Stop governing womens’ bodies

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Opinion Columnist Dani Goedken expresses the importance of keeping funds in place for Planned Parenthood

DANI GOEDKEN, Opinion Columnist

For years the debate has been to keep Planned Parenthood running or to shut it down. They perform too many abortions is the common argument, but we fail to acknowledge the good that they do as well. Planned Parenthood must remain open if people truly believe in bettering the lives of youth and parents.

One hundred and four  years ago, Planned Parenthood opened, and according to their website they were founded on the idea that women should have information and care they need to live “strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams.” Today they still hold many of those same principles. They are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of women, men and young people worldwide.

In those 104 years they have become the most trusted provider of reproductive health care. One in five American women have chosen them for health care at least once in their life according to their website.

They have more than 600 health centers, which provide people with mostly preventative care, including preventing unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of STIs through testing and treatment and screenings for cervical and other cancers.

Not only do they provide healthcare, but they also are an education center providing the community with sex education programs, resources and tools that help them to establish healthy relationships, and lead to healthier lives.

In all levels of government, with the support of 12 million activists, supporters and donors nationwide, Planned Parenthood has been an advocate for women’s reproductive health. This advocacy is enabling people to have access to comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care, education and information. This in turns allows individuals to prevent unintended pregnancies through access to affordable contraception and protects the health of young people.

Their work has not stopped within US borders. Planned Parenthood works with local partners in Africa and Latin America to help increase the access to healthcare and education. They nurture local leadership, foster sustainable health and education programs, provide financial grants and funding for family planning services and fight for legal, social and political improvements in communities around the world according to their website.

Planned Parenthood is criticized for providing abortions, but their numbers show that that is the least common thing that they do. In their 2018-2019 annual report they had 2.4 million patients. They provided 4,960,598 STI tests and treatment, 2,556,413 birth control services, 520,710 breast exams and pap tests and reached 1.2 million people through education. The amount of abortions was 332,757, only around 25% of the people they helped.

Looking at the statistics and the good that they do it hard to understand why people are so excited to shut them down. If you say you are pro-life then work on ending abortion and stay away from programs that are promoting healthy lives and keeping people safe.