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The Truth About Planned Parenthood

In yet another desperate, morally bankrupt attempt to assuage pro-life conservatives and garner Republican support, President Trump and Speaker Ryan have vowed to introduce legislation which would "defund" Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act despite an approval rating of 17% (and falling). The trouble with their plan is, like with most hot button issues, the administration isn't telling the whole truth what you need to know.

While pregnancy termination is a service Planned Parenthood provides, it is important to know that those services are not available at every Planned Parenthood location and that the majority of the organization's work is focused on contraception, preventing communicable disease and detecting the reproductive cancers.

— Luke Anthony Schulte

Planned Parenthood is not an abortion clinic. While pregnancy termination is a service Planned Parenthood provides, it is important to know that those services are not available at every Planned Parenthood location and that the majority of the organization's work is focused on contraception, preventing communicable disease and detecting the reproductive cancers.

The government and your tax dollars do not fund abortion services. It's been illegal for them to do so since 1976, when Congress passed the Hyde Amendment.

"Defunding" Planned Parenthood would not eliminate "government-paid abortions." Except for the exceptions made for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest, those don't exist. What the government is proposing is a dramatic reduction in the way Planned Parenthood is reimbursed as a healthcare provider for the other services they provide—services that quite simply are saving millions of lives every year.

Planned Parenthood is not a part of the national budget. What the administration is attempting to do is deny insurance reimbursement for healthcare services provided at Planned Parenthood locations. This would, in effect, make it impossible for Planned Parenthood to accept medical insurance as payment for things like well woman exams, contraception and cancer screenings. Having to pay out of pocket to see a Planned Parenthood provider, millions of Americans would be forced to see other healthcare providers for these services, dramatically increasing the burden on local primary care physicians and gynecologists. Effectively, these women (and men) would lose access to healthcare as the majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are in medically underserved areas—meaning there are already a limited number of local primary care physicians and gynecologists available in these areas.

But What About The Videos?

In 2014, two anti-abortion activists released video footage of what they claimed were illegal medical practices committed by Planned Parenthood. The conversations in these videos were edited and taken out of context in order to be intentionally defamatory to the operation. A warrant for the couple's arrest has since been issued, and they face felony charges in California. Planned Parenthood has also filed a civil lawsuit against them.

The videos alleged that Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal tissue. No direct proof was ever discovered and Planned Parenthood has denied these allegations.

The sale of fetal tissue, the byproduct of abortion, is illegal in the United States. However, it can be donated and healthcare providers are allowed to be compensated for "transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage."

Planned Parenthood operates as any other healthcare provider. They are reimbursed through standard billing practices for routine medical services. Singling them out because of religious ideological differences for 3% of what their operation does is unconscionable and unconstitutional.

Take abortion out of the equation. Would we ever support a government initiative to strip reimbursement from healthcare providers who provide nutritional counseling and diabetes education? Would it be okay for insurance companies to stop paying for testing strips and insulin because some people believe that diet and exercise can prevent diabetes? No! The government's place is to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare. These legislators are not doctors, and practicing medicine without a license is a crime!

Planned Parenthood Revenue Sources

The US abortion rate is at an all-time low, which can be at least partially attributed to the increased availability of contraception from healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood. However, contraception does not protect against STIs and sexually transmitted disease rates are increasing. The number of new diagnoses of infections like syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea are as high or higher in some communities than they were during the AIDS epidemic. Planned Parenthood addresses these healthcare needs, and to defund them would drastically affect the way millions of Americans are able to receive treatment. reports that 40,000 women (or 1 in 8) die each year in the US from breast cancer. Another 14,000 lose their battles with ovarian cancer annually. 80% of women diagnosed with cancer have no family history of the disease.

A routine mammogram costs around $100. A Pap smear with cervical cancer screening costs less than $300. These are potentially life-saving procedures which can be 100% covered by insurance and are provided by Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood saves lives. Period.

We need to change the conversation we’re having about healthcare in this country, but the answer isn’t to allow a group of men to debate women's health. It’s to figure out how to give women more access to services like Planned Parenthood so that we can eradicate cancer and lower the disease transmission rate in our country.

In the mean time, how can any person with a conscience allow the government to torpedo the work of a dedicated group of healthcare professionals who are the only available resource for a number of Americans? We must stand up for Planned Parenthood!

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Contact your representatives in Congress and the Senate today and urge them to fight for Planned Parenthood!


Suzie from Carson City on April 07, 2017:

I can definitely relate to what a.b. brings up. In my case though, it was not "friends," but clients I've worked with through the Crisis Centers. I couldn't even put a number on the countless women who live with~~correction, "try" to live with the overwhelming guilt & shame after abortion.

