Planned Parenthood: the unseen benefits

The All-Nite Images

By The All-Nite Images from NY, NY, USA (Pink out for Planned Parenthood) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Veronica Kumpe, Reporter

Discussions about Planned Parenthood often lead to the issue of abortion– a procedure that makes up less than three percent of services provided at Planned Parenthood health centers. Yet, the worthiness of this women’s health non-profit is judged almost solely by a single operation.

There has been talk among pro-life groups and politicians about stripping Planned Parenthood of federal funds. According to NPR, Planned Parenthood receives a little over 500 million dollars yearly. This comes from two government funds: Medicaid and Title X. These two programs were put in place to assist low-income families and provide health services.

“I don’t think they should cut funding at all,” senior Heather Ross said. “In fact, they should funnel more into it. Cutting out a help-and-support system isn’t a good idea.”

Many people value the health services they receive at a low price. Federal funding is crucial to keeping prices down, but their second largest revenue source is the donations of private citizens. Planned Parenthood receives $391 million in contributions, according to NPR.

According to Planned Parenthood, 79 percent of patients make less than $35,000 a year. Women, men and children benefit from their services. Defunding would hurt these low-income families that cannot afford traditional health care providers.

“A lot of people can’t support a child.” Ross said. “If they want to keep the child it’s good that they have people there to help them through that.”

Forty-one percent of what Planned Parenthood provides its clients is sexually transmitted disease and sexually transmitted infection treatment and 10 percent is cancer screening and prevention. They also provide services under Women Infants and Children, or WIC, another federally funded program for low-income women infants and children. This includes immunizations, pediatric care and prenatal care.

All the good done by Planned Parenthood is often discounted because they provide abortions. Of the 10,933,675 procedures provided, only 327,166 are abortions or 2.9 percent.

“[Planned Parenthood] is a good thing,” sophomore Andrew Allen said. “Not a lot of people think about women needing that outside help.”

Planned Parenthood also educates people on reproductive health risks and safety both in the United States and through international programs.

When people take the time to look past the negative stigma of abortions to see the entire scope of services Planned Parenthood provides to people in need, they realize that the program not only protects people but saves lives.

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