For the past several weeks, The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion organization without a single medical professional on their staff, has been releasing a series of fraudulent and inaccurate videos about the health organization Planned Parenthood. These gross, offensive, and completely untrue videos purport to show Planned Parenthood representatives misusing fetal material and generally being heartless, cruel human beings. Millions have seen the videos, and prominent politicians like Ted Cruz have even called for the organization’s defunding, prompting thousands of protests across the country.
I am not going to get into my personal stance on abortion or debate its morality. That can be a post for another day. What I am going to say is that defunding Planned Parenthood is asinine. Planned Parenthood is not an “abortion giant” or an “abortion mill” as some disreputable “news” sources and politicians will claim. Only 3% of its funds go towards providing abortions which, by the way, is completely legal in this country. Those funds are also not from government grants which means that no tax payer in this country is forced to pay for another person’s abortion. Furthermore, in case you missed the “Only 3% of its funds go towards providing abortions” bit, most of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes towards preventing unwanted pregnancies and abortions, which means encouraging people to use contraceptives and educating people about sex and pregnancy, and helping screen for, prevent, and treat diseases like cancer. In fact, Planned Parenthood prides itself on preventing abortions and unwanted pregnancies, averting approximately 216,000 abortions per year. It’s also one of the very few affordable clinics in the country with 79% of its patients at or below 150% of the poverty level. Finally, Planned Parenthood has repeatedly been investigated for wrongdoing, most recently by Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania, and they have never been found to violate their patients’ trust or the state or country’s laws.
Planned Parenthood is a health organization that serves the sick and poor of this country. They also happen to provide a somewhat controversial but completely legal service. If, as a person, you are offended by abortions, the answer is not to completely defund an organization that serves over 4.5 million people a year by preventing unwanted pregnancies, helping pregnant women get the care they need to carry a healthy baby to full term, and helping people diagnose and fight disease. The answer is to push for the criminalization of abortion. That is what you want. And if abortions were illegal, Planned Parenthood wouldn’t provide them. The only reason they do is because people need them, people want them, and they are legal. So stop believing a lying, manipulating organization and stop trying to destroy a consistently ethical and consistently helpful health organization because one of their many services makes you uncomfortable. Instead, educate yourself and realize that another person’s health and moral choices do not affect you in any way. And have a good day.