Imagine a community where sexual and reproductive rights are basic human freedoms with the possibility of a healthy life for all. This is the vision of the nonprofit organization Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and this is the vision the Republican Party will shatter by voting to defund Planned Parenthood on a national-level.
Since the 1930s, Planned Parenthood has offered an array of reproductive health services, sexual education and advocacy to nearly five-million women, men and adolescents annually worldwide, according to CNN’s “Planned Parenthood: Fast facts and revealing numbers.”
Planned Parenthood is the largest reproductive health care provider in the United States by offering services such as pregnancy prevention and tests, prenatal care, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment, breast exams, cervical cancer screenings and – most controversial – abortions.
Although only 3 percent of the services it provides are abortions – a legal and constitutionally protected medical act – President-elect Trump has continued with the infamous promise to defund Planned Parenthood.
Continuously, Trump has favored defunding Planned Parenthood, saying in October in an interview with Fox News: “But Planned Parenthood should absolutely be defunded. I mean if you look at what’s going on with that, it’s terrible. And many of the things should be defunded and many things should be cut.”
However, defunding Planned Parenthood is the problem, not the solution. Planned Parenthood is oftentimes the only available provider for low-income families who need family planning assistance, ccording to a study published in “Health Affairs.” Without access to services provided by Planned Parenthood, rates of unintended pregnancies and STD outbreaks would skyrocket.
“The U.S. continues to have higher rates of unintended pregnancies than most rich nations, and we know that U.S. women face barriers as they try to access preventative services,” said Amanda Jean Stevenson, one of the lead authors of a Texas-based study.
Planned Parenthood helps to prevent nearly 579,000 unintended pregnancies, provides more than four-million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections and partners with affiliates to offer educational programs and outreach to more than one-million people in a single year, according to its webpage.
With more than 8 million activists, supporters and donors, Planned Parenthood is not going down without a fight.
“We’re in the middle of a moment that is calling for us to take action in a way we have never taken action before, and we’re ready,” Kelly Robinson, Planned Parenthood’s deputy national organization director, said in a Facebook Live video.
More than 8 million people across the United States have dedicated themselves to the fight – and you can, too. To offer support and protection, contribute to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, use social media as a platform to speak out against hate or volunteer at a local Planned Parenthood clinic.
“We won’t back down, we won’t be silenced,” Robertson said. “And we will not let these politicians attack our health and rights without a fight.”