Ever since the controversial supreme court decision of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion, the fight between “pro-choice”, and “pro-life” groups have been a staple of American politics. Especially in recent years, there has been one organization caught up in the middle of this fight: Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood is first and foremost a center that provides healthcare, often centered on reproductive issues, to millions of women and men throughout America and the world. Yes, abortion is performed in SOME Planned Parenthood’s. But, “abortion services [only] account for about 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s activities. That’s less than cancer screening and prevention (16 percent), STD testing for both men and women (35 percent), and contraception (also 35 percent)”, according to an article from the Washington Post. Planned parenthood focuses instead on family planning, birth control, cancer screenings, sex education, STD prevention, testing, and treatment, and many other invaluable medical services.
According to Planned Parenthood’s website, 1 in 5 women go to a Planned Parenthood in their lifetime for some kind of medical treatment. This means that, if an average dorm floor has around 50 girls on it, there will be 10 girls who go to Planned Parenthood for some reason. Those are 10 girls who you laugh with, study with, go to dorm meetings with. These girls are typically not the stereotypical, “stupid, reckless, and pregnant,” that the media has portrayed for girls who go into Planned Parenthood. It’s the girl who offers you a tampon when you’re in the cafeteria bathroom, or your sorority sister who is desperately afraid she caught an STD when she found out her boyfriend was cheating on her. The women that benefit from Planned Parenthood are all around you, and if you ask around, I promise you will be shocked on how many people’s lives have been touched by the organization, especially college students. College is often a time to explore new avenues of your life, including sexually. Whether it’s prescribing birth control, talking you through family planning, or giving STD treatments, Planned Parenthood is a vital tool to us college students in our first bouts of independence.
I truly believe that no matter your political spectrum, you should acknowledge the enormous benefit Planned Parenthood has for women and men in America, and the repercussions that could come from taking it away. “Pro-life” should not be synonymous with “anti-planned parenthood”. Abortions are going to happen with or without planned parenthood. And, without a regulated, safe, procedure that Planned Parenthood promises, women will undoubtedly end up partaking in riskier procedures that could threaten their lives. If you are “pro-life”, and truly wish to stop abortions, you should be advocating for better birth control, sex education, and family planning, three of the main services of Planned Parenthood.
I am unashamedly Pro-Planned Parenthood for my dorm mates who take birth control, for the pregnant girl who I played intramural tennis with, for the boy with a STD who I passed on the way to class, and for all of my peers, including myself, who can benefit from Planned Parenthood’s services. I am Pro-Planned Parenthood because I believe in the importance of the organization, and you should too.
Lead Image Credit: Paramount Pictures