The United States House of Representatives approved a bill Sept. 22 to defund the health organization, Planned Parenthood, for a year unless they were to stop offering abortions at their clinics and any affiliates that they have.
The defunding could change women’s health across the nation since they could potentially lose access to the variety of services that Planned Parenthood offers.
The governmentally funded reproductive health-geared organization offers much more than abortions. If funding were to be cut it would not only affect patient’s abilities to get access to abortions but to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and diseases, health physicals, testicular and breast cancer screening and sexual education.
While the proposal would still have to pass the Senate and avoid a likely veto from President Obama, the simple fact that it’s made it past the first of three hurdles is troubling.
The bill was brought up after the release of videos that show Planned Parenthood workers supposedly agreeing to sell fetal tissue to actors sent by the anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress. This caused an uproar amongst pro-life advocates that claimed that the videos show the organization going against medical ethics for their own monetary gain.
This issue has only been made worse by the recent Republican presidential candidate debates which seem to have one unifying theme among all of their discordant arguing, getting rid of Planned Parenthood.
It is not unusual for Planned Parenthood to face scrutiny for the services they provide, ever since the protection of abortions under federal law, established in Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Conservatives have fought heavily to make Planned Parenthood illegal. Many doctors who practice abortions frequently have protestors outside their clinics during the day.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that “between 5 percent and 25 percent of Planned Parenthood’s 2.6 million clients, or up to 650,000 women, would lose some or all of their access to care.”
According to Planned Parenthood’s 2013-2014 Annual Report, they’ve reached 1.5 million people through sex education and helped bring teen pregnancy rates to a 20 year low.
Opposers of the organization often fail to speak about is that only 3 percent of services done through Planned Parenthood are abortions, according to the 2013–2014 Annual Report by Planned Parenthood.
Republicans argue that by cutting funding to the organization, taxpayer dollars would no longer fund abortions, when in reality it would also stop the other health services.
Under the Hyde Amendment, certain government funds can not be used for abortions unless the pregnancy was caused by rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
If the organization decided to stop offering abortions,many women would lose access to the free service and would have to seek other places to get these procedures done.
Abortions can range in cost from $350-500 before the 20-week period in a woman’s pregnancy and can cost over $1000 after that period, according to a piece published on Washington Post’s website.
Viewpoints' editorials represent the majority opinion of and are written by the Viewpoints' student editorial board.