The Truth About Planned Parenthood
In yet another desperate, morally bankrupt attempt to assuage pro-life conservatives and garner Republican support, President Trump and Speaker Ryan have vowed to introduce legislation which would "defund" Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act despite an approval rating of 17% (and falling). The trouble with their plan is, like with most hot button issues, the administration isn't telling the whole truth what you need to know.
While pregnancy termination is a service Planned Parenthood provides, it is important to know that those services are not available at every Planned Parenthood location and that the majority of the organization's work is focused on contraception, preventing communicable disease and detecting the reproductive cancers.— Luke Anthony Schulte
- The Hyde Amendment
Read the full text of S. 142 here.
Planned Parenthood is not an abortion clinic. While pregnancy termination is a service Planned Parenthood provides, it is important to know that those services are not available at every Planned Parenthood location and that the majority of the organization's work is focused on contraception, preventing communicable disease and detecting the reproductive cancers.
The government and your tax dollars do not fund abortion services. It's been illegal for them to do so since 1976, when Congress passed the Hyde Amendment.
"Defunding" Planned Parenthood would not eliminate "government-paid abortions." Except for the exceptions made for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, those don't exist. What the government is proposing is a dramatic reduction in the way Planned Parenthood is reimbursed as a healthcare provider for the other services they provide—services that quite simply are saving millions of lives every year.
Planned Parenthood is not a part of the national budget. What the administration is attempting to do is deny insurance reimbursement for healthcare services provided at Planned Parenthood locations. This would, in effect, make it impossible for Planned Parenthood to accept medical insurance as payment for things like well woman exams, contraception and cancer screenings. Having to pay out of pocket to see a Planned Parenthood provider, millions of Americans would be forced to see other healthcare providers for these services, dramatically increasing the burden on local primary care physicians and gynecologists. Effectively, these women (and men) would lose access to healthcare as the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are in medically underserved areas—meaning there are already a limited number of local primary care physicians and gynecologists available in these areas.
But What About The Videos?
In 2014, two anti-abortion activists released video footage of what they claimed were illegal medical practices committed by Planned Parenthood. The conversations in these videos were edited and taken out of context in order to be intentionally defamatory to the operation. A warrant for the couple's arrest has since been issued, and they face felony charges in California. Planned Parenthood has also filed a civil lawsuit against them.
The videos alleged that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal tissue. No direct proof was ever discovered and Planned Parenthood has denied these allegations.
The sale of fetal tissue, the byproduct of abortion, is illegal in the United States. However, it can be donated and healthcare providers are allowed to be compensated for "transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage."
Planned Parenthood operates as any other healthcare provider. They are reimbursed through standard billing practices for routine medical services. Singling them out because of religious ideological differences for 3% of what their operation does is unconscionable and unconstitutional.
Take abortion out of the equation. Would we ever support a government initiative to strip reimbursement from healthcare providers who provide nutritional counseling and diabetes education? Would it be okay for insurance companies to stop paying for testing strips and insulin because some people believe that diet and exercise can prevent diabetes? No! The government's place is to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare. These legislators are not doctors, and practicing medicine without a license is a crime!
Planned Parenthood Revenue Sources
The US abortion rate is at an all-time low, which can be at least partially attributed to the increased availability of contraception from healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood. However, contraception does not protect against STIs and sexually transmitted disease rates are increasing. The number of new diagnoses of infections like syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are as high or higher in some communities than they were during the AIDS epidemic. Planned Parenthood addresses these healthcare needs, and to defund them would drastically affect the way millions of Americans are able to receive treatment.
BreastCancer.org reports that 40,000 women (or 1 in 8) die each year in the US from breast cancer. Another 14,000 lose their battles with ovarian cancer annually. 80% of women diagnosed with cancer have no family history of the disease.
A routine mammogram costs around $100. A Pap smear with cervical cancer screening costs less than $300. These are potentially life-saving procedures which can be 100% covered by insurance and are provided by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood saves lives. Period.
We need to change the conversation we’re having about healthcare in this country, but the answer isn’t to allow a group of men to debate women's health. It’s to figure out how to give women more access to services like Planned Parenthood so that we can eradicate cancer and lower the disease transmission rate in our country.
In the mean time, how can any person with a conscience allow the government to torpedo the work of a dedicated group of healthcare professionals who are the only available resource for a number of Americans? We must stand up for Planned Parenthood!
Contact your representatives in Congress and the Senate today and urge them to fight for Planned Parenthood!