Federal government defunds public health care’s Planned Parenthood

Teenagers on campus who use non-profit healthcare provider express their medical concerns


Gazette illustration/ASHLEY YUNG

Planned Parenthood provides many other services beyond the abortion referrals and services many often associate with the organization.

Abortion, a word that for most evokes strong emotions, has been a topic of controversy within the political world and the general public. 

Planned Parenthood, one of the leading institutions for women’s reproductive health services, including abortion, has officially begun to lose funding from the federal government. 

The Trump Administration has placed restrictions on Title X, which has provided funding for citizens who aren’t financially stable enough to afford reproductive healthcare on their own. 

According to Planned Parenthood’s official website, the “defunding means blocking patients who use public health care programs from accessing preventative care at Planned Parenthood.” 

It also means that the tax payers who once paid for abortions no longer have to. 

“Not all citizens approve their money to be given to people that want abortions,” Granite Bay High teacher Jason Rath said. “The approval of the federal defunding came from those kinds of people.”

Planned Parenthood’s main objective is often misunderstood – many of the organization’s critics claim the sole purpose of the institution is to provide abortions for young women. 

What people don’t understand is Planned Parenthood does more good than harm,

— Alex Nash

In reality, most women or men who use Planned Parenthood use it as their main health care provider simply because they can’t afford standard health care.  

“What people don’t understand is Planned Parenthood does more good than harm,” Granite Bay high school senior Alex Nash said. “People believe the main function of Planned Parenthood is to offer or perform abortions, but what they don’t realize is that this organization provides more for the people’s health, including education, prevention and treatment for a widespread of topics.”

Planned Parenthood helps women and men across the country obtain different forms of contraception, and offers tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases and different types of cancers. 

I caught an STD, and when I did, I didn’t know what to do. I went to the Planned Parenthood clinic and was treated like I mattered.

— Anonymous Girl

“The thing that everyone warns you about happened to me,” an anonymous senior girl said. “I caught an STD, and when I did, I didn’t know what to do. I went to the Planned Parenthood clinic and was treated like I mattered. Even though I had made a mistake, it didn’t define who I am.” 

Clinics provide thousands of teens with sex education and contraception. Without this funding, many young adults will have to go without life-changing medical treatments, procedures and prescriptions. 

“I’ve been using Planned Parenthood to get birth control pills since I was a freshman,” another anonymous senior girl said. “It’s reassuring to have a place I know I can go to if there’s ever an emergency with my health.”

Because of the sensitive nature of conversations about reproductive health, many people don’t grasp how significant the funding change will be on many Americans.

“I don’t know that much about what Planned Parenthood does,” senior Caleb Judd said. “I just know that’s where people go to get abortions.”

Planned Parenthood clinics do much more than what many people think they do. Clinics give pregnant women access to prenatal care, care that they would otherwise never get because they don’t have access to affordable specialists. Many critics also claim that the organization only offers services to women, but Planned Parenthood gives male and female members of the LGBTQ community free STD testing and vaccines that make it less likely for the community to spread common STDs.

I don’t know that much about what Planned Parenthood does. I just know that’s where people go to get abortions.

— Caleb Judd

“Everyone should have access to preventative health care,” senior Alonzo Cannon said, “Especially when it means the public benefits from that care.”

Planned Parenthood’s main demographic is the younger generation for the same reasons one could imagine, teens especially are uneducated about the world around them. 

“More teens use Planned Parenthood than they let on,” the senior girl said. “Odds are, whether you know it or not, someone you know relies on the clinic.”

Like many other political controversies, there has been push back on this new policy regarding Title X and its restrictions. Millions of men and women have attended strikes and even coined the term “I stand with Planned Parenthood,” in order to raise more awareness about the change in government funding for women’s health.

“Ultimately this isn’t just about getting rid of abortions,” senior Bella Gennuso said. “It’s a way for politicians to belittle women and take their rights away.”