By Rachel Delgrego
In the wake of the release, and ultimate failure, of the Obamacare repeal, the Trump Administration’s American Health Care Act, many groups faced a cut in funding. This included cuts to those covered by Medicare and Medicaid, medical and scientific research, and the EPA.
However, possibly the hardest attempted hit under the AHCA was the complete defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Conservatives have waged a war on Planned Parenthood for decades, based on the notion that the organization contrasts the pro-life argument. President Trump himself has been quoted saying, “I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. I don’t know what percentage it is. They say it’s 3 percent. But I would defund it, because I’m pro-life.”
What the Trump administration, and conservatives in general might be forgetting, however, are the multitude of other services Planned Parenthood provides to women worldwide.
According to the organization’s official website, an estimated 1 in 5 women has visited Planned Parenthood at least once in her lifetime. This does not mean 1 in 5 women visits PP for an abortion – the organization reports that they actually help prevent about 579,000 unplanned pregnancies a year.
All before mentioning the 3% of services made up by actual abortion services on their information page, Planned Parenthood reports 270,000 Pap tests and 360,000 breast exams per year, 4.2 million tests for STDS/STIS, and educational and outreach programs servicing 1.5 young people and adults every year.
So when it comes to defunding PP on the basis of pro-life ideology, the argument almost collapses on itself. If the life of a human being is of top priority to the Trump administration and pro life supporters everywhere, the defunding of planned parenthood would contradict their entire purpose.
Some women would lose access to cancer screenings, sex education, and pregnancy prevention. According to Global Citizen, this defunding would also disproportionately affect low income women, considering 80% of Planned Parenthood’s patients are of low income.
In 1977, The Hyde amendment was passed, stating federal funds cannot be used for abortion unless the victim faced rape, incest, or the mother’s health was endangered. This means that no tax dollars go towards abortions at Planned Parenthood anyway.
Although Trump’s recent ACHA proposal did not receive enough votes, we can only guess that the war against women’s health will continue. This begs the question; is the defunding of Planned Parenthood, one of the most important foundations of women’s health in America, really about the Trump administration’s pro-life loyalty?
Feature Image Credit: Charlotte Cooper