Opinion: Planned Parenthood is more than an abortion clinic


Emma O"Connor

President Donald Trump’s letter to pro-choice activists sparks debate about healthcare.

Calling Planned Parenthood an abortion clinic is like calling Starbucks just a coffee shop. 

Sure, Starbucks is a coffee shop, but it’s also a place where people study and sit down to read the newspaper. It’s even a place for parents to grab their kids a quick bite to eat before shuttling them over to the next soccer game.

Starbucks offers so much more than just coffee, and Planned Parenthood has so many more important services than just abortion. 

Planned Parenthood is an essential facility for many who don’t have health insurance or don’t have the money to pay for services at big health organizations. In 2018 alone, Planned Parenthood was able to help 2.4 million patients and performed 9.8 million services. 

Because a third of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from taxes, some argue that their tax dollars shouldn’t be used for abortions. However, Planned Parenthood is more than just an abortion clinic. It’s a place where people can get vital health checkups without breaking the bank. 

In a letter to pro-life leaders and activists, President Donald Trump urges them to vote for him and promises to “fully defund the big abortion industry such as Planned Parenthood.” 

While healthcare isn’t a problem for people in France, Japan, the UK, and many other countries because it’s government-funded, in the U.S., Planned Parenthood is all we’ve got. Since taxes aren’t being used to give U.S. citizens free healthcare, at the very least, tax money can fund Planned Parenthood, a facility that helps people who can’t afford expensive healthcare. 

Instead of thinking about how tax money is going into Planned Parenthood, think about how it is actively helping save money by catching medical issues while they’re still manageable.

Although Planned Parenthood performs abortions, they also provide people with important services such as cancer screening, STD testing and treatment, and hormone therapy. 

These services are essential and should not be put in jeopardy as a ploy to get more votes. Planned Parenthood has been branded as the bad guy when it helps a lot of people in reality. 

The closures of Planned Parenthood facilities have also been linked to the United States’ increased maternal mortality rate. In 2018, the maternal mortality rate was recorded at 17.4 maternal deaths every 100,000 live births, while in 2007, it was 12.7 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. 

It stands to reason that if even more Planned Parenthood sites are closed from defunding, maternal mortality will increase. For this reason, Planned Parenthood has been and will continue to be a crucial part of U.S. healthcare.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would do just about the same damage to the big abortion industry as closing a Starbucks would do to the big coffee industry. If your issue is with abortion, that’s fine, but leave Planned Parenthood out of it.

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