Editorial, Argus Staff
The plans to defund Planned Parenthood has caused an outcry across the country. One of the major motivations for this plan is that Planned Parenthood conducts abortions, but according to Planned Parenthood’s annual report for 2013-2014 only three percent of the services utilized included abortions. Meanwhile a whopping 42 percent of used services involved sexually transmitted disease and infection testing and treatment.
It is unfortunate that arguments against such a helpful facility only revolve around a minimally used, controversial surgical procedure when there are several other health services offered to the public that are now no longer available. ability to give lower income men and women the testing, treatments, and sexual education that they may not be able to get anywhere else. This really is not a place just for pregnant women to get abortions, there is so much more to the picture.
Issues regarding Planned Parenthood started over the summer when some videos were uncovered of employees talking about donating fetal tissue for research. This is definitely not illegal, but it did spark debate over the ethics of fetal tissue research. While debates about such topics are fine when they are conducted in a mature and educated manner, problems arise when the opposing side only pinpoints one conflict without opening themselves up to new information or even outright lying about sources of information. During the Congress hearing with Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, Congress Chairman Jason Chaffetz brought up a graph that depicted the number of breast cancer screenings decreasing while abortions rates increased significantly over time.
When asked about these numbers, Richards’ confusion was tangible. Chaffetz claimed that this data came directly from Planned Parenthood’s corporate reports, but upon looking closer, Richards’ lawyers were able to point out that this actually came from Americans United for Life, an antiabortionist group. The information was less than accurate, and depicted Planned Parenthood as an institution that solely kills unborn fetuses instead of the reality – the other 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services that were made available to lower-income populations who would otherwise not have access to affordable sexual healthcare.
The effects of not having a Planned Parenthood have already been witnessed in Scott County, Indiana. After all three of the Planned Parenthood facilities were closed down in 2013 – the only facilities that offered HIV testing in the area – an incredible spike in HIV has occurred. Mike Rence, Governor of Indiana, called for a needle exchange policy where intravenous drug users are allowed to exchange their hypodermic needles for clean ones to try to curb the spreading of the disease. Instead of providing the testing and healthcare needed, even if it is through an organization that performs controversial procedures, now the use of illegal and dangerous drugs is not only being silently allowed, but silently perpetuated.
The best thing to do, whether you support or oppose Planned Parenthood and similar services, is to stay educated on sexual matters and what services are necessary to help the population stay healthy. We cannot defund an organization based on personal beliefs when the other services offered are an absolute necessity to the sexual health of the general population.