significant rise in births by 27 percent. (Culp-Ressler, 2016) Politicians willing to pull money from the national women’s health organization does nothing but harm low-income Americans by inputting barriers between them and the reproductive health services needed. An effort to defund Planned Parenthood will not only rid our country of abortion but also eliminate access to services such as breast and pelvic exams, cancer screenings including Pap smears, pregnancy testing, HIV testing, and counseling. Pro-life supporters claim that defunding Planned Parenthood will not harm patients because the funds could be deferred to other health care clinics that provide the same reproductive health services. Although there are an estimated 1,200 other community health centers that use taxpayer dollars to serve low-income patients across the country, experts say that it is naive to assume they will be able to accommodate the population being served at Planned Parenthood clinics. (Maloney, 2015) Many communities will not have sufficient amount of health care providers to fill the void created if Planned Parenthood were to be defunded. In an analysis performed by the Guttmacher Institute, researchers unveiled that out of the 491 counties
DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD 10 where Planned Parenthood is located, 103 of those clinics were the only center where low- income patients could receive affordable contraceptive services. (Culp-Ressler, 2016) Eliminating the only safety-net option for some regions of the country is worrisome. Some GOP lawmakers like Texas, have already began to successfully strip Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood. Doing so has caused many clinics to close while other providers struggle to undertake the influx of former Planned Parenthood patients. Despite the invalid accusations of illegal selling of baby parts and the claims of transferring care to other government funded health clinics, the debate behind defunding Planned Parenthood all comes down to morality versus legality. On one side of the abortion spectrum pro- life supporters consider abortion a commitment of grave sin which takes away the life of an innocent baby. They believe that women who face the dilemmas of an unplanned pregnancy should opt for other available options like adoption, rather than resorting to termination of life. On the other end, pro-choice supporters feel that it is a woman’s personal right under the Fourteenth Amendment, to decide what she may wish to do with her own body. No person including the government, should be allowed to have a say in what a woman can or cannot do. Though federal funding is prohibited for abortion services, Republicans still want to defund the proclaimed family planning program because it supports pro-choice Democrats. The Conservative party would like to eradicate funds for reproductive services such as breast and pelvic exams, STD testing, cancer screenings and counseling all because Planned Parenthood offers women the right to choose when she is ready to have a baby.
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- Roe v. Wade