What’s the Plan for Planned Parenthood?

Throughout the past week, a barrage of videos have been thrown into the media depicting high ranking employees of one of the nations top health service provider discussing the procurement and distribution of fetal human tissue. Planned Parenthood is an organization supported by taxpayers that aim to provide health services to low-income citizens including but not limited to birth control and abortions. Planned Parenthood has been giving the option to their patients to give up the fetus or tissue and organs from the unborn fetuses to research facilities for stem sell research and have been taking $30 – $100 dollar donations for these specimens from the research facilities in order to ensure safe transport and condition. Recently, an organization by the name of “The Center for Medical Progress” has accused Planned Parenthood of selling these specimens and released a series of videos to back up these accusations. These videos have been gathered over three years of hidden camera interviews and although only 4 have been released to date, there is said to be 9 more in existence. In the videos we can see medical professionals of Planned Parenthood discussing their abortion methods for donated fetuses, the donation rates for different tissue, and answering questions in a very blatant, indifferent way. Because of the nature of these videos, The Center for Medical Progress is calling on politicians and citizens to end the support of Planned Parenthood by taxpayers on the grounds of both ethics and legality of the practice. We cannot let that happen. Planned Parenthood is crucial in providing our communities with much needed health services, family planning options, and although the videos seem cruel, they also provide many research facilities with the needed tissue that will benefit us all through disease prevention, limb regeneration, and so much more and that is why we as taxpayers and voters need to continue funding and supporting the Planned Parenthood organization. Planned Parenthood is necessary in our country and needs our funding.

Steady backing and funding for Planned Parenthood is crucial to the well being of our country because of the many services offered at little to no cost that they provide and their aid in the progress of stem cell research and medical advancement. With abortions making up only provided by Planned Parenthood, cutting funding would have a much bigger 3 percent of services effect on a lot more than this practice. Pap smears, diabetes screening, birth control, STD testing, and so much more would be lost without the support of taxpayers and this could have devastating impacts on our communities. Of that 3 percent not all women even go through with the procedure, and even less opt to donate their fetus for research. But the tissue and organs that are saved and donated end up going to research into curing cancer, diabetes, bone disease, HIV, as well as fixing injuries and growing lost limbs back. The benefits of having Planned Parenthood an active organization in our country are numerous; it seems so unreasonable to defund this organization with such a major impact even if you disagree with a minor segment of their services.

The main strategy of this sting operation and these videos seems to be focused on shutting down Planned Parenthood through the exposing the donations accepted for specimens as sales. Although it is clear in the videos that Planned Parenthood is receiving money for the specimens it recovers, it is all in compliance with the donation system set up by law. The sale of any human parts or tissue is illegal, but by only receiving a minimal donation towards the processing of the specimen and making no profits, Planned Parenthood is able to receive between $30-100 per specimen or tissue sample. That seems a totally reasonable cost considering the cost to maintain the tissue at lab level quality through transport and processing into the new facility and it is hard to see where there could possibly be a profit margin for this when it can barely cover costs. Even the Obama Administration found the accusations to be “fraudulent” and even went on to say, “The President certainly will not support another effort by Republican to try to defund an organization that offers important and needed healthcare services to women across the country.” Although borderline unethical, the legality of Planned Parenthood’s operation seems to be ensured again and again despite the claims by the makers of these videos. If they have yet to do anything illegal, and continue to provide us with much needed services, we should continue to provide Planned Parenthood with funding.

But with all that put aside, when it comes down to it the real issue here is the funding. Should we give a company that is accused of selling fetuses our money to help keep it up and operational? For many this comes down to shear cost. Over the last 10 years Planned Parenthood and its affiliates have received $4.3 Billion from the government in funding. That may seem like a lot, but when you divide it amongst all the taxpayers, the amount paid by the average household ended up at $15. Over 10 years amongst a household, $15 is a small price to pay to ensure women the control over and health of their body. Not everyone has access to best health care, but the small amount of funding each of us contributes to Planned Parenthood gives women who may never have had the chance, the ability to take control of their body and their reproductive health and ultimately a chance at a better life.

It is no doubt that ethics and morality are important to a productive society; Planned Parenthood is not harming our ethics, but rather improving the education, health, and safety or our citizens. Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon running for the republican seat in the Presidential race, inadvertently made a point against his and his supporters argument when he said, “We can solve those problems and cure those diseases with other mechanisms that don’t desensitize us to the butchering of babies, that’s the bottom line. And you know, the same people who do this are the people who are so angry with anybody who disagrees with them and wants to destroy their name and destroy their livelihood, their family it is sort of an evil nature that is permeating us because we are giving away our humanity.” This statement claims that this is desensitizing, but I find that research to be more educating and beneficial which are much more important goes than maintaining sensitivity in our citizens. The main cause of desensitization in our society is violence. Violence in the home, violence at school or work, and especially the violence of war, but the type of blood and gore found in a doctors office is not the blood and gore that is going to desensitize our country. And finally, I have yet to see an abortion or abortion doctor with so much anger that they want to “destroy their name, destroy their livelihood, and destroy their family,” but that sounds an offal lot like what the anti-Planned Parenthood supporters are doing to these doctors now. These doctors’ careers, selves, and families are in constant danger because they want to provide our society with the medical services it needs. Planned Parenthood is the only option for so many people in this country, if we took away their funding our whole society would suffer.

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