After the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, many women were fearful that it would cause the Planned Parenthood organization to end. There are many (especially those with favorably conservative views) that are anti-Planned Parenthood due to the fact that they perform abortions. And while abortions are definitely an aspect of this organization, it is certainly not their main task. According to the Planned Parenthood website, their services consist of 45% STI/STD testing and treatment, 31% contraception, 13% other women’s health services, 7% cancer screening and prevention, 3% abortion, and 1% other services.
The main goal of Planned Parenthood is to keep women (as well as men), especially those who can’t afford health care, educated and protected so to reduce the need for abortion amongst the population. Planned Parenthood is there to help and support women who choose to get abortions, making the process as safe as possible, and aids in providing affordable health care and other tools necessary for sexual health, such as birth control, breast examinations, Pap smears, adoption options, etc. Permanently removing Planned Parenthood would be detrimental to women across the United States who rely on these accessible resources, while increasing the risk of unplanned pregnancy and disease.
Abortion is a difficult topic because many argue that life begins at conception, thus making abortion a form of murder. Pro-lifers tend to consider adoption a more viable option because there are 1.5 million American families who want to adopt a child, therefore the child is wanted by someone. Many of these ideas stem from religious beliefs. There are others who believe that abortions are only acceptable under extreme circumstances, including rape, incest, or a case that is life threatening to the mother.
While I don’t think that abortion should be used as a form of birth control, I do disagree with both of these assertions because denying a woman control to her body goes against her natural born rights. The Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade ruled that charging Wade for assisting Roe’s abortion went against women’s due process rights. The state should not have the ability to control what a woman chooses to do with her body, especially since she is the one ultimately carrying the child to term.
According to an article entitled ‘Donald Trump Calls for Defunding Planned Parenthood: “I Am Committed to Defunding It”’ from Life News, Trump was quoted saying, “As long as they’re [Planned Parenthood] involved with abortion, as far as I’m concerned, forget it. I wouldn’t fund them regardless. I would defund Planned Parenthood because of their view and the fact of their work on abortion.”
This statement was very upsetting to me for a number of reasons. Men have had control over women through many aspects of history. Women have only had the right to vote since 1920. That is less that 100 years ago. Even today, many jobs continue to pay men more than women for doing the exact same job. To take away her access to Planned Parenthood, thus her rights to her own body in a time of need, is absolutely appalling because no one should ever have the right to dictate what a person can or cannot do with their own body.
It troubles me that the election of a new President has the ability to stir so much fear in an entire group of people. I have always believed that no one, especially not a man in a case regarding women, should even have the ability to take away another human being’s right to make any life-altering decision. Abortion is a process that no man can, nor will, ever understand. If you have not experienced abortion first-hand, you cannot begin to explain the trauma, emptiness, and post-depression that it leaves a woman feeling long after. For a woman to choose to go through with an abortion despite the emotional toll that she knows it will take on her shows that she knows the procedure is ultimately what is best for her.