Planned Parenthood under attack in Congress

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Following its attack on the health care law last month, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives has chosen its next target: Planned Parenthood.

Okay, I get it; the majority of Republicans are pro-life. Planned Parenthood is commonly recognized as an organization that performs abortions. However, the naiveté of the situation exists in the fact that Planned Parenthood is by no means an organization whose sole purpose is the funding of abortions.

Planned Parenthood provides millions of women all over the United States with family-planning services such as birth control, body-image counseling services, general health care, women’s and men’s sexual health care, sexual orientation and gender advising, STD testing, relationship counseling, prenatal health care, screenings for breast and cervical cancer, Pap smears, and diabetes testing, as well as family counseling in the face of tragedy.

Personally, Planned Parenthood is an organization that is very close to my heart. I remember learning about the organization for the first time when I was 10. My sister’s best friend had just lost her older sister in a tragic horseback riding accident; the family had been receiving group grief counseling at the local Planned Parenthood. I remember how highly they valued that service and the time spent there.

The Republicans in the House of Representatives have made it their goal to redirect any government money going to organizations that provide abortion services, but here’s the kicker: Planned Parenthood does not use government money to fund its abortion services. Congress has already prohibited this except in cases of rape, incest, or complicated births where the mother’s life is in danger.

While I was against the Republican majority’s vote to repeal the health care law last month, I was confident that the repeal would be shut down in Senate. That being said, that fact that the House is even considering an attack on Planned Parenthood scares me senseless. The destruction of Planned Parenthood is something that would directly affect me and my generation. In my opinion, a woman’s choice regarding pregnancy shouldn’t be left up to a group of middle-aged conservative men. If Congress decides to eliminate abortion as an option, then it must prepare itself for the repercussions of unprepared motherhood: higher dropout rates, poverty, and ill-cared-for children. Eliminate Planned Parenthood as a resource for women and you eliminate free reproductive health care, family planning, and sex education for millions.