BY TEIANA MCGAHEY, Guest Writer
Abortions have been happening for years. They will continue to happen for as long as there is life because it has a market; people will pay for them. Planned Parenthood allows for this service to be affordable for those who are not able to enter the health industrial complex to pay for them. I hesitate to mention that abortions make up just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s budget, none of which is funded by the federal government, because that takes away from the purpose of allowing women the choice that comes with being a human.
Defunding Planned Parenthood would do so much more harm than people might think, taking away incredibly important services such as cancer screening, STD/STI testing and treatment, pelvic exams, Pap tests, birth control, routine check-ups and so much more. It is one of the leading affordable health care providers and the largest sex education provider in the United States. Millions of men, women and children come here for vital services they might not be able to get anywhere else. After suffering from domestic and sexual abuse, Planned Parenthood ensures that the mental and physical health of the woman is taken care of, despite the amount of money in her pocket. Keeping people from these services is what deems a person “pro-life”?
Even though Planned Parenthood doesn’t receive funding for abortions, defunding them would disallow all of the services, including abortion. So now I ask: if a woman does not want to have a child, why would it be a good idea to force her to have this child? This is not at all to say that she would not be an incredible mother, but if she believes she is not ready, who are we to say that we know better than her? If she believes she is not emotionally, mentally, financially or any other type of ready, is it so crazy to trust a woman’s opinion? Or are we so attuned to making decisions for her that we forget she is fully capable of making the decision that is best for her and the fate of her child? If she is not confident in bringing a child into her world as it stands, it would likely be detrimental to bring a child into that world.
Coincidentally, those who are calling for a defunding of Planned Parenthood also called for defunding of the Earned Income Tax Program, EITC, which is the nation’s most effective poverty-reduction program. These people are also failing to allow human beings from a war-torn country, arguably put and kept in this position due to actions taken by the United States, to take refuge here. These people are silent when the conditions of cities deteriorate, encourage the practice of mass incarceration and are not taking effective measures to address the police brutality crisis when videos of lives being taken are circulated everywhere. These people encourage free trade, allowing for the deterioration of communities both at home and abroad, and they agree to take funding from public education to spend it on wars that take millions of innocent lives. Why don’t they defund war? I say “they” not to polarize people, but to call on the hypocrisy of it all. At what point do lives stop mattering?