Legislation threatens Planned Parenthood funds

by Ana Ceballos

At a time when the country’s economy is not doing well and the government seeks to reduce expenses, sexual health care is a victim in the effort of diminishing cost.

The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act proposed, authored by Rep. Mike Pence, R-IN, prohibits family planning grants from being awarded to any entity that performs abortions. This would eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading sexual health care provider and advocate.

According to Jennifer Coburn, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, the facility is responsible for 5.5 million screenings and more than 6 million tests for STIs this past year alone.

Yet the facility, which was founded more than 90 years ago, has been dealing with some controversies throughout the years.

Some of these include the Planned Parenthood website, which states the services that the facility provides, such as vital reproductive health care and sex education, but fails to mention the abortion procedures.

According to Coburn, 93 percent of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding grants are used toward prevention and only seven percent is used for abortions. Nonetheless, there are alleged rapes that are not being reported to the authorities, which Planned Parenthood is compelled to do because of state law, according to Lila Rose, the young founder of Live Nation, an antiabortion organization.

“Health care clinics may make mistakes when providing advice and services to minors and those mistakes can jeopardize access to health care for others,” SDSU biology professor Mark Sussman said. “We must keep the big picture in focus and not dismantle a generally good and valuable organization because of select, rare and isolated incidents.”

As this political issue is intertwined with morality and religion, the access to sexual health care may be more difficult to access for students and underprivileged women.

“It is hard to find a good healthcare program that gives you all the services for free,” psychology junior Emma Peck said. “But I do think (Planned Parenthood) has been using some funding for abortions and they should be warned at least.”

According to Heather Tucker, a victim advocate, the probabilities for low-income women to raise unplanned children are higher when the access to sexual health care and sex education is limited.

Most of the states that restrict sex education or sexual health care facilities have a higher rate of unwanted pregnancies, according to Sussman.

Planned Parenthood research showed that if federal funding is eliminated, there will be a 37 percent increase in teen pregnancies and a 34 percent increase in abortions.

“The desire to engage in sexual activity is part of human nature,” Sussman said. “The urge for teenagers to be sexually active is not going away. Therefore, educating and providing safe places for sexually active teens and adults is the best way to diminish unwanted pregnancies and sexual diseases.”