It is unforgivable that the majority of these women were not given prior in-depth counseling (to include options) and the very necessary availability of counseling afterwards. You may hear that this is an automatic and is done, but in most cases it is not. Just like any organization, there's always the cost factor and financial issues. Unacceptable.

I don't throw out numbers or statistics w/o documented proof, but per experience, suffice it for me to say that more than half of women having abortions, suffer mental and emotional problems for years.....often forever. Yes there are those creatures who literally use abortion as their form of birth control....and very little is ever done about that either!

This is a women's issue that will be troublesome in many different ways for as long as there are women who conceive.....Yes, that's the hard core fact of reality. It needs to be dealt with in every way possible. Not ignored, not judgmentally, not as a moral issue and not applauded either.

A B Williams from Central Florida, USA on April 07, 2017:

I'm a woman, Luke and I've been butting heads on this subject for 40+ years. Believe it or not, I've been the only one in a room of 20+ defending Life, so I've developed thick skin on the subject.

I've spent hours on the phone bringing friends back from the ledge,(more than once) they know I do not judge them and that I will always love them (I've been there for them when no one else was)

What I hate (strong word, I know)..... is how they were dealt with and then tossed aside......

I've yet to speak to a woman that has made the choice to abort, that has gotten over it, not saying they are not out there. I've not crossed their path.

Two of those friends are no longer alive, one goes through life medicated.

Suzie from Carson City on April 07, 2017:

We need more men with your fair & just attitude and willingness to speak out. Bless your heart. Peace, Paula

Luke Anthony Schulte (author) from San Antonio, Texas, USA on April 06, 2017:

We have to get back to a point in this country where differences of opinion stop being interpreted as personal attacks. More than one idea can simultaneously be acceptable, and no one's opinion should ever be able to restrict someone else's freedom. I get some "gruff" as a man with an opinion on choice, but how could I ever be publicly and outwardly prolife as someone who could never need or have an abortion? There wasn't a single woman in the room when the President debated defunding Planned Parenthood. How was that acceptable to anyone?

Suzie from Carson City on April 06, 2017:

There are few things that women feel so strongly about as having the right and freedom to "choose." I couldn't agree more that this right should exist, be supported and remain as it is.

I get a lot of guff for my stance. Fortunately, guff, from anyone, has never scared me nor dissuaded me....ever.

In my child-bearing years, I can say with 100% certainty, I'd have never even considered abortion, but then again, as life would have it, I was never faced with needing to think about it. By that I mean, I was never raped, never pregnant as a single or poverty-stricken person nor would I have been irresponsible enough to avoid birth control. That's ME....which does not account for every woman by any stretch.

Women get the short end of far too much....I do not wish to be a part of those who deny women even MORE. Thus, despite my personal feelings, I support women's rights to choose. Planned Parenthood does more GOOD for women.

Don't tell me that's a double standard. Saying that to me after I have given an honest & thorough explanation is...well, frankly, it's Bull$hit. and that's that.

A B Williams from Central Florida, USA on April 06, 2017:

Thank you! I learned all that I needed to know about them in that brief visit.

Did Margaret Sanger's name come up at all in your research?

Luke Anthony Schulte (author) from San Antonio, Texas, USA on April 06, 2017:

I am very sorry that was your experience. It's unacceptable that you were made to feel that way. I have read other similar experiences, and it's incredibly disheartening. I'm not a representative of the organization, but I do think they could do a better job of clarifying their position on prenatal care.

While I'm not trying to minimize your experience, I would say that there are a number of obstetrical and prenatal resources for uninsured and low-income women, usually offered through the county or state health services offices in your area. There are significantly fewer providers who also offer contraception, routine gynecological and STI treatment services. Despite their obvious flaws, I still see incredible value in supporting Planned Parenthood.

A B Williams from Central Florida, USA on April 06, 2017:

True story.

When I thought I may be pregnant with our first child, it was suggested by a co-worker that I go to a Planned Parenthood facility (didn't know anything about them, but I didn't have a Dr. and had limited funds) Co-worker said I could walk-in and it was inexpensive.

I was told there that I was, in fact, pregnant.

I was ecstatic!

The two women working there did not share in my joy, they were just staring at me, expressionless. One spoke... "Oh you're going to keep it", turned to the other and said "she's keeping it" and then they suggested I go find an Obstetrician, there wasn't any prenatal care available for me there.

I'll never forget that day and their faces. I left there crying my eyes out on a day that should have been one of the best days of my life.

Luke Anthony Schulte (author) from San Antonio, Texas, USA on April 06, 2017:

Thank you. As a man, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a responsible citizen, I just felt that I had to do my part to spread truth and at least try to educate.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on April 06, 2017:

Well said and well written. Won't change a single mind, but good work just the same.

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