California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Protesting Planned Parenthood: A Hypocritical Movement

Women’s rights are human rights. I find it hard to reason why people in government (the majority of them being male) have conversations as to what I, as a female, can do to my body. I don’t understand why people who do not know me stand outside the office of my main health care provider, Planned Parenthood and chant reasons why I shouldn’t go inside and receive the services I need.

Just like any other person going to the doctor, we women feel the same uncertainty. Whether I am going to get an exam done, getting tested or going in to check if I need to be prescribed something, I am a little nervous. I don’t need protestors chanting their “pro-life” tactics at me as I go in to see a doctor. No one is yelling at them when they are feeling sick and need to be treated. An interesting aspect to this entire pro-life movement is that they believe in the defunding of Planned Parenthood because they offer abortions. But, this is PLANNED parenthood. Planned Parenthood offers preventative services and education in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. So, protesting Planned Parenthood is a hypercritical movement that is attempting to take away affordable health care and the fundamental rights of women.

The Program Action League is an organization that claims to be the nation’s foremost pro-life activist organization, according to its program coordinator John Hanson. Hanson said that the Program Action League is active in fighting against abortions publicly through protests and rallies against Planned Parenthood which they say is the largest abortion chain.

Hanson referred to Planned Parenthood as an “abortion clinic.” When pro-life activists protest against Planned Parenthood, they are fighting against way more than just abortions. In fact, according to an article on CNN.com, Planned Parenthood says that only three percent of the services they provide are abortions.

So, what are pro-life activists really protesting against?

According to Planned Parenthood’s website “Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education.”

Rather than looking at the bigger picture, pro-life activists zoom in on one very small aspect of Planned Parenthood’s services. By defunding Planned Parenthood, women who rightfully receive healthcare by Planned Parenthood will lose 97 percent of the other services provided.

According to Planned Parenthood’s website, in 2014 Planned Parenthood health services saw 2.5 million patients. They “provided more than 4 million sexually transmitted tests and treatment, more than 360,000 breast exams, more than 270,000 Pap tests, and birth control for 2 million people.”

Women are entitled to affordable health care. It is a human right. Planned Parenthood offers not only women, but people in general, health services that are vital to a healthy life.
“It is hard to even separate Planned Parenthood from abortion because they are so closely aligned with it. Abortion is closely aligned with their mission. They talk about it and they make it very clear abortion is a very essential part of what they do,” Hanson said.

Here is the link to Planned Parenthood’s mission statement. Nowhere in their mission does it say that abortions are essential. In fact, the word abortion is not even in their mission statement or on their “Who are We” page. According to their website, Planned Parenthood’s mission is to provide safe reproductive and complementary services, advocate for these services, provide educational programs and promote research in reproductive health care.

This is why protests against Planned Parenthood are so hypocritical. Those who protest against Planned Parenthood are protesting against services that are essential to keeping people alive… now that’s pro life.

“There is actually no substitute as to having a physical presence at an abortion clinic or at a rally/demonstrations. This can be broadened to any number of different movements. Let’s say for example the Civil Rights Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King. These are long before the days of social media, but Dr. King would have not been content with people sitting at home in their living room or in their basement voicing their support for civil rights,” Hanson said.

Really? The Civil Rights Movement was about standing up for equal rights and putting an end to segregation and discrimination. It is hypocritical to compare the pro-life moment to the Civil Rights Movement. They are complete opposites. The pro-life movement wishes to strip away basic human rights from women and discriminates against those who do not have access to affordable health care.

Hanson said that the pro-life movement advocates for affordable health care. If Planned Parenthood were to be defunded, they would advocate for the dollars funding Planned Parenthood to be redirected to federally qualified health centers. Federally qualified health centers are health centers that basically offer all the essential health services Planned Parenthood offers, except for abortions.

Though this may sound great in a perfect world, we don’t live in a perfect world. Without access to safe and affordable abortions, women will find alternative ways that are not safe or legal. Without access to affordable birth control, there will be more unwanted pregnancies, therefore more illegal abortions that are not safe. This will result in an increase in not only abortions but in deaths among women as well.

The pro-life movement is incorrectly named and goes against basic human rights. Rather than researching facts and removing their own personal biases, this movement advocates for more unwanted pregnancies, more STDs, more overall health issues and most importantly more abortions. One should educate themselves before scaring away females from accessing their basic fundamental rights.

Maryssa Rillo
Opinion Editor

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