North Texas Daily

Texas defunding Planned Parenthood would undermine the health of millions

Texas defunding Planned Parenthood would undermine the health of millions

Texas defunding Planned Parenthood would undermine the health of millions
January 24
00:58 2019

On Jan. 17, a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals found that a federal judge’s decision to block the state of Texas from defunding Planned Parenthood in 2017 used incorrect “standards of review,” rescinding the judge’s prior injunction and sending the case back to district courts for further review. Texas now has a clear path to defund the organization, and it very likely will, according to the Washington Post.

Planned Parenthood is a health care organization that provides sex education and reproductive health information and services at low costs. It is not a profiteering, anti-religion, murderous advocacy group for the devil the way some activists might try to portray it. For years in Queens, New York at a women’s health center, anti-abortion protestors would gather to jeer, picket and threaten women walking into the building, regardless what they were there for, according to the New York Times.

The anti-abortion advocates who spread fear and misinformation to further their agenda are not actually contributing to anything beyond their own (often religious-based) message — doctors, expecting mothers and babies gain nothing from this type of behavior. The only thing protesting abortion does is cause more pain for people going through what should ideally be a private and sensitive process.

Abortions should be available to those who need them. Meaning access to an abortion shouldn’t depend on whether a rape occurred, the fact that you will die without one or even your boyfriend’s written signature on a permission slip.

If we allow the government to make laws regarding what we can do with our bodies, what’s to stop them from legislating around other bodily choices or medical procedures? This is actually one of those slippery slopes you hear so much about in political discourse.

Abortion is a hot button topic for Texans in the discussion to keep Planned Parenthood funded, but in reality, abortions account for only 3.4 percent of the organization’s medical services, according to its 2017 annual report. Nearly half of Planned Parenthood’s provided medical services are STD tests and treatments, and 27.1 percent is used for contraception. Defunding a group that performs crucial, affordable procedures like STD treatments and cancer screenings will likely result in a decline in overall state health.

The state’s necessity for health care groups like Planned Parenthood is evident when looking at the numbers: There are more than 30 Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas alone. Defunding would leave a lot of Texans without affordable, necessary health services.

The state’s foster care system is in a state of crisis: on any given day there are more than 27,000 kids in the system, and many of them are abused and neglected, according to a 2017 analysis by the Texas Association for the Protection of Children. Restricting Texans’ access to sex education, contraception and abortion is just going to make foster care worse.

Planned Parenthood provided 741,352 HIV tests in 2017, according to its annual report. Meanwhile Dallas county reported 364 new cases of AIDS in the same year, according to the Texas HIV 2017 Surveillance Report. Without Planned Parenthood, what do you suppose will happen to STD rates in Texas?

We have the facts, and the consequences are clear. We know that more readily available access to health care and resources is a good thing for our communities. We know that placing any type of restriction on legal abortions puts women’s health and safety at risk. We know Planned Parenthood helps more than 4 million people every year.

What more evidence is needed to prove that Planned Parenthood rightfully deserves its funding? If Texans continue to follow leaders like Ted Cruz in regards to reproductive rights, they will only be hurting themselves and their future.

Featured Illustration by Jordan Collard. 

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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1 Comment

  1. Survivor
    Survivor January 27, 11:33

    This editorial is both inaccurate and misguided.

    It begins by citing a Federal Appeals Court ruling against Planned Parenthood but failed to mention what the case is about. The case alleges Planned Parenthood illegally harvests and sells body parts from aborted human beings which is one very good reason to remove federal and state funding. The appeals court is allowing the case to continue because the evidence was deemed credible. Why didn’t you mention this?

    You also used statistics without checking their validity. You use the misleading Planned Parenthood data which states abortion only accounts for 3% of all services, but The Washington Post gave that three Pinocchios and the left leaning Slate called this “the most meaningless abortion statistic ever.” Even Planned Parenthood’s new CEO Leana Wen admitted in a tweet recently that “abortion is our core mission.”

    Your editorial then claims without any evidence that restricting access to sex education, contraception and abortion will only make foster care in Texas worse. This makes no sense. There are approximately 17,000 children in foster care, 80% of whom are under 13. They don’t need reproductive health services. What they and their parents really need is better funding for crucial services. Why not divert funds from Planned Parenthood to our neediest children?

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