Planned Parenthood services may face new budget cuts

Submitted by Samantha Rowell

Samantha Rowell. Photo by Wiley Book.

Planned Parenthood is not just an abortion clinic. Abortion services account for only two to three percent of their actual services. To many lower income and under-age women, Planned Parenthood provides primary health care, offering breast exams, low-cost birth control, consultations, family planning, counseling, and education. They even have fertility services for men. Their official stance on abortion has always been prevention first!

Women (and families) across America are continually being faced with making harder and harder decisions when it comes to reproductive health care. And with the election coming up, there is a lot of confusion about Romney’s voucher system and Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Which health care system will be better for women, better for choices?

I heard a quote during an interview with Romney where he decidedly stated, “I think I’ve said time and again that I’m a pro-life candidate and I’ll be a pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately is to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget.” This is a scary thing to say, and it (hopefully) will lose much of his female vote.

The fact of the matter is there will be budget cuts somewhere. At this point, there has to be, but it does not need to come from family planning services. Statistics and economics tell us that it is far cheaper to prevent an unwanted pregnancy than there is to abort a pregnancy or carry to term. Cutting budget for places like Planned Parenthood would do more harm than good to the budget crises, solve none of the budget issues, and put many families at risk of dipping below the poverty line with the prospect of an unwanted pregnancy.

I, like many Planned Parenthood supporters, believe that prevention comes first. Money needs to be kept in sex education and reproductive service centers need to be kept open and fully functional.