Keep Planned Parenthood alive

Robyn Goodman

Hurry and stock up on all the free birth control and condoms you can at Planned Parenthood, because you may not have the chance to protect yourself for very much longer.

On Feb. 18, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The vote still has to head to the Senate and then to the president. If passed, this bill would take away roughly $330 million through the end of September for things like contraception and screenings for certain cancers.

Protestors from around the country believe that Planned Parenthood deserves to lose its funding because of the procedures it offers, but many people don’t realize the positive things Planned Parenthood does. Planned Parenthood offers birth control, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, advice on relationships, general health care and many other services. If its funding is cut, many people without health insurance could not afford to see a doctor.

Even though the teen birth rate is at an all-time low, that number is still 400,000 every year. TV shows that promote teen pregnancy, such as “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom,” aren’t scaring teens out of having sex. If the funding to Planned Parenthood is cut, that number of pregnancies will go up. It’s not as easy as telling kids to not have sex. Teens are going to have sex, so why not have them protected?

One reason that many people believe that the funding should be cut is because of abortions, but what many don’t know is that Planned Parenthood is already prevented from using federal funding for abortions. And while yes, some Planned Parenthood facilities do offer abortions, not including the one in Marquette, that only makes up about three percent of all the services they do.

Sexual health is essential to a healthy life, and Planned Parenthood ensures that whoever walks through its doors gets the information they want or need.  According to its website, Planned Parenthood delivers “comprehensive and medically accurate information that empowers women, men, teens and families to make informed choices and lead healthy lives.”

Taxpayers also believe that funding should be cut don’t want their money to go to things that promote teens and others to have sex, but it is a lot cheaper to hand out a few condoms or a pack of birth control than to have their money go to the birth of a child, which, in case you didn’t know, is a heck of a lot more expensive than a rubber. The average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is $200,000. Shocking, I know, but that’s where your tax money could go when people aren’t able to get birth control: WIC and Medicaid.

If you don’t believe in birth control, or screening for STIs, that is your prerogative, but why does it bother you if someone else believes those things are essential to a healthy life?  You make your own decision, let others make theirs.