Pence Amendment Strips Planned Parenthood

Christine Gillette

On Feb. 18, the House of Representatives voted and passed the Pence Amendment proposed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), which would federally defund Planned Parenthood.
One might ask, what is Planned Parenthood?
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. is the largest family planning provider in the U.S. that offers contraceptives, contraceptive counseling, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, menopause treatments, and other services primarily for low-income families.

Why should this matter to students?
If Planned Parenthood is stripped of its funds, more people will go untreated for sexually transmitted diseases, there will be more undetected cancers, and there will be more unwanted pregnancies.

According to Planned Parenthood’s statement to CNN, the Pence Amendment will strip the organization, along with 102 other affiliated groups, of federal funding, which is estimated to cut off 48 percent of their patients. For approximately 1.4 million of those patients, this is their only source of health care.

The next question is why would someone want to stop funding this organization?
Mike Pence believes that this amendment is a stand for Americans who believe that their tax dollars shouldn’t be used to financially support the largest abortion provider in America.

“Nobody is saying Planned Parenthood can’t be the leading advocate of abortion on demand, but why do I have to pay for it?” Pence said when the amendment passed.
This is where the misconception lies.

Planned Parenthood receives most of its funding from Title X, a U.S. government program that was signed into law to provide family planning services. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, under Title X’s statute and regulations, the federal funding the organization receives cannot be used for abortion services.

Although Planned Parenthood provides these services, they are all privately funded.
Also, the Hyde Amendment that passed in congress in 1976 prohibits the use of federal funding on abortions.

So, is this an attack on abortion or women’s health care?

In the beginning of this year, a Los Angeles based anti-abortion group called “Live Action” went around visiting different clinics posing as pimps and prostitutes who sought out health services for underage sex workers while videotaping these staged events.

One video was released to the media of a New Jersey Planned Parenthood clinic manager who offered some advice to the imposters. The organization had already suspected that the visits were staged and reported the incidents to the FBI before the videos were released to the media.

The manager was still fired but pressure on Planned Parenthood remained because in February the Pence Amendment was proposed. This was a good platform for the proponents of the amendment.

Even though the country may be suffering economic turmoil, the federal government should not cut off Planned Parenthood under these accusations, especially if there are some people that will have no source of health care if it is defunded.

How do students feel about the proposal of defunding Planned Parenthood?

“Maybe not cut it off completely, just states that may use the services less or are less populated,” freshman Natalie Pembedjian said. “I still want what’s best for everybody though.”

Caroon Al-Reyes, a freshman, thinks that the amendment would not be fair to everyone.
“It’s just not fair because some people don’t have any other health insurance or any other choice and they need Planned Parenthood’s services,” Al-Reyes said.

Women are not the only ones who would be affected. Children and men will be affected too as this organization is for all that are in need of its services.

Many young men who are not too aware of what Planned Parenthood is or the services that they can provide.

“I’m not too informed about it, but what I know about it I think there are people out there who could really benefit from it,” Jisun Lee, a film and photography major, said.

Whether one agrees with abortion or not should not be the issue right now. What matters is that there are people in America who depend on Planned Parenthood as their source of health care and these people should not be denied of their right to have it. This should be a fight for health care, not abortion.