Advocating for more than just abortions

 STAR // Eddie Blake

STAR // Eddie Blake

Every year, a version of a bill to cut funding to Planned Parenthood is presented before Congress and every year, it’s rejected. 

This year, a version of the bill that, if passed, will defund Planned Parenthood for a year has passed in the House of Representatives, but failed to pass through the Senate. 

Much of the flack against Planned Parenthood is in regard to the hot button issue of abortion. 

Because this issue is heavily debated and strikes many emotional chords, advocates of both the pro-life and pro-choice camps hold no punches when attacking their opponent’s side. 

Many stories are spun by the conservative party to claim thatPlanned Parenthood profits off of abortions in inhumane ways.

Not only is this not supported by any legitimate sources, but it stirs upextreme emotional reaction against Planned Parenthood.

Contrary to the public’s belief, abortion services only make up 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services, and the government funding it receives can’t be used for any abortions. 

According to National Public Radio, the services offered by the clinicare 42 percent STI/STD testing and 34 percent contraception. The other 21 percent consists of women’s health services such as breast cancer screening, reproductive health and safety classes, and rape counselling. 

These services are crucial for women’s health and many young, low-income women would not have access to these services if Planned Parenthood was defunded.

As uncomfortable as it is to talk about, college students are a demographic that is in need of these services the most. The college years are a time when many young people are able to have sex without worry of intrusion by parents. These new opportunities should be taken with maturity. 

At Sonoma State University, students are fortunate to have a spectacular health center. However, the health center only offers some of these services, such as birth control and select STI/STD testing during the school year. 

During summer and winter breaks, these services are not offered with the same low cost as during the semester.What about the first few years after college? Many young adults in their 20s aren’t able to find jobs that offer complete health coverage to provide for these specific needs.

One of the services many Planned Parenthood offices offer is counseling and confidential help for victims of rape. The only time Planned Parenthood can’t promise confidentiality is if the victim is under 18. 

At Sonoma State, a victim can reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services but depending on the situation, confidentiality may not be promised if it’s clear the university needs to take action. 

Planned Parenthood offers counseling on how the victim should proceed legally as well, which is not provided by CAPS.

Students at Sonoma State are particularly fortunate with the services they are given, but even those don’t cover the scope that Planned Parenthood does. 

Young people, women in particular, need the low cost services that Planned Parenthood provides. One in five women in the U.S. will visit Planned Parenthood in their lifetimes, according the Planned Parenthood annual report. 

If this organization were to be defunded, it would be 2.7 million young women and men who would be out of this necessary form of health care.

Because of these facts stated above, no matter what one’s stance is on abortion, it is crucial that Planned Parenthood continue to be available for young adults who need it. 

While some argue the clinic unjustifiably ends lives, it’s apparent they are primarily in the business of saving them.