When it comes to Planned Parenthood, a non-profit healthcare provider and clinic that specializes in women’s and all reproductive healthcare, many members of the current presidential cabinet and the VP plan on defunding it entirely. However, 2.4+ million Americans rely on this service. While Mike Pence and other members of Trump’s cabinet are against Planned Parenthood because they’ve been labeled as an “abortion clinic”, the majority of their services aren’t abortion procedures, instead their job is to educate students on sex ed and other health related topics, provide free and affordable healthcare in the form of: contraceptives and birth control, planning for parenthood and assisting pregnant mothers and couples (including counseling throughout adoption processes), STD diagnosis and treatment, as well as cancer diagnosis and treatment. Yes, some women do sought out abortions through Planned Parenthood. But it is far more than that. For example, a woman in Texas had to drive for multiple hours to her nearest Planned Parenthood, not for an abortion, not for birth control, or anything regarding her sexual health. She found out breast cancer ran in her family and wanted a monogram immediately, but couldn’t afford health care or appointments to be made. Because Texas is one of the states that has cut their funding for Planned Parenthood, she now had to pay a large amount of money for her travel and a hotel because the clinic was so overbooked due to the fact that her state no longer funds these services.
Some have argued that we don’t need Planned Parenthood funded as strongly in predominantly red states, because in these areas there are other women’s healthcare providers such as Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Sexual-Risk Avoidance Campaigns – both of which are currently government funded. CPC’s are legal throughout the United States. They’re health clinics for pregnant women who are scared, looking for birth control or abortion services, and ultimately have nowhere else to turn to.
Some employees even bait women into coming into the clinics by failing to inform them that they’re not abortion centers, instead they say “just come in”, and we’ll go from there after an appointment. One phone call that’s been recorded even shows the employee telling a woman that they’ll talk about the price for the abortion procedure after she arrives at the clinic, even though the employees are aware that this service never has and never will be provided. The other reason CPC’s are dangerous is for the false information they give out. If a woman asks where she can go for an abortion, the people who work at these facilities say things like “abortion will double your risk of breast cancer” – a claim completely unsupported by medical professionals, gynecologists, and health researchers.
As for Sexual-Risk Avoidance campaigns, they follow the same criteria as Abstinence-Only campaigns. They are meant to educate teenagers on abstinence until marriage, the ineffectiveness of condoms (which are slightly over 98% effective if used correctly), and the chance of unplanned pregnancy and STDs when having sex before marriage. These campaigns, however, fail to acknowledge any form of prevention of pregnancy or STDs, and additionally fail to mention how most divorces are caused by infidelity, meaning if your spouse is unfaithful you are still at risk of receiving an STD even while married. The reason these forms of education are dangerous and ineffective is because there is a significant difference in the amount of teenage pregnancies and STDs contracted by teenagers who have taken a Planned Parenthood sex-ed course versus a Sexual-Risk Avoidance or Abstinence Only course. Planned Parenthood teaches contraception and STD protection so that they don’t have to provide abortions. By making birth control attainable to all people, the amount of abortions would go down significantly. If Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet don’t want women to have abortions, they need to at least give them the right to accessible birth control. However, abortions should be available as a last resort, as no woman should have to go through carrying a baby that is either a risk to their health, the product of rape, sexual offense, or incest, or a child they simply can’t provide for emotionally or financially at that time. These are all cases that do lead to postpartum depression.