other services which will only increase the number of unsafe abortions.

This is not pro-life.

It is wrong that those whom Planned Parenthood does not affect are the ones so forcefully pushing to defund such an important organization.  

I want to point out the irony in those without uteri  many of who will never have to be personally pregnant or decide what to do with that private and personal pregnancy  can easily and hastily make decisions that will never affect them.

Through their legislation, rich, predominantly white male congressmen assert that women are not capable of making their own decisions about their bodies. I promise you will never see a panel of all women stand behind Republican leaders in support of defunding Planned Parenthood in the same way that we constantly see panels of all men standing behind President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Gov. John Kasich and others who have cut funding for Planned Parenthood and abortions, or have made efforts to do so.

Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood because it is not their entity  they gain no political power through it. Conservative legislators can pretend that they are helping you by gaining power through convincing you Planned Parenthood is evil.

Stripping health care away from you with no alternative plan will not help you. They fight Planned Parenthood to advance their agenda, not yours. I urge you to reconsider your position, especially if your reason resonates in abortions.

Finally, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s record reflects that he has voted to defund Planned Parenthood five times. I urge you to call his offices to voice your dissent against his stance. His five offices’ phone numbers are as follows: Washington, D.C. (202) 224-3353, Columbus (614) 469-6774, Cincinnati (513) 684-3265, Cleveland (216) 522-7095 and Toledo (419) 259-3895.

Madison Newingham is a columnist, contact her at [email protected].