Millions of Americans suffer loss in health care
House Speaker Paul Ryan confirmed a measure on Jan. 4, 2016 to retract funding that goes to Planned Parenthood, which is included in the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This bill will block Planned Parenthood from receiving funding from government run Medicaid, which makes up about $390 million of the organization’s annual funding. Most of this money is made up of reimbursements for services given to Medicaid patients: they receive low cost health care and Planned Parenthood receives government funding.
Without this funding, a major limitation will be put on how many people Planned Parenthood has the ability to reach. After the cuts, 270,000 Pap tests, 360,000 breast exams, 4.2 million STD tests and treatments, and 1.5 million education programs for young adults yearly will go down the drain, according to Planned Parenthood.
For years, anti-choice groups have worked to place restrictions on how much money is supplied to Planned Parenthood. With a change in our country’s leadership, these restrictions are coming into play. There is no such thing as a cut and dry severance between Medicaid and Planned Parenthood; this bill will block individuals from receiving low cost health care through Medicaid. People who are supported by Medicaid, such as low-income families, elderly, disabled, and many others, will face additional barriers to receiving health care due to this decision.
“I think Planned Parenthood is an extraordinary organization for people who come from low income families so they can get the stuff they need when they can’t afford it,” senior Aaliyah Lewis said.
The 2,840,000 people that Planned Parenthood supports annually are going to suffer a loss in health care security because of politicians harboring ill will against three percent of the patients Planned Parenthood provides with care. This three percent, which makes up a smaller category than any other division of Planned Parenthood’s patients, is those who have sought help through the abortion process.
Planned Parenthood places their focus on “preventive, primary care, which helps prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screening for cervical and other cancers,” according to their website. The organization works hard to help women prevent unintended pregnancies through safe options.
Planned Parenthood stands as a safe place where young adults can go to be educated on safe sex and personal health, which is not always a topic that is taught through parents or school.
In addition, Planned Parenthood advocates for early detection of breast and cervical cancer, making more opportunities for screenings and HPV vaccinations, which are the first steps towards prevention.
Planned Parenthood is set in place to provide a support system for every person “regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence,” according to the organization’s mission. They strive for the privacy of the individual and a person’s right to their own body. Aiding and educating about sexual health, sexual orientation, body image, and relationships are the program’s goals.
Opponents to abortion may be unaware that taxpayer money, by the Hyde Amendment, is not permitted to pay for abortions, except in circumstances of rape, incest, or a pregnancy that poses a threat to the mother. The majority of taxes are going to the other 97 percent of services that are provided that can help save lives and impact many people.
Defunding Planned Parenthood will bar women from receiving reliable services and forcing them to seek out dangerous back alley procedures.
After the passing of Roe v. Wade in 1973, which protects women’s rights to her choice and privacy, the number of abortion related deaths in women dropped. Before Roe v. Wade, “unsafe illegal abortions caused as many as 5,000 annual deaths,” according to the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.
“I think everyone should have their own decision- it’s not necessarily right- everyone reacts differently in certain situations.” sophomore Abby Newell said.
By defunding Planned Parenthood, individuals are prevented from receiving low cost health care, as well as women losing their right to make decisions concerning their body. It is a dangerous decision to take the power of
autonomy from women and put it in the hands of politicians.
Planned Parenthood is a place and program where women can be safe from judgement, and it is important to fight so they can continue to help and influence people in need.