The Republican Party has clashed with Planned Parenthood (PP) on a level that would equal any MMA death match. Republicans argue against funding PP because the organization is the principal source for abortions in the country and it is against the law to use federal funds for the procedure. PP argues it provides a multitude of services to 2.5 million different women and the money is used for services other than abortion. The Republicans miss the best reason to argue against funding PP.
If you go to the PP website, you will see that the services they speak to are mainly sex or birth related. The one category they emphasize that is not sex or birth related addresses various issues around cancer. As you may know many supporters of PP have applauded their mammogram services which are non-existent. They do offer Pap and HPV tests and many other services regarding cancer prevention and/or detection. The website provides solid information on the basics of cancers to be concerned about and uses that as a prod for clinic visits for examinations or tests.
The website has a thorough explanation of various different forms of birth control. They not only explain the various means of birth control, but the percentage of effectiveness of prevention they represent. For example, PP states that a birth control implant is 99% effective versus a sponge which is only between 76%-88% effective. They do recommend use of a condom on all occasions though that will not necessarily help prevent pregnancy, but will prevent sexually-transmitted disease (STD) infection. To their credit, they do mention abstinence which they state is 100% effective against pregnancy and STDs.
What is not emphasized and why PP originally received federal funding is planning for parenthood. In their various different topics for discussions, under pregnancy they have a sub-category called Considering Pregnancy. It has a nice discussion about considerations of having a child and the attendant challenges. I attempted to get a clarification from them regarding their emphasis on this topic, but received no response from PP regarding my questions.
One would think this would be their primary emphasis. After all, they are named Planned Parenthood. One would assume they were named that for a reason.
PP’s federal funding began in 1970 when President Nixon signed the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. The act provides for family planning services and family planning information.
Since they named themselves Planned Parenthood and they receive federal funding under an act that dictates the funds be used for family planning services and information, that should be their primary function. They should be promoting that as their principal mission to educate people on having children and when and if it is appropriate for the parties involved. Unplanned pregnancies lead to two very bad results for many people: an abortion or a child they are not prepared mentally, emotionally or financially to handle. The organization seems almost more reactive than proactive.
Planned Parenthood has a huge failure rate. In 2015, they saw 2.5 million patients and PP performed 325,000 abortions without allowing for how many were performed elsewhere. That is a 13% failure rate. Those results are stunningly bad. Think of any other major operation having that kind of failure rate. Think if airlines failed to deliver 13% of the bags with which people entrust them. That airline would be out of business. That does not even address the amount of unwanted pregnancies that happen with those 2.5 million patients that ended up with a child being born unplanned and potentially unwanted.
If you are a pro-choice person you might consider that an abortion is not a negative outcome. Many people who support PP believe there should be unfettered abortions available anytime during the birthing cycle. I don’t believe that is the attitude that the vast majority of pro-choice Americans agree is optimal. I am pro-choice and I believe it is pretty clear that an abortion would not be the first choice in planning for parenthood. It is probably the last choice. It is a statement that planning failed.
The question then becomes why are we allowing funds to go to a private entity that has a huge failure rate and does not even prioritize the mission that the law dictates it should have. It is because PP has become a sacred cow for the Left in this country.There are sufficient other sources in most communities providing similar services. For the rest, we need to build a suitable replacement that meets the mission as defined.
Thirty years ago we never envisioned a life without Blockbuster, Woolworth’s or Pan Am. It might be time for Planned Parenthood to follow in that path.