Money for More Than Just Abortions. A Persuasive Essay on Abortions
Healthcare is a fundamental right that everyone should have access to. Teens and young adults are most likely to be affected by the services at planned parenthood. (Tilghman). Planned Parenthood is associated more with abortions for than healthcare. Many different court cases have turned Planned Parenthood into what it is today by providing multiple different services. Planned Parenthood needs to be funded because it provides healthcare for women, men, and children who need it.
Planned Parenthood is wildly known for doing abortions, but they also provide multiple other services. Jaclyn Brandhorst and Freddie Jennings share a quote from Planned Parenthood in 2015 stating, “Each year Planned Parenthood provides 400,000 Pap tests, 500,000 breast exams, 4.5 million test & treatments for STDs” (728). On top of Pap tests and STD test and treatments they provide a lot of other services.
The Planned Parenthood website shares all of their services which includes pregnancy testing and services, abortion services and referrals, birth control, plan b and other emergency contraception, HIV testing and preventive medicine, LGBTQ+ services, men’s and women’s services. These services can help everyone from every gender and sexual orientation. On top of all those services they also provide just general health services and patient education. Both of these services can provide a lot of information about your own health and how to protect yourself. Under the Planned Parenthood’s general health care tab on their website you can find that they provide multiple different health screenings, sports physicals, flu shots, and even rape counseling referrals and services.
Providing healthcare for people who are uninsured or have insurance that don’t cover services is not cheap. Allison Gilley adds statistics saying “In 2013, 78[%] of Planned Parenthood patients had incomes at or below 150[%] of the federal poverty level… more than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or medically underserved areas,” specifically providing essential services to Latinx and African American communities” (74). On top of that she says that over half of the patients at Planned Parenthood are covered by Medicaid. Danielle Kurtzleben from NPR shares a chart of the amount of funding Planned Parenthood receives. They receive $528.4 million from the government and $775 million from other sources such as private, non-government services, and other revenue (3). Kurtzleben expands on what the funding is used for by saying, “Title X does not allow federal funds to be used for abortions. Medicaid, however, does allow government money to be spent on them — in very restricted cases” (6). The money funding Planned Parenthood isn’t all from the government so they can use private revenue to cover some abortion costs.
While Planned Parenthood has been open many people have been trying to stop the funding, they receive from the government no matter it based on personal, religious, or political beliefs. In the New York Times’ newspaper Nancy Tilghman writes, “ Stop Planned Parenthood, a Website (www.All.org/stopp) set up by Jim Sedlak, a retired New York businessman, provides information to anti-abortion groups on how to organize protests and prevent clinics from opening” (1).
People known as “pro-lifers”, “anti- abortion”, or “anti-women” all support the movement to defund Planned Parenthood taking away healthcare for many middle-class and low-class families. One of the anti-abortion groups, called the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), tried releasing videos of Planned Parenthood supposably trying to sell tissue from the abortions. (Devi 1). It turned out that it was a fake video, but the CMP did not hesitate to continue to call Planned Parenthood a “criminal organization” and put the lives of those who work at Planned Parenthood in danger. (Devi 1). A Lot of these protesters are paid by the certain churches or anti-abortion groups to yell at people trying to enter the clinics. This increases the stigma and drives away teens and young adults who need healthcare. (Tilghman).
Planned Parenthood has not always had funding. There are a lot of court cases that led up to where the clinics are now in America. Some of these court cases include the Hyde amendment, Harris v. McRae, Roe v. Wade, Does v. Gillespie, and Blessing v. Freestone. (Gilley). Roe v. Wade is one of the most well-known cases dealing with Planned Parenthood and abortions. This case was in 1973 and allowed women to have the right to get an abortion. The ruling also decided that government funding can only be used in certain situations such a rape, incest, or if the woman’s life was in danger. (Gilley 72).
Following Roe v. Wade, there was the House of Representatives voted on the Hyde amendment in 1976. This violates not only women’s healthcare rights but also makes it harder for the women of low-income to have the same healthcare opportunities. (Gilley 72). Harris v. McRae was a case in 1980 that made the Hyde amendment invalid. This was because it did not support the equal protection that all Americans are given under the fifth amendment. (Gilley 73).
One of the next really big cases was Blessing v. Freestone in 1997. The outcome of this created the Blessing test which has three factors. Allison Gilley shares the three factors by saying “These three factors are: (1) Congress must intend the provision to benefit the plaintiff; (2) the plaintiff must demonstrate that the right asserted is not so vague or amorphous that its enforcement would strain judicial competence; and (3) the statute must impose a binding obligation on the state” (76). These three factors are used to decide if something is a justiciable right. One of the last big court cases was Does v. Gillespie in 2002. During this case the eighth circuit denied the request for Medicaid payments at Planned Parenthood because the Medicaid Act does not cover rights that are inferred by existing laws or rights. (Gilley 69).
Planned Parenthood is an important topic to talk about because of the current events of the Trump administration. On the Planned Parenthood website, they share Trump’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. The author shares how Trump wants Planned Parenthood out of Title X in order to get them to stop providing care to families. In addition, Planned Parenthood also puts people’s access to healthcare at risk among other things such as taking away the amenities of the Affordable Care Act.
By continuing to fund Planned Parenthood low-income and middle-class families will be able to receive healthcare. Court cases over the years in America have made progress for women and children to be able to gain healthcare at Planned Parenthood but there is still a long way to go for their healthcare to be equal. Men, Women, and children who get healthcare through Planned Parenthood would be at risk if it were defunded. American’s can also change this outcome by voting for politicians that believe everyone has the right to have healthcare.
Brandhorst, Jaclyn K, and Jennings, Freddie J. “Fighting for Funding: Values Advocacy and Planned Parenthood’s Right-to-Life.” Public Relations Review., vol. 42, no. 4, 2016, pp. 723–733.
Devi, Sharmila. “Anti-Abortion Groups Target Funding of Planned Parenthood.” The Lancet, vol. 386, no. 9997, 2015, pp. 941–941.
Gilley, Allison. “Protecting Planned Parenthood: Is Planned Parenthood Funding a Justiciable Right under the Medicaid Freedom-Of-Choice Provision?” Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society, vol. 34, no. 1, Spring 2019, pp. 69–82.
Kurtzleben, Danielle. Fact Check: How Does Planned Parenthood Spend That Government Money? 5 Aug. 2015, www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/05/429641062/fact-check-how-does-planned-parenthood-spend-that-government-money.
Parenthood, Planned. “Our Services: Affordable Healthcare & Sex Education.” Planned Parenthood, 2020, www.plannedparenthood.org/get-care/our-services.
Parenthood, Planned. Trump's Budget Proves the Gag Rule Is an Attempt to Defund Planned Parenthood, 2019, www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/trumps-budget-proves-the-gag-rule-is-an-attempt-to-defund-planned-parenthood.
Tilghman, Nancy H. "Planned Parenthood Gets Limited Permit: Planned Parenthood Planned a Clinic. Oyster Bay Wanted to Restrict Services." New York Times (1923-Current file), Feb 06, 2000.