Opinion Writing

As time goes on, I realize more how strongly my beliefs stand. I take for granted the open minded expression that my liberal arts education provides. The current issue of the government’s relationship with Planned Parenthood sparks debate. It is here that I state my perceptions and views on the matter.

  • The government provides Medicaid to those with low income as a resource for health care they could not afford otherwise.
  • Citizens choose a health care facility and the Medicaid resources pay those costs.
  • The government reimburses Planned Parenthood the Medicaid costs to those who choose that facility to meet their health needs.
  • Planned Parenthood is associated strongly with abortion procedures. However, it also provides services such as breast exams, tests and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy tests, birth control/contraceptives, and pap tests. Of all these, abortions make up only 3% of all services offered.
  • Government funds reimbursing Medicaid beneficiaries represent 75% of the overall funds given to Planned Parenthood. Less than 10% of their government funds come from Title X, which provides to people of low income for family planning services.
  • No government funds contribute to abortions. Less than half of the states that make up the country allow government coverage for abortions only for medically extreme situations.
  • Planned Parenthood is a non-profit organization.

The proposed de-funding of Planned Parenthood would revoke health care coverage for the more than 2.5 million men and women who rely on its services. While it may be simple to say, “they can just go to a different health care clinic” it is important to keep in mind that local facilities would then take on 2.5 million new patients. Those 2.5 million, a high percentage being women, would lose immediate access to birth control and contraceptives which could in turn lead to a high number of unplanned pregnancies. Those contraceptive resources are the reason for such low abortion rates. As well, the hundreds of Planned Parenthood facilities and its employees would more than likely shut down and cause unemployment and economic strife. To not fund Medicaid to Planned Parenthood’s patients supports a classism ideal. It says: because a person cannot afford his or her own health care, she or he subjects to the resources and facilities the government approves (regardless of Planned Parenthood’s affordability for low income). It punishes low socioeconomic backgrounds.

I realize that my opinions intertwine with liberal views. I do not view this as a bad thing. Not allowing women access to proper health care and reproductive access insinuates a truly patriarchal and anti-feminist theme. It reinforces men as superior with the power to make decisions on behalf of women. Is it a coincidence that the government targets Planned Parenthood specifically, an almost entirely female populated clientele? Some people argued unplanned pregnancies are the woman’s own fault and she must accept the consequences. To this I can only say: it takes two to tango. A woman cannot impregnate herself. What consequences does the man face?

We live in a country where men earn more to the dollar than women do.

We live in a country where men choose whether women will give birth regardless of their desires to do so.

We live in a country where this still remains an issue in 2015.

As a woman I should be able to make decisions with the freedom and confidence that men do. As a woman, my body should not be debated by the entire nation. No person or race or gender is superior to another. Treat me as a human being. Treat everyone as a human being. It’s not equal rights, it’s human rights.

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