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Why We Need Planned Parenthood

Virginia Jacobs, Editor

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Planned Parenthood has been a source of comfort, acceptance, and help for many women for a long period of time now. However, our new president – Donald Trump – has made multiple statements about cutting federal funding that goes towards Planned Parenthood.

This has resulted in a wide range of opinions about this possibility. The day following Donald Trump’s inauguration, the nationwide women’s march had many individuals marching to protect Planned Parenthood. Signs saying ‘Don’t take away my birth control’ and ‘I stand with Planned Parenthood’ were carried in every state.

I think that Donald Trump and many other people have a belief about Planned Parenthood that all it does is provide abortions and give out birth control. However, that is far from reality.

On their website, Planned Parenthood has 12 main categories, which are reflective of the organization’s wide range of focus: abortion, birth control, body image, general health care, men’s sexual health, morning-after pill, pregnancy, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexual orientation and gender, STDs, and women’s health.

As a practicing Catholic, I know that abortion, birth control, and the morning-after pill do have legitimate reason to cause objection, but the reality is that the other categories do nothing but help promote the health of the people coming into Planned Parenthood offices.

For instance, the body image section of the website simply states reasons that you may be unhappy with your body, why you should always be happy with your body, and what you can do to improve your body.

This has absolutely nothing to do with religion or politics, but instead is a tool for women or men to go to when they are dealing with body image issues. With a high rate of eating disorders in this country, this information is definitely needed.

Similarly, the relationships and sex and sexuality section of the website helps people to understand what is a healthy relationship. It also has the ability to help people who are gay or transgender to hear stories from people who are in the same situation.

The women’s health section would most likely be stereotyped to only have information about birth control and abortion in it. However the sections instead are largely about cervical cancer, breast cancer screenings, procedures to prevent cervical cancer, menstruation, ovarian cancer, UTIs, and many other similar subjects.

Every single main section of the Planned Parenthood website is meant to help people get control over their health and better understand their life, similar to the purpose of the organization as a whole.

Their mission statement proves this to be true: “We provide up-to-date, clear, medically accurate information that helps you better understand your sexual health.”

The stigma that people hold against Planned Parenthood is completely unfair because of how much they help with day to day life. Yes, the clinics offer abortions and birth control, but they also offer many exams to find a trace of cancer, they help people be more willing to accept their own sexuality, and they educate people so that they are able to make the right decisions for themselves.

Without Planned Parenthood, I strongly believe that many Americans, particularly those living in poverty, would be unable to get the information and exams they need to stay healthy and safe.

Creative commons photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wenews

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1 Comment

One Response to “Why We Need Planned Parenthood”

  1. Zoe Wilber on February 16th, 2017 9:14 am

    Virginia, thank you for an excellent article. I appreciate your acknowledgement of this issues that Catholics specifically take with Planned Parenthood, but I think it is important to distinguish some of the personal beliefs we may have from the reality of the world we live in which I believe you were getting at. Planned Parenthood is imperfect–it is an insituion run by human beings. That being said, it is my hope that President Trump can recognize that there are human beings in need of basic sex education, resources and healthcare. Basic needs won’t change–Not even for our president.

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The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.
Why We Need Planned Parenthood