The Right’s war on women

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Alex Stogin, Columnist

 

Recently, one of the newest issues to return to the spotlight are women’s issues, primarily related to women’s healthcare.

A recent video appeared to show an official from Planned Parenthood, a government funded organization dedicated to high quality and affordable reproductive healthcare to men, women and adolescents, discussing the sale of fetal tissue and body parts acquired from performing abortions.

The video sparked calls from many in the Republican Party and several of the Republican presidential candidates to stop all government funding of the organization. In return Democrats have begun to revive what they called in 2012 the Republican “War on Women.” The “War on Women” was the Democrats’ way of highlighting what they considered the Republicans’ out-of-touch platform regarding women’s issues.

I agree with the claim that there is a war on women being waged by the right wing. For years conservatives have backed legislation that would limit a woman’s ability to make her own healthcare decisions. This call to defund Planned Parenthood is only the most recent in a string of attempts to limit a woman’s decisions about her healthcare.

Other attempts have included removing the coverage of contraceptives (i.e. birth control) from the Affordable Care Act and outlawing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. All of these attempts to control women shows the hypocrisy of the right wing. They want the government to be just small enough to fit in the bedrooms and doctor’s offices of all citizens. You cannot call for a small, hands-off government but still advocate for legislation that dictates women’s reproductive health.

In regards to defunding Planned Parenthood specifically, those calling for such an action are politicizing an edited video that has been proven to have been taken out of context. They have put all of the focus on the abortion service offered by Planned Parenthood and have ignored the dozens of other services that would be defunded as well: Pap tests, breast exams, STI testing and treatment, contraceptive distribution, sexual education programs and more.

According to Planned Parenthood, only three percent of its services involve abortion procedures. The fetal tissue from those abortions is then sold to science research facilities to help cover the costs that Planned Parenthood endures. Experts in the field such as Jim Vaught and Carolyn Compton have both stated that Planned Parenthood could not make a profit at the rate it charges for the tissue which is between $30-$100, while a profitable rate would be closer to $300.

I find it wrong to defund an entire organization that provides a range of services for millions of women while using faulty evidence to support the cause for doing so. Women are capable of deciding what is best for themselves and don’t need others to impose their beliefs upon them just because those individuals don’t approve of a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.