Opinion: I stand with Planned Parenthood

Bobbie+Szabo

Bobbie Szabo

Bobbie Szabo

I stand with Planned Parenthood, and that is not going to change.

Politicians seem to have a knack for flinging logical fallacies around about reproductive health issues: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down,” said former Representative Todd Akin. “The incidence of pregnancy resulting from rape are very low,” said Representative Trent Franks. “The problem that I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. It is like an abortion factory, frankly,” said President-elect Donald Trump.  “Planned Parenthood isn’t purely a ‘healthcare provider’ any more than a heroin dealer is a community pharmacist,” said Mike Huckabee.

Republicans are determined to ultimately shut down all Planned Parenthoods throughout the country because of the wildly overestimated relationship between the health care provider and abortions.

While Planned Parenthood does offer abortions to patients in need and is, in fact, the largest provider of abortions in the country, abortions only account for around 3 percent of the organization’s yearly patient treatments. STI Treatment and Testing (42 percent), Contraception (34 percent), Education/Other Health Services (11 percent) and even Cancer Screening and Prevention (9 percent) are all provided significantly more frequently than abortions.

The current push to “defund” Planned Parenthood is not only inaccurate in its reasoning, but it’s also incredibly misleading.

Removing patients’ access to Planned Parenthood does not prevent the use of federal funding for abortion, because Medicaid and other federal funds are already restricted from being used to pay for abortions. Thus, the people who lose access are not those seeking abortions, but are those who need to be tested for HIV or cancer or need birth control and are unable to receive such important services elsewhere.

In one-fifth of its locations, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider within the community, so ridding the nation of Planned Parenthood will create health care deserts.

But even the communities with multiple health care providers would suffer should Planned Parenthood disappear, as other providers simply could not handle the influx of new patients; they do not have the capacity or offer the same services to do so. 

Supporting its downfall because it provides abortions is supporting the loss of imperative healthcare for 2.5 million Americans, some of whom will die without its services.

I stand with Planned Parenthood because I believe all people have a right to health care. I stand with Planned Parenthood because I know this is not an attack on abortion—it is an attack on marginalized communities. I stand with Planned Parenthood because I know the rhetoric from the right is downright wrong.

I stand with Planned Parenthood because it is obviously the right thing to do.

Bobbie Szabo is a columnist, contact her at [email protected]