Should Planned Parenthood Be Defunded?


Photo via Flickr by Charlotte Cooper under Creative Commons license

Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since the Public Health Service Act was passed in 1970. Now, in 2015, there is a dispute as to whether it should be federally funded.

Planned Parenthood was created in 1916 as a birth control clinic for woman, and it has since evolved as a place for woman’s reproductive and complementary health. It has been a place to promote research and the advancement of technology in reproductive health care.

The main topic of controversy among the public is Planned Parenthood’s pro-choice perspective on abortion. Whether or not one agrees with legalized abortion, it is not all that Planned Parenthood does. Their website states exactly what their purpose is: “Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people.”

Aside from abortions, Planned Parenthood performs a variety of helpful tasks that can benefit and inform people, including STD tests and treatments, cancer screenings and prevention, pregnancy tests, treatment for a number of infections, and education for teens and woman about AIDS, safe-sex, abstinence, teen pregnancy, and sexuality. Some people want to defund Planned Parenthood to stop abortions, but instead they would really be stopping women from getting the medical help that they need.

Of all the services that Planned Parenthood provides, abortion only makes up three percent. Many pro-life advocates do not want their money going towards abortion, but what it really is going towards is helping woman get the medical help that they so desperately need.

Planned Parenthood receives around $500 million per year in federal money. Only 3% of these federal funds go towards abortion, compared to the 42% that goes towards treating and preventing STIs and STDs.

As Danielle Kurtzleben, a political reporter, said, “Title X does not allow federal funds to be used for abortions. Medicaid, however, does allow government money to be spent on them — in very restricted cases. The 1977 Hyde Amendment dictated that federal Medicaid funds could only be used to fund abortions in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.” Federal taxpayers’ money does not go to abortions, so in defunding Planned Parenthood the government isn’t affecting abortions but rather all of the other services provided.

Joseph Potter, a University of Texas demographer who has studied Planned Parenthood and its defunding has said, “You’re removing contraception with this [defunding], and if you remove contraception, you get unintended pregnancies, which means more abortion.” This means that if the government defunds Planned Parenthood, it is also defunding birth-control and sexual education, which could lead to more teen/unwanted pregnancies and more abortion, which seems to be the exact opposite of what the people who want to defund it demand.

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to defund Planned Parenthood,” Governor John Kasich claimed, but in recent poles the results say that 60% of people do not want to defund Planned Parenthood. Contrary to popular belief in the government, a large number of people believe that Planned Parenthood is necessary, and most of the people who want to defund Planned Parenthood only want to defund the abortions.

Overall, it does not matter what the views on abortion are. Planned Parenthood is a facility that provides healthcare for people around the U.S for very much need it, and defunding it would be a great fault for our country and the people in it.