‘The Hood’ is the leader in abortions — so what?

Megan Rose Bartell

As a 29-year-old woman who qualifies as low-income, I use Planned Parenthood services. In fact, my friends and I affectionately refer to our local Planned Parenthood as “The Hood.”

I am appalled and outraged by the Pence Amendment, which, if passed in the Senate, would irrationally strip current funding of $317 million from publicly funded family planning centers such as Planned Parenthood because they provide abortions.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the Pence Amendment prohibits any federal family planning assistance to any entity that performs an abortion or allots funds to another entity that performs abortions. The bill excludes abortions in cases where there is evidence of rape, incest or the woman’s health is in danger.

What is all this ridiculous nonsense? A direct attack on Planned Parenthood, which is barred by law from using federal funds to perform abortions.

According to Planned Parenthood, over 90 percent of its services are primary and preventative. The organization serves over 3 million people in the U.S., providing primary and preventative care, including lifesaving breast and cervical cancer screenings, annual exams, family planning visits, birth control, HIV testing and more.

The Guttmacher Institute rocked my world when they estimated that without Title X supported family planning centers providing contraceptive services, unintended pregnancies and abortion rates in the United States would be 33 percent higher.

Benjamin Franklin’s age-old axiom, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” applies perfectly to this issue. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “For every public dollar invested in family planning, $3.74 is saved in Medicaid-related costs. Title-X supported centers saved tax-payers $3.4 billion in 2008.”

Now that we have proof that the mere $317 million to fund Title X is saving us billions, what of the moral dilemmas associated with Planned Parenthood? Oh, it’s the “A” word, not one talked about at the dinner table, that’s for sure. Abortion! Yes, that’s right, I’m yelling it.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leader in abortions. There’s nothing wrong with that. Planned Parenthood is providing a service that is wanted and needed.

The overwhelming majority of Planned Parenthood’s clients are low-income women who fall below the poverty level. Where will these women get their family planning services if this bill passes? The bottom line is, nowhere.

The number of unintended pregnancies will rise, the rate of sexually transmitted infections will increase and these social problems will cost taxpayers much more than the $317 million the bill intends to cut.