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What Defunding Planned Parenthood Really Means

The Ohio Senate has recently passed a bill to defund all Planned Parenthood operations within the state. This bill is now moving on to the Ohio House for consideration.

As the bill’s sponsor, Keith Faber, reported, “This bill is not about women’s health care.” Well, that’s true, but shouldn’t it be?

Faber argues that Ohio has no business supporting organizations that “believe it’s good public policy to chop up babies in a way it makes their parts more valuable so they can buy a Lamborghini.” This is, of course, in reference to the controversial Planned Parenthood fetal tissue videos that swept the nation over the summer.

Yet, even to people deeply disturbed and disappointed by those videos, Faber’s logic should seem flawed.

Planned Parenthood is not an organization that promotes abortion. Planned Parenthood is not an organization that performs only abortions. Planned Parenthood provides a multitude of services, including sexual health education, contraceptives and cancer screenings, so why must we only focus on its ability to perform abortions?

Here’s what defunding Planned Parenthood will do: it will direct money away from an established, well-respected organization, whose primary goal is to “promote a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on the respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning” according to its website.

Faber wants Ohio to funnel money away from Planned Parenthood, and yet his only solution to the devastating impact that will have on women across the state is to throw that money at other inexperienced women’s healthcare providers. Which ones? He doesn’t know yet.

To clarify, Faber’s support of this bill is based on his interpretation of those aforementioned controversial videos regarding the treatment of fetal tissue. It’s important to note that fetal tissue donation is not legal in Ohio, and these videos were not filmed in the state.

Also worth noting is that out of the 28 Planned Parenthood locations in Ohio, only three are allowed to perform abortions. And, according to Planned parenthood, abortions make up only three percent of the services it performs annually, if all services are counted equally. This statistic gives an abortion the same weight as, for example, an STI test, which is why it has faced so much criticism.

Let’s turn back to Faber’s statement. Doesn’t this bill seem like something that should be about women’s healthcare? When one in five women has visited a U.S. Planned Parenthood center in her life, won’t defunding those centers have a very direct impact on the healthcare of the women who have relied on them?

To make matters worse, the Ohio State Senate is made up of 26 men and seven women. Planned Parenthood may not be an organization exclusively for the benefit of women, but it doesn’t seem right to allow men to be the deciding factor in what happens to an association primarily based in women’s healthcare.

Defunding Planned Parenthood in Ohio is not going to get rid of abortion, but it is going to make it much more difficult on those who have relied on services from the organization for so long to access acceptable healthcare services and education.

You don’t want your tax money to go toward supporting a safe option for women’s healthcare? Well, I don’t want mine to go toward building that new roundabout on North Hamilton, but no one ever asked me for permission.


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