There’s a new saying: another day, another awful bill passed by President Trump. Oh, that’s not the saying? My mistake, but it certainly should be after these past few months. It’s sad that I wasn’t surprised when first hearing that President Trump planned to defund Planned Parenthood — I actually expected it. I mean, how could our country possibly benefit from a company that strives to educate women on contraception, family planning, and reproductive issues? What an awful idea! Oh, and I forgot to mention the free STD screenings they offer. It’s amazing that such a pointless company even came to fruition.
Sarcasm aside, it really is concerning that Trump would even consider defunding such a necessary program. If you aren’t informed about what’s been going on in this arena, let me give you the lowdown. The Sparknotes version is that Trump actually did not sign legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood, but instead, as stated by US News, “allows states to limit the obstetricians and gynecologists from whom women utilizing Medicaid can receive services.”
This limitation is based on whether or not the facilities in which they operate includes abortions, and, as you may have guessed, the majority of these facilities are operated by Planned Parenthood. As if finding a doctor that accepts Medicaid isn’t a difficult enough task, finding an OB-GYN who accepts it can be a seemingly impossible task. Trump plans to prevent Medicaid from working with Planned Parenthood, affecting 60 million of Planned Parenthood’s patients. This drastic effect will likely force many clinics to shut down. Does this mean that Trump simply doesn’t care about the reproductive health of these women? I may be jumping to conclusions, but it’s hard to think otherwise with the continuing careless signing of such legislation.
“It’s important to understand that Planned Parenthood works like every hospital, every other health provider in this country,” said President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards. “We get reimbursed for preventative health care, period; end of story. Speaker [of the House Paul] Ryan is threatening to say women in this country can no longer go to the health care provider of their choice. It’s simply un-American and completely irresponsible to say to folks, ‘Go try to find somewhere else on your own.’”
It is a common misconception that Planned Parenthood only provides abortions. An even bigger misconception is that the abortions are funded by taxpayers money. Abortions are not reimbursed like preventative health care is. It is time that we break the stereotype that Planned Parenthood is solely an abortion clinic, because the health awareness and care they offer is not only important, but also invaluable for the women who rely on the company as their primary source of healthcare. This legislation begs more than just the question of whether or not Trump cares about women’s health care, but whether or not we care enough as a society to do anything about it.