Planned Parenthood has been under a lot of scrutiny lately, and people seem to confuse the support of Planned Parenthood with the support of heinous abortion tactics. However, Planned Parenthood is available for a variety of reasons, not solely for abortion services. Planned Parenthood Action Fund explains how it was founded with six main values, all regarding women’s right to reproductive health, the right to family planning, and equal access of resources regardless of one’s situation. Additionally, Planned Parenthood provides much more than safe abortions. They are available for rape counseling, STD testing, sex education and cancer screening, among other services. These values and services are innocuous, and cannot be inherently problematic, as they essentially comply with everything America claims to stand for regarding equality of health resources. Thankfully, many Americans understand this and stand with Planned Parenthood regardless of their stance on abortion.
However, when it comes to women’s rights, specifically with sexual and reproductive health, it seems as though there is always some aspect up for debate. When did it become a political uncertainty to provide women with basic health care? Sadly, this is what is has evolved into due to the recent swell in political abortion debate. Although it is your freedom to be pro-life, it is also highly problematic and contradictory to support Planned Parenthood and remain pro-life. The reality is, standing with pro-choice legislation provides women with the long deserved freedom to make their own decision about their bodies. Choosing to be pro-choice does not force any decision upon yourself; it actually leaves you with the freedom to make your own decisions about your body without limiting the decisions of other women around you. Planned Parenthood and its variety of services are there for women to choose from. Its availability of resources, and the freedom to choose what resources you need or want to use, still provides women with the choice to not follow through with an abortion.
When it comes down to it, women’s health rights aren’t controversial simply because of abortion. The war against women dates back to the deep-rooted history of working to control women, whether it be their choices, bodies, or lives. We need to fight back against this tradition and start treating women as capable decision makers, which is why being pro-choice is so important in addition to standing with Planned Parenthood.
Each year 21.6 million women around the world die from unsafe abortions, according to the World Health Organization. Abortions will not stop happening if we eliminate Planned Parenthood, they will simply continue in barbaric environments, putting women in even more danger and distress. Regardless of your personal emotions surrounding abortion, as a country, we need to stop treating women’s bodies as political discourse. It is our duty as a nation to continue providing a safe space for women to receive the care they deserve if they do choose to follow through with terminating a pregnancy. Fighting for Planned Parenthood is a step towards supporting women and providing them with the health care they deserve.