Planned Parenthood isn’t a murder factory

opinionparenthood_infographic1On a gloomy October day of last year, I was walking to school with the usual dread of my upcoming English quiz in my mind. I trudged onto campus with my hands in my hoodie pocket; minding my own business, just lost in thought. Outside the tan and metal gates of the school was a man with a giant sign that featured a bloody fetus on it. He stopped me and asked my opinion on abortion. I nervously muttered, “Well it just depends on the circumstance.” I guess my words sparked something in him because he began yelling at me with
graphic slurs of rape and my heartlessness for the babies who were aborted. Following the already absurd display of gore, he slipped a flyer made of cheap cardstock into my hand as he said something along the lines of, “Rape victims cannot abort the baby because killing a baby at conception is murder.” I began to think of my mother’s experiences and felt an overwhelming urge to ask this man about his pregnancy scares because he
obviously knows what it feels like to be pregnant.

I learned when I was 14 that my mom had an abortion at the same age, and when she explained it, she was devastated. She said, “I wasn’t mature enough to keep the baby, but when I had you, I at least was two years more mature,” and this obviously made a huge difference. I was born in the Summer of 2000 when my mom was just 16.  At this time my mom and my dad were in a relationship that was going too fast for both of them. And that was very unhealthy. Sadly enough, my father was abusive and didn’t understand how things had consequences, how words affect people’s outlooks on themselves, or even that violence is never the answer.  My whole life I felt like her past was hidden from me, and when I asked she would change the subject or just seemed uncomfortable sharing stories of that nature. She told me the story of how it went and what the abortion felt like. I looked in her eyes as they teared up while she said how it made her feel unbelievably plannedparenthoodinfographic2heartsick, but she still thinks it’s important to discuss all the options before you go through with having an abortion. In her opinion, she believes that all girls need to be on birth control at the age you begin to have sex in order to reduce the risk of pregnancy when you aren’t ready. My mother is a perfect example of how not having Planned Parenthood could affect someone. Seeing it first hand, this isn’t some sad MTV Teen Mom story; this is real life. If she would have had that baby, neither me or my sister would have been born.

There is a better way of going about “scaring” teenagers into being safer with sex or showing them the horrific consequences of having a child. If we provide our youth with better sexual education, then there will be a lower pregnancy and STI rate. This will lead to a lower high school dropout rate because nearly 50 percent of teenage mothers drop out of school, according to letsdosomething.org.

The House of Representatives is planning for removal of Planned Parenthood because it is on the grounds of being unnecessarily funded by the government. If this bill goes through, we will lose a valuable health center that is free no matter what age you are. Planned parenthood isn’t just for abortion; they offer things such as STI testing and treatment. They also offer contraception and cancer screening. Planned Parenthood only performs abortions three percent of the time.

Even if you aren’t looking to get an abortion, Planned Parenthood is a valuable resource. They offer many different services to young parents that they might not have access to because of their age or lack of parent aid. If teenagers are told about abortion without seeing the process or what it could do to your body, then they will not receive the message that these protesters are trying to “teach” us. Along with learning about the consequences of our actions with unprotected sex, why don’t we learn about different forms of birth control? Especially condoms. It’s disappointing that most high school students would not be able to go to the store and pick out the correct condom to use or be able to get on a birth control method that works for them. We need to learn what is right for our bodies when being sexually active and all the options in a mandatory school setting in order to teach our youth. We need to learn things that will actually prepare us for a healthy life. We need to learn these things because knowledge is protection.

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