Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 24, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY

BlogsBreaking Barriers

I Stand with Planned Parenthood: Statistics Speak Volumes

Recent headlines have showed that a 57 year old man has been arrested for allegedly killing 3 people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood. The deceased victims are an Iraq war veteran, a mother of 2, and a police officer. Robert Lewis Dear, the man in custody, was detained after an almost 6 hour standoff with law enforcement. After the shooting, Dear expressed his anti-abortion views, mentioning “baby parts” once the standoff ended.

Many people are against Planned Parenthood for the same reason as Dear. The battle between pro-life and pro-choice has been one that has raged on for many years. Most people obviously wouldn’t commit murder to promote their views on abortion, taking innocent lives in the process. Yet many people do protest Planned Parenthood for having a hand in abortions.

While this is the most talked about resource of Planned Parenthood, it only accounts for 3% of all services performed. Many people target the organization as it performs abortions, though a woman’s right to choice is legal in the United States. The controversial 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case was a major turning point for pro-choice supporters, as the Constitution became the protector of the right to choose.

People are against abortion for many reasons. A major one is that what defines a life varies. Some say it is at conception, others say it is when a fetus’ heart first beats or it takes its first breath. This issue of determining at what point life starts is why pro-life supporters see abortion as murder. Another issue is that there are many people who look to adopt and would be happy to take in and love a child.

People that support abortion believe that a woman should choose whether or not she is physically and/or mentally able to carry a child for 9 months. The thought of giving your flesh and blood to strangers is hard to handle, which is why adoption is more difficult than one may think. Rape is also an instance where abortions occur. The baby may be a daily reminder of the abuse the woman encountered, and she may not be mentally able to keep a baby that was forced on her and shares the DNA of her abuser. Another reason for abortion would be if there is a birth defect which will cause the fetus to have difficulties and/or pain in life. Every parent wants their child to be happy, healthy, and loved. If the child will have a short or difficult life, the mother may choose to terminate the pregnancy.

The fact of the matter is this- Planned Parenthood does so much more than abortions. There is so much good that is done by them and it is often overlooked. Each year, Planned Parenthood provides nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections. If untreated, STIs can cause severe pain, abscesses/growths, and infertility, among other side effects. If a disease spreads, it could cause drastic complications, such as HIV turning into AIDS and detrimentally altering a person’s health. Another critical aspect of Planned Parenthood’s work lies in screening of females. Over 900,000 tests (including Pap tests and breast exams) are used each year to detect cancer. If this organization was not around, cancer could spread and cause large amounts of damage before it was treated, if ever.

No matter what your stance is on abortion, I don’t believe that Planned Parenthood is to blame. Abortions will likely be performed whether legal or illegal, and at least the organization is professional in their treatment. It would be safer to have experts perform the procedure than people looking elsewhere and taking risks for the sake of the mother and fetus. Also, again, abortions only count for 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. So much good is done by them to keep people healthy and educated on their sexual wellbeing. People that work for Planned Parenthood should be viewed simply as people trying their best to make their community healthier.