The future of Planned Parenthood under Trump’s administration

With Obamacare under fire from the GOP, Planned Parenthood is at high risk of being defunded. This puts five million men, women, and adolescents behind the curve when it comes to safe, responsible sexual activity and no way to prepare the potential consequences of such activities.

Many people are familiar with Planned Parenthood in regards to the fact that they offer abortion services. Yet, abortions make up only 3 percent of all Planned Parenthood services––not 94 percent, as many politicians have quoted during discussions revolving around abortion.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of affordable healthcare for low income families and is the largest provider of sex education nationwide. With nearly 650 centers across the country, Planned Parenthood is the only source of family planning health care for the majority of the women they serve.

Realistically, one in five women will take advantage of Planned Parenthood’s services at some point in her life. For scale, this is about 280 female undergraduate students at Le Moyne.

The majority of Planned Parenthood’s services are related to prevention and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and infections. At 38 percent, this is the bulk of what Planned Parenthood does. This includes STI tests and treatments, as well as HPV and HIV tests and treatments, offered to both men and women.

Another service that makes up a large portion of Planned Parenthood is contraception at 33 percent. Contraceptives include reversible birth control for women, vasectomies, and emergency sterilization procedures.

The last procedure is extremely rare, with less than 600 cases nationwide each year. Cancer screenings make up 15 percent of Planned Parenthood procedures. Clinics offer pap tests, breast exams, and colposcopy and cryotherapy procedures used to treat abnormal growths and cells in the cervix.

The other 11 percent is made up of various other pregnancy related services. Pregnancy tests are always available and prenatal care is accessible to women who have no other way to safely monitor their pregnancy to completion. Adoption referrals are available to couples as well as a federally funded nutrition programs for mothers with infants and children under five. Children are also eligible for pediatric care and immunizations.

At only 3 percent, equating around 300,000 procedures per year nationwide, abortions actually occupy the smallest space in Planned Parenthood.

This leaves the question of: if Planned Parenthood offers so many essential services to low income families why would anyone want to remove it?

The GOP is vehemently against abortion and believe the whole institution must come down. The Pro-Life and Pro-Choice movements have been at each other’s throats for years on this subject, which is difficult to grapple with.

On Feb. 16 the House of Representatives voted to repeal a bill signed in December 2016 by former President Barack Obama that would protect Planned Parenthood from defunding. It explains that state governments cannot deny federal funding to family planning centers based on anything other than their ability to provide competent health care. This prevents state governments from withholding Title X grants from a medical center because it provides abortion services.

If the bill, approved by the House, makes it through the Senate and is signed by President Trump, it will be easier for the states to deny money to Planned Parenthood because of its abortion services.

About 25 percent of Planned Parenthood’s money comes from the Title X grant. The other 75 percent comes from federal health care funding. Taking Title X away from Planned Parenthood will give money to clinics that do not offer abortions. If Obamacare goes, a bill permanently revoking money from Planned Parenthood is not far behind.

The biggest question is what the GOP doing to replace Planned Parenthood. What measures are being taken to ensure essential reproductive health care will still be provided to the millions who depend on Planned Parenthood? Are safe, affordable options available at clinics that don’t offer abortions? And will outlawing abortion really save lives, or only increase the number of unsafe abortions across the country?

These are questions currently unanswered by the GOP.