I am writing this letter on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day to defend the rights of females. Statistics 1!) convey that one in every five women has utilized Planned Parenthood in her lifetime. Ensuring the health (reproductive and overall) of women ensures the (literal, economic, and overall) health of our community.
Women’s rights are a human rights issue. As Americans we should be aware of regressing. Right now, in Africa and the Middle East women have virtually no liberties: Enslaved, beaten, mutilated, raped, tortured, and murdered these women remind us how far our own country has come, and the perils of taking away rights. When women are abused and neglected at the hands of men and their government as a whole, it pulls the entire country down. And taking away federal funding from Planned Parenthood, which is sure to abolish it, is a good example of that slippery slope to complete inequality.
Aside from being an integral option for females, Planned Parenthood is an important overall health resource for (marginalized) individuals. Planned Parenthood specializes in prevention and according to “The Reflector,” Planned Parenthood provides information to over one million people in a year. In a country that does not have an affordable universal health care system, these services are crucial. Prevention is the best way to avoid costly and deleterious health concerns as well as community disasters. Education is known to empower people and is proven to bring positive change where it is is easily accessible. Undereducated, young, low-income, racially diverse, and at-risk people need that help. Without Planned Parenthood where else can these people go?
And don’t think for a minute, the people that go without health care and education will be the only ones affected–it is the community that will reap the brunt of this oversight in the form of higher instance of communicable disease, and increased population. A relevant example that illustrates this point is Skid Row in Los Angeles: The deviants living on the streets are not the only ones paying the price of their missteps and mistakes. I would suggest L.A., the entire state of California, and the nation as a whole are adversely affected. And in both instances [former Planned Parenthood clients and those living on Skid Row] it is the United States who will have to present a viable option for these under-served individuals.
In the long run, the federal government will have to pay more in the absence of Planned Parenthood. Unintended pregnancy costs the community tax money, and Planned Parenthood has, no doubt, saved us countless millions by helping people make informed decisions about their health care and reproductive rights. It has provided contraception and the information to use it correctly, and if need be, abortions. As appalling as many people find it, abortion is an important component to women’s freedom–because nobody should be able to tell a woman what she may and may not do with her own body. Also abortion curtails the need for women who are unprepared for motherhood to go on welfare. The community pays for the child, and the resultant infant is the one who ultimately suffers if they are unwanted.
I challenge you to realize taking away Planned Parenthood is not going to stop people from engaging in risky behaviors. Young adults will not be coerced into abstinence. Poor people will not stop having sex because they cannot afford to raise a child without the help of taxpayer money. Drug adducts will not be forced to take responsibility just because there is no longer an institution to provide them a safety net. People of all ages and maturity levels, financial statuses, and varying backgrounds are going to have sexual intercourse, and legal or not, women will get abortions. Planned Parenthood is not culpable for these undesirable behaviors–they are just helping real people prevent and deal with the consequences.
These groups must be made aware there are consequences of their actions and simultaneously educated about risks of STDs, methods of contraception, and behaviors that lead to pregnancy. And it is not just a matter of downgrading their data plan or giving up their monthly pedicure–these under-served groups literally cannot afford to get regular health care, prevent disease and unwanted pregnancy by getting contraceptive, or raise a child alone. They need private, affordable, and accessible means to take control of their own health, and Planned Parenthood has been doing a stellar job providing all of this for the last 69-plus 2!) years.
Help Planned Parenthood keep their federal funding for the sake of women. Do it for all of the uninsured people who have no other viable health care option. But mostly keep funding Planned Parenthood’s educational services, preventative methods, and easily ascertained health care for the community.