Let’s stop attacking Planned Parenthood


The Appalachian Online


It appears that Planned Parenthood has come under even more fire, and this time it may not be able to weather the storm.

On Dec. 28, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups upheld Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s decision to block funding to a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Utah.

This decision has now opened the door for state legislatures all across the United States to defund Planned Parenthood.

Knowing North Carolina’s highly Republican state government, it is almost assured at this point that they will seek to cut off more funding to Planned Parenthood. The state had already taken steps prior to this decision to do so.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law on Oct. 1 that does just that, according to governor.nc.gov.

Additionally, the state has already enacted heavier restrictions on the organization with the start of the new year.

A state law went into effect on Jan. 1 that requires ultrasounds of a woman seeking an abortion to be sent to state officials.

Melissa Reed, the director of Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic, said the bill is “unnecessary,” and that the “true intent” of it is to “shame women and intimidate the doctors” who perform these procedures, according to the News & Observer.

These attempts to defund and defang Planned Parenthood will end up hurting women, especially those below the poverty line. According to Planned Parenthood’s website, 79 percent of the women the organization services are close to or below the poverty line.

These women use Planned Parenthood’s family planning services to prevent unwanted and unneeded pregnancies. These family planning services, which consist of 34 percent of its activities according to the organization’s website, prevent women from having to raise unwanted children in poor and unsavory conditions.

Those who wish to defund Planned Parenthood would do so under the mantle of “pro-life,” as they oppose the abortions provided to women.

While the organization and its affiliates provide abortions, this service makes up only 3 percent of its services, according to the organization’s website.

People against Planned Parenthood ignore all the good that it does, not only on a personal level, but also on an economic level.

The potential savings from averting unintended pregnancies, the biggest service Planned Parenthood provides, is about $15 billion, according to The Atlantic. To put things in perspective, that is compared to the $2.37 billion the government devoted to family planning services in 2010, according to The Atlantic.

Some could say that these attacks on Planned Parenthood are part of a “war on women” by Republicans in order to restrict their rights. It’s interesting, because while many claim that there is no war on women, its seems that every five minutes a new bill restricting women’s bodies is proposed.

In fact, in the early months of 2013, Republicans attempted to push forward nearly 700 laws affecting women’s health services, according to a report from the Guttmacher Institute.

Frankly, it is rather sickening to see how badly Planned Parenthood is getting hit. Women need to be able to have access to family planning options not only for their own good, but for the good of the economy and the country as a whole.

Russell, a freshman communications major from Charlotte, is an opinion writer.