Recently congress passed a law allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood. All those men who voted for this law may think they are preventing abortions, what they are really preventing is women’s access to health care. While Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services, those constitute only 3% of all the work they do and no federal funding support abortions, contrary to what Vice President Pence and the Republican congress would like you to believe.
When women have choices and options for family planning, unintended pregnancies are avoided.
100 years ago Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn along with her sister Ethel Byrne and Fania Mindell. The purpose was to provide women access to birth control education and services. Their belief was that if women were allowed to control pregnancies, they could also control the path of their life.
In 1930, she responded to the denial of black womens’ access to health services during the depression by opening a clinic in Harlem. Many have criticized her mission of serving poor women as an attempt to control the population of poor minorities by putting clinics in their neighborhoods. The truth is she provided access to care for women who had no other means. That remains true of Planned Parenthood today.
Every year Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care services to nearly 5 million people including education, health care services and community outreach. 2.5 million people receive health care through Planned Parenthood annually. This includes not only birth control services and treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections but also cancer screenings and immunizations.
The truth is, by providing access to reproductive health care services, Planned Parenthood actively prevents abortions. When women have choices and options for family planning, unintended pregnancies are avoided. The male law makers of our country may not understand this but women do.
Planned Parenthood is and always will be a blessing to our communities. They are not afraid to stand up for and protects the rights of all women in our society. They provide care regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation or ability to pay. They simply want women to have all the choices in life that men have. They want women to be able to control their destiny and fulfill their true potential.
Our lawmakers may think taking the moral high ground will shutter the doors of Planned Parenthood, but they could not be more wrong. Truly informed women and men across this country will continue to provide support and funding to this much needed organization. These women know the importance women play in our society and the important role Planned Parenthood has in realizing this.0
Also published on Medium.