Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a vote that shocked the public – it revoked all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides many important health services such as cancer screenings and HIV testing to low income families.
“We are very grateful to the House of Representatives and its leadership for listening to the American people,” said Penney Nance, CEO of the Concerned Women for America, according to CBS News. “Now it’s time for the U.S. Senate to follow suit and finally cut off all federal funding to an organization that … is willing to aid and abet sex traffickers,” she said.
The cessation of funding has quickly spiraled into an extremist and somewhat irrelevant upheaval of an age old pro-life vs. pro-choice argument.
It is important to note, however, that the services provided by Planned Parenthood branch out substantially farther than legislators would think. The implications of revoking this funding could be seriously detrimental.
According to a statement released by Planned Parenthood, millions of Americans “rely on Planned Parenthood for primary and preventive health care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, family planning visits, birth control, HIV testing and more.”
Contrary to popular belief, Planned Parenthood is far more than just an abortion clinic.
Perhaps the most shocking aspect of the federal funding ban is that, should it pass the Senate, it will restrict access to basic health tests for families that simply cannot afford alternative means of health care.
When taking the wider context of the ban into consideration, the controversial pro-life vs. pro-choice argument is merely a diversion.
According to ABC News, there are already federal laws preventing Planned Parenthood from using federal funding for abortions. The funding ban will therefore only affect the non-controversial health services provided by Planned Parenthood.
Many of the arguments against funding for Planned Parenthood are simply a matter of combating beliefs – arguments that will never reach a resolution.
It is utterly impossible to expect millions of people to agree on the matter, but that certainly does not suggest that the needs of those without access to necessary medical care and reproductive health services should be ignored entirely.
Tara Petzoldt is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.