For years, Republicans in congress have made it one of their missions to defund Planned Parenthood. It is well known that the conservative agenda has often looked to limit access to abortion services. Despite the decision in Roe v. Wade, which determined that the constitutional right to privacy applies to a woman’s right to make her own medical decision, including abortion, politicians have sought to undermine Planned Parenthood and prevent any government funding from going to the organization. Besides providing abortion services, politicians have also sought to make an issue of fetal tissue donation and research. What some members in congress fail to recognize, is that Planned Parenthood provides a wide scope of services that should not be so easily brushed off.
The main issues raised by politicians seem to stem more from personal disagreement with certain practices. Despite several investigations by separate congressional committees, none have found any wrongdoing of Planned Parenthood thus far. In regards to fetal tissue donations and research, such is only conducted in two states, representing just one percent of the organization’s health centers As for abortion services, that service only accounts for three percent of the services provided by the organization.
To defund Planned Parenthood would restrict access to basic health care services for both men and women. Other medical services provided by Planned Parenthood, at a greater rate than abortion services, include STD testing and prevention, contraception as well as cancer screening and prevention. Currently, Planned Parenthood receives a little over $500 million in funding from the government.
That funding makes up about 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue. Without the government’s funding, it would likely be more difficult for individuals to receive access to such services and treatments.
Bills proposed in the past have suggested defunding Planned Parenthood unless the organization will certify that neither they, nor any affiliates will provide or use funds for abortion services. As it is now and has been for many decades, federal tax dollars are not permitted for use in abortion services. Were Planned Parenthood to stop receiving federal funds, the burden would likely fall on those who are in need of the many services offered. Much of the federal funding comes from reimbursements through Medicaid. As with other health insurance providers, Medicaid reimburses health care providers for basic health services such as cancer screenings, HIV testing and birth control.
Federal government funding of Planned Parenthood has long been a partisan issue. One party seeks to uplift and support women’s health issues, while the other looks to tear down and limit access to much needed care. Whether or not a new administration will be successful in defunding the organization is not yet evident, although attempts are certain to be made. One thing is for sure though, that even if the government were to take such actions, Planned Parenthood would continue to provide their services to men, women and children. They might just need more support from private citizens and organizations.
Also published on Medium.