Proponents of the argument to cut or restrict funds

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Proponents of the argument to cut or restrict funds to Planned Parenthood are generally pro-life activists who believe that abortion should be illegal and that lawmakers should reverse the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. Chittom and Newton assert that women should be informed about abortion practices to help them understand the possible long-term consequences of their decision until legislation once again outlaws abortion rights for women. They claim that women experience psychological effects such as depression, anxiety and guilt following abortions (3). In addition, Pro-Life activists continue to push individual states for further restrictions on abortion rights, including barring coverage for abortions under the new health care law and requiring that a woman be shown an ultrasound of the fetus before the procedure (Jost 725). Promoting a reduction of subsidies to Planned Parenthood and its subsidiaries is just one way anti-abortion activists are trying to restrict access to abortion services in this country. Representative Mike Pence, a pro-life advocate and chief sponsor of a bill to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, has stated that the organization had “a pattern of apparent fraud and abuse” and that the time has come to deny any federal funding to Planned Parenthood (Eckholm 16). Although the bill has not been made into law, Rep. Pence has stated that he will continue to seek an end to legal abortion in this country. Supporters of the amendment have made it clear that the intention is to eliminate abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood (Dejene & Mahalet). Since the legalization of abortion in 1973, there has been a gradual shift from pro- choice to pro-life positions on the part of the public. Pro-life activists have used this shift to target Planned Parenthood, calling this the “best climate in years for passing pro-life laws” (Gibbs 1). As Gibbs explains, decreasing funding to the organization would actually cause a rise in health care spending since taxpayers save about $4 in Medicaid costs for every dollar of
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funding that is spent (2). Reducing the subsidy could also restrict access to many people in need and cause an increase in unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately, the population most impacted by these cuts would likely be those who could least afford it – low income and minority women who need access to these important services. Women in low income families are less likely to have access to education or family planning services. However, those who propose cutting or reducing funding to the organization have not suggested realistic alternatives for the services currently provided by Planned Parenthood (Eckholm 16). In the absence of viable alternatives for these services, I question whether the amount of savings would outweigh the loss of healthcare services to a needy population.
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  • Spring '07
  • Salcedo
  • planned parenthood organization

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