To My Friends Who Support Defunding Planned Parenthood

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Educate yourself.

A couple years ago, I happened to drive by the Planned Parenthood in my city as I was on the way to a friend’s house for a day of sunning ourselves. There were people on both sides of the road waving their signs and chanting.

On one side of the road were the “Christians” condemning those that walked through the door for abortions (this location has never offered abortions, but no need to educate yourself), and on the other side of the road were those of the opposite view that understood the need for Planned Parenthood.

Admittedly, I got pretty fired up. It isn’t just the ridiculous inaccuracy of what many of those picketers were shouting; it was the fact that they were so quick to condemn an organization that does so much good for women and men that choose to be responsible in taking care of their health.

So I say to my friends or those that want to defund Planned Parenthood for their abortions and selling of aborted fetuses body parts: Educate yourself.

If Planned Parenthood is defunded in this witch hunt, where do women and men that so desperately need these health services go? As many as 650,000 women could be left without access to other health care clinics or medical practitioners who serve low-income populations.

Educate yourself.

Abortions account for only three percent of the organization’s healthcare services. The real value of what they do is offer much-needed health services to women and men for contraceptives, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, breast exams, pap smears, prostate, colon and testicular cancer screenings, vasectomies, male infertility screenings and other sexual health services. 

According to a recent article by New York Magazine, in 2014 alone, Planned Parenthoods nationwide provided vasectomies to 3,445 men.

Educate yourself.

“But what about the selling of baby parts and those videos that prove it? That is just wrong!”

According to NPR, state investigations have yet to find any evidence that Planned Parenthood was selling or profiting off fetal tissue. Twelve states have completed investigations into Planned Parenthood following the videos’ release, according to the organization.

Educate yourself.

Here is the harm of your uneducated point of view: In low-income areas, where women depend on Planned Parenthood for Medicaid-funded contraceptive services, unwanted pregnancies would rise, which would then put a much bigger — and more long-term — burden on Medicaid spending.

You would be taking away necessary health services from your friends, family and those that you claim to care about as a Christian. Where do they go? ThinkProgress estimated that defunding Planned Parenthood would cause Medicaid spending to increase by $650 million over ten years. Guess who pays for that? You.

So I say to you, one more time, educate yourself. Seek out fact-based information in reputable news sources such as New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, Newsweek, etc. Don’t be spoon-fed by faith-based and ultra-conservative sources that twist the facts to get what they want, which is control of women’s bodies.

Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review says it best: By taking a hard stance on abortion at the expense of women’s access to health care, conservatives are making a value judgment. They are telling women that our health is not as important as their statement against abortion and their views on what we should do with our bodies. They want our health and our right to choose.

Educate yourself.

This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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