Several weeks ago, Ohio Governor and Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich signed a bill stripping Planned Parenthood and other abortion facilities in the state of $1.3 million. He signed this despite a majority of Ohioans opposing this action, according to a poll by the Hart Research Associates.
I own up to being staunchly pro-choice, but let me explain what that means. It does not mean I want every pregnant woman to rush out and terminate their unwanted pregnancy. It means that if a woman chooses to do so, I respect her choice. If a woman chooses to carry out a pregnancy and give the child up for adoption, I respect her choice. And if a woman chooses to raise the child, I respect her choice.
To be pro-choice is not to be pro-abortion. It is to be pro-choice.
That said, I do understand the moral objection to abortion and the pro-life movement, and I encourage people to figure out their own opinions on a deeply complicated issue.
What I cannot tolerate is when pro-lifers turn militant and spew hate, protesting in an unpeaceful manner outside Planned Parenthood and other abortion-providing facilities screaming at the women who enter. I have no patience for pro-lifers who pass out pamphlets filled with pictures of aborted fetuses–many of which have been heavily doctored or altogether falsified. I carry great disdain for people who tell women who have had abortions that they are “baby killers” and that they’re going to burn in Hell. And I have to use every ounce of my willpower to suppress an eye roll and a deep, guttural groan when one of these types of pro-lifers throws away any semblance of humility to compare him or herself to a saint, martyr or great historical figure.
Again, I understand a respectful pro-life movement, but Planned Parenthood isn’t the problem. Admittedly, the bill Kasich signed did not specifically name Planned Parenthood, but according to NBC News, the organization will still be affected more than other abortion providers in the state. If you are actually in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood, you are tremendously misguided.
While the organization does receive government funds to operate, none of that money goes toward abortion services. Abortions are either paid for by the women receiving them or by private donations. Government funding goes toward things like breast and cervical cancer screenings, prenatal services and other healthcare services women depend upon. They also offer services that cater to both men and women as well, such as HIV/AIDS and STD testing, and they provide men with vasectomies, in addition to offering standard healthcare services to low income men, women and children.
According to Planned Parenthood, abortions only contribute to 3 percent of services, and only three of the state’s 28 facilities offer abortions. It clearly doesn’t take a genius to realize that all defunding these organizations does is take away funding for necessary healthcare services. After all, it’s called Planned Parenthood, not “Unplanned Parenthood.” Although, if a woman finds herself in an unplanned situation, Planned Parenthood is there for her as well, and rightly so.
Planned Parenthood started receiving government funding in 1970 when the Nixon administration put into effect the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. That right, ladies and gents, even Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon recognized the need for accessible healthcare.
Regardless, I don’t know if political pro-lifers think outlawing abortions or taking all money away from the facilities that provide them is going to lead to some swell utopia where abortions don’t happen. I certainly hope they don’t, because that’s a convoluted idea. There will always be women seeking abortions. Outlawing them or taking money away from facilities that offer them safely will only lead to a repetition of the past, when we had back alley abortions and women risking their lives and health to get out of a situation in which they so desperately did not want to be. Trust me, this is not what we want to return to.