The Santa Clara
April 6, 2017
In a much anticipated decision, Planned Parenthood stands to lose funding, threatening the wellbeing of many women, children and even men.
Vice President Mike Pence broke the Senate tie last week, passing through a bill that will withhold federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
The tie came after Democrats all voted against the measure, in addition to Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voting in opposition.
While a law already exists prohibiting the use of federal funds for abortions, this new bill could potentially cut funds for family planning.
It seems that this measure is a result of the Republican party’s crusade against abortion at any cost. What they fail to recognize is that abortions only constitute 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s health services.
In the 650 Planned Parenthood health centers that exist in the United States, women and men are able to receive sexual and reproductive health care, HIV testing, mammograms, education, as well as abortions.
More than 4.2 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections are provided by Planned Parenthood annually.
Planned Parenthood serves primarily women, many of which are low income and live in medically underserved communities. More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers exist in these communities and provide same-day appointments, longer hours and weekend services, unlike many other medical facilities in these communities.
Once again, the health and well-being of women are in the hands of politicians. This bill is a direct threat to the lives of many women and the men who also take advantage of Planned Parenthood health services. Many of these individuals are the most vulnerable and will be greatly affected by this bill.
The argument that Planned Parenthood should be defunded simply because they offer abortions is absolutely heinous. Federal funding for this organization does not directly endorse or pay for abortions, but rather the many other health care services provided by Planned Parenthood.
This is simply a case of tunnel vision by the Republican Senators who voted in favor of the measure and the many who support the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
Within this debate exists the underlying problem found in the prolife view. Many who oppose abortion fail to recognize that although they personally are against this procedure, outlawing it can have detrimental consequences.
In the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court determined that abortion is a legal medical procedure protected by the U.S. Constitution. Repealing this measure could potentially move us backwards to a dangerous time when abortions were not legal.
Up to 1965, illegal abortions were the cause of one-sixth of all pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths. Abortions have been around much longer than Planned Parenthood and the Roe v. Wade case. For many different reasons, women have received abortions, but prior to the procedure being legal, the risk of death or severe injury were incredibly high due to the fact that they would obtain them illegally.
If abortions were outlawed, they would continue to happen, but illegally, and once again women would be risking their lives in order to receive this procedure.
Whether or not one personally believes in abortion, a woman has the right to make decisions regarding her own body. Giving women the right to have an abortion does not mean anyone who is morally opposed to it will be forced to undergo one themselves. For example, even if a pregnancy threatens the health of the mother, she has the right to choose to continue with the pregnancy.
Pro-choice is simply in support of a woman’s right to decide for herself, whether it be having an abortion or not. Choosing to have a baby should be a choice and it is hypocritical to limit the choices of others simply because it does not fit everyone’s values.
Taking away this right will not solve anything, but only bring us back to a time where women had to undergo dangerous measures to receive this procedure.
Recently, Tomi Lahren, a conservative reporter for The Blaze, came under fire for stating that she was pro-choice, despite her right-leaning beliefs. Many conservatives criticized her for having this opinion that is not shared by many on the right.
The backlash is utterly confusing as conservatives advocate for less government control and interference, yet they believe that the government should eliminate a woman’s choice to have an abortion.
Tomi Lahren is simply in favor of a woman’s right to choose without government interference, something that more conservatives should align with.
Veronica Marquez is a sophomore communication and ethnic studies major.
Articles in the Opinion section represent the views of the individual authors only and not the views of The Santa Clara or Santa Clara University.