For teens, some of whom make their own health-care decisions independent of parents, they get trustworthy and quick care without high cost through Planned Parenthood.
ON Aug. 11, 2015, in an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN, Donald Trump stated, “Well, the biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. It’s like an abortion factory, frankly. You can’t have it and shouldn’t be funding it, and that should not be funded by the federal government.”
By September 2016, in another swipe at Planned Parenthood, Trump wrote in a letter that he would make the Hyde Amendment permanent law to protect taxpayers from having to pay for abortions.
On his first day in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump signed a ban on federal money going to international groups that perform or provide information on abortion. Then this week, his administration followed up by promising to cut off U.S. funding to the United Nations agency that deals with family planning and reproductive health.
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Here in Seattle, far from the other Washington, we may not realize how lucky we are: It’s easy for teens and women needing health care services to access Planned Parenthood. Visits can be free of charge, and there is no need to make an appointment. As someone who utilizes their health-care services, I can say the staff are friendly and accommodating.
However, in light of Trump’s actions, how will women here and across the nation, who rely on Planned Parenthood, be affected by the president’s stance on abortion? Where is the debate over abortion headed? What is now a straightforward trip to a Planned Parenthood clinic may not be so easy in the future, and that should concern all women.
Planned Parenthood provides millions of women with free birth control pills, IUDs, abortions, cancer screenings and STD testing and treatment. For teens, some of whom make their own health-care decisions independent of parents, they get trustworthy care without high cost.
When Trump talks about defunding Planned Parenthood, what he really means is that he’s OK denying women and men access to Planned Parenthood health care.
Trump says it’s because Planned Parenthood provides abortion services. Yet, abortion procedures account for just 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total services.
Those who favor defunding Planned Parenthood say other health care providers would be able to pick up the slack. But Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University, argues that other health-care providers would be in crisis if Planned Parenthood were to be defunded.
According to Rosenbaum, this happened in Texas in 2012. The governor and Legislature excluded Planned Parenthood from the state’s family planning program, and other health centers were forced to drastically increase their women’s health services to try to meet demand.
Consider this: Planned Parenthood provides health care services and information to more than 2.5 million women and men in the United States annually. Other health-care providers would not be able to provide comparable, affordable care if Planned Parenthood lost funding.
For low-income women in particular, defunding Planned Parenthood would be a devastating blow. Many women and teens would have nowhere else to turn for health care, and that is not right.