Musings about Defunding Planned Parenthood

I am fortunate. I have never had to use the services of Planned Parenthood. But I am a white male who was lucky enough to be born into and grow up in a stable economic environment. The current right wing in our political arena wants to defund Planned Parenthood, purportedly because the organization does mostly abortions.

Here is a chart of the procedures done by Planned Parenthood in 2013:

Planned Parenthood Services
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This shows that out of 10,590,433 procedures, 327,653 were abortions. That’s about 3 percent of the procedures. In contrast, here are some claims by some Republicans:

Planned Parenthood Services 1
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These claims are obviously wrong at best, deceptive and skewed, or outright deceitful at worst.

I am not in favor of abortion. Being male, that’s easy for me to say. I have obviously never had one. But I don’t believe that our society has the right, or I have the right, or Tom Cole that the right, or Orrin Hatch has the right, to tell other women what to do or not do with their bodies.

More than 300,000 women annually find themselves in positions where they go to Planned Parenthood and eventually make the decision to have an abortion, whatever their reasons are. They make those decisions under extremely stressful conditions, economically, morally and psychologically. The last thing they need is some finger-wagging politician to tell them what to do. They need professional help from someone who is trained to help them, medically, if they decide to go forward, or psychologically, if necessary. This help cannot be legislated. It must be provided by qualified organizations, and Planned Parenthood is one of those.

We can, as a nation, remove Planned Parenthood. Then the 97% of the non-abortion-related services they are now providing will no longer be available. Those people needing those services will have to find other organizations, like Planned Parenthood, that provide those services.

If we outlaw abortions, that does not mean abortions don’t happen anymore, just like abolition in the twenties didn’t stop alcohol consumption.

I don’t believe that a single unwanted pregnancy will be prevented just because abortions are not legal. Women will still get pregnant, probably more of them, because there won’t be Planned Parenthood to help with contraception and education. With no ready services in this country, rich women will fly to Denmark, Holland or Germany to get the abortions they need. Those are the very few. The disadvantaged have to find back-alley quacks, or worse, cross the border to Mexico.

I do not understand what these Republican are trying to fix. We currently have a reasonably effective support system for unwanted pregnancies and contraception at the lower economic scale. Removing this support system will simply make abortions much more expensive, shift them underground, make them much more risky and of possibly criminal.

So what is it that drives these people to dictate their views to others and try to force their behavior? Don’t they know that does not work?

3 thoughts on “Musings about Defunding Planned Parenthood

  1. “So what is it that drives these people to dictate their views to others and try to force their behavior?”

    Now that religion and politics is the same thing (as is The Taliban), their views in politics are as inerrant as their religion and must be followed. Old Testament has superseded the New Testament in America, with all its meanness and misogyny.

  2. Another irony to all this right wing hyperbole regarding Planned Parenthood is that by federal law, no federal dollars can be used for abortions performed by PP and that includes Medicare funding. They have to raise money independently to provide these services. Many of the Republican legislators you mentioned in this article are well aware of this as well since they were signatories on the bill which removed federal funding for abortion services at PP.

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