Universities should be prepared to step up if Planned Parenthood’s funding is cut

by Chloe O'Rourke, Contributor

One of the most heated current political debates concerns the issue of Planned Parenthood and female reproductive rights.

Planned Parenthood has been providing services to women since 1970, but after the recent election the organization is under threat. One location is set to close in December 2017.

Despite the current political rhetoric, Planned Parenthood focuses on prevention — 80 percent of its services go toward pregnancy prevention. Too often this institution is put in a bad light, which has lead to the decision by the Trump administration to attempt to cut funding.

Private fundraisers and protests keep the fight going but the simple fact is that if federal funding is cut off, Planned Parenthood won’t stand a chance.

Planned Parenthood’s fact sheet states that most of its funding comes from Medicaid reimbursements, and that it received more than $528 million in federal funding last year — about 40 percent of its total.

If this gets cut off, there is no way for Planned Parenthood to survive and provide the same level of care.

But college campuses could seize the opportunity and fill in the gap.

A new law, passed on April 8, 2016, allows women to obtain contraceptives without a prescription. The goal of the law was to reduce unintended pregnancies, but it also created a new opportunity for California universities.

It created a new way for college students to get contraceptives and preventative care.

Universities could expand their already existing programs to provide students with services that would keep the entire campus community safer.

SDSU already offers the Family PACT program, which offers family planning services out of Calpulli Center. But this program is only for low-income individuals with no other sort of coverage for such services.

If this system could be expanded to cover all students, it would be a great alternative to the services that would be lost with the closing of Planned Parenthood.

With Planned Parenthood facing an uncertain financial future, it would be in the best interests of the entire community for universities to step up and provide those potentially lost services.

Chloe O’Rourke is a first-year journalism major with an emphasis in public relations minoring in English. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @chloe.orourke.

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