Nicole Zelniker, World & Nation Editor
November 6, 2015
Five million people are aided by Planned Parenthood every year through services and outreach.
Shutting it down would be irresponsible, preventing 400,000 Pap smear tests, 500,000 breast exams and 700,000 HIV tests annually, according to the Planned Parenthood website.
Nonetheless, the Grand Old Party seems determined to do just that.
“They consider the economic and policy implications of (Planned Parenthood) services without considering how a denial of these services could affect … more marginalized citizens,” said junior Student Body President and sexual health activist Molly Anne Marcotte.
A Congress made up of primarily men causes problems in itself. The House currently has close to one woman for every four men, while the Senate has about one woman for every five men.
“People making the decisions about reproductive and sexual justice need to be able to empathize with the experiences and navigation of a world that marginalizes the bodies that reproduce,” said Marcotte. “The cisgender men in Congress do not share this empathy.”
The lack of women in Congress makes it easier for the men to be aggressive in their campaign against Planned Parenthood.
“It would be a lot more balanced if at least half the congress was female,” said Assistant Professor of Political Science Robert Duncan. “(The attack on Planned Parenthood) is another example of the (GOP’s) attack on women and the poor.”
In a country that quite frankly couldn’t care less about politics, the fight against Planned Parenthood has become more of a political tactic than an actual issue.
“It’s become a symbol of something the (GOP) hates,” said Professor of Political Science Ken Gilmore. “It’s okay for men to have Viagra and frequent prostitutes, but not for women to have birth control.”
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 54 percent of Americans support federal funding of Planned Parenthood, while only 26 percent oppose it. This makes the argument that defunding Planned Parenthood would satisfy the majority of Americans invalid.
“Most Americans are in agreement with each other (about Planned Parenthood),” said Associate Professor of Political Science Kyle Dell. “There are issues where we can’t compromise. I’m not sure this is one of those issues.”
The GOP also tends to focus primarily on abortion, which is less than three percent of Planned Parenthood services, and distribution of fetal tissue, which occurs only for research.
“It provides a lot of different services,” said Dell. “It would be great if we could unhook the things that people find controversial, but these services are packaged together intentionally.”
What should be controversial is the GOP’s capacity to lie.
For example, Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina told President Barack Obama at a recent Republican presidential debate that Planned Parenthood released videos of a living, breathing fetus being kept alive to harvest its organs.
That video doesn’t exist, and it’s disgusting that Fiorina would try to influence the millions of Americans watching the debate with lies.
“The tapes (make) anyone who has used a service of Planned Parenthood, especially abortions, (seem) sociopathic,” said Noelle Lane ’15. “The (GOP) can use it as momentum to say, ‘I told you so’ about the alleged corruption of Planned Parenthood.”
In the fight against Planned Parenthood, the GOP has attempted to prevent access to health care and make decisions about women’s reproductive rights and go against the majority of Americans.
“Planned Parenthood is an organization that supports the pursuit of this population of which I speak, a society with safer and healthier sexual and reproductive health,” said Marcotte. “Therefore, I stand with Planned Parenthood.”
Whether you care about politics or not, we do have some power to protect Planned Parenthood.
“Get the hell out to vote,” said Duncan. “Get these bozos out of Congress.”
When it comes down to it, getting the far-right GOP out of Congress is exactly what could protect Planned Parenthood.
If I have to choose between an organization that saves thousands of lives every year or a group of outdated old white men in Congress, I will choose to stand with Planned Parenthood every time.