State’s cutback on Planned Parenthood dangerous for women

Cutback on group leaves vacuum of affordable care, safe abortions

The Texas defunding of Planned Parenthood led to a public controversy on both sides of the pro-choice and pro-life spectrum. After I found out about Greg Abbott’s decision to defund, I was upset. I don’t personally use Planned Parenthood, but as a pro-choice woman, I was upset for the plethora of women who would be unable to access birth control, to access affordable healthcare and to be in control of their own decisions as to whether or not they should have an abortion.

Planned Parenthood was defunded in Texas after the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization, released videos showing representatives from Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for medical research. In addition to the defunding of the non-profit, the videos released seem to have had a larger impact on some pro-life advocates. The organization was recently attacked when 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear shot and killed three people in a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Although the motive is not yet disclosed, Dear had apparently mentioned “baby parts” and expressed anti-abortion views. If that is the case, I find it very ironic that someone who preaches pro-life would go and steal the lives of three people.

Defunding Planned Parenthood is simply not a good idea. Although Planned Parenthood provides other services like cancer screenings and HIV tests and Republican candidates have pointed out that there are other clinics that offer those same services, they’re sone of the only clinics that offer abortion procedures. Ninety-three percent of Texas counties have no abortion clinics. There are only about 10 abortion clinics left in Texas, and they’re basically all in major cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio, which means that women in rural areas are out of luck.

The defunding of Planned Parenthood is unfair to women in Texas and it takes away a woman’s choice to control her own life. The government should not dictate what a pregnant woman decides to do with her own body, because the fetus is affecting her body and hers alone. Of course there should be limits — aborting a 6-month-old fetus in the womb is much different than aborting a 1-month-old fetus — but the general idea is that the option of abortion shouldn’t be taken away from women completely.  It should be her personal choice alone. And with that, a woman shouldn’t have to risk her life to get an abortion, just like how Dear risked everyone’s lives in the clinic in Colorado Springs.

Two-point-seven million women and men visit Planned Parenthood, and one in five women in the U.S. have visited a Planned Parenthood facility at least once in her life. Based on the immense amount of people who use Planned Parenthood, one can see why the defunding of it could be a problem.

“It’s been statistically proven that if you cut that funding, other clinics can’t pick up that amount of people that still need healthcare,” Shelby Schram, senior sociology major and president of the Pro-Choice Feminist Alliance, said. “Planned Parenthood provides so much to so many communities, especially location-wise and price-wise … private practices can be more expensive.”

Schram said the defunding of Planned Parenthood affected her individually.

“I do personally use Planned Parenthood,” Schram said. “As a student, it’s a very easy place to go to … (and) they accept Medicaid.”

Half of all Planned Parenthood patients use Medicaid, which is what makes Planned Parenthood so affordable. Abortions will now be so much harder to come by due to the already low amounts of abortion clinics in Texas. This puts a limit on women’s personal choices on what happens inside their own bodies.

Overall, the defunding of Planned Parenthood is going to be a hard problem to fix because it leaves a large number of women who won’t be able to afford the costs of other clinics.

Nobody really knows whether or not Planned Parenthood will ever be funded again in Texas, or whether the issue of abortions will ever be open to the pro-choice side.

“Personally, that’s what we have been fighting for,” Schram said.

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