With the constant attacks made against Planned Parenthood by the Republican Party and religious groups for their practice of abortions, people tend to lose sight of the countless other benefits the organization provides for women. In fact, only three percent of all of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortions, yet it is what they are most well known for.
Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, here are some reasons why all women should say, “Thank you, Planned Parenthood.
- They provide breast exams and pap tests to women who can’t afford it.Each year, Planned Parenthood performs about 360,000 breast exams, which help detect cancer from an early point. Additionally, the organization provided over 270,000 pap smears in the same year, which tests for cervical cancer. However, many women from low-income backgrounds are unable to afford these exams regularly and have no access to these services without Planned Parenthood.
- They give youths the sexual education our school systems fail to provide. Planned Parenthood educates both adolescents and adults on safe sex to lower the teen pregnancy and STD rates in America. In fact, Planned Parenthood educates 1.5 million people on safe sex each year through their educational programs. Unfortunately, despite their efforts to enforce safety to the youth of our country, state governments and school boards nationwide still believe that abstinence-only programs are the best way to lower teen pregnancy rates. However, despite the 1.5 billion dollars spent annually by Congress on these initiatives, they have proven to be ineffective.
- The majority of their work goes toward preventing unintended pregnancies in the first place.Preventing unintended pregnancies include providing contraceptives such as birth control, condoms and IUDs to people who could not afford it otherwise. About 80 percent of Planned Parenthood patients seek their help to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, avoiding increasing the abortion rates and the amount of children waiting for adoption. People often try to console women facing unintended pregnancies with the promise of adoption, but with 100,000 children waiting to be adopted and 400,000 in foster care in the United States today, there is no guarantee of that.
- Planned Parenthood works to reduce the STD rates in our country.Each year, Planned Parenthood provides over 4.2 million STD tests and treatments for its patients. This includes over 650,000 HIV tests, which help people prevent against and take proper precautions in their sexual lives. In 2015, the STD rates in America reached an all-time high, with the amount of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases showing dramatic increases between 2014 and 2015. Many conservatives pushing for the defunding of Planned Parenthood do not realize that if Planned Parenthood is defunded, these rates will only climb.
These are only a few of the multitude of services Planned Parenthood provides for its patients. Contrary to popular belief, Planned Parenthood is in fact, not an abortion clinic but instead a clinic that gives people the fundamental reproductive care they need.