Cutting Planned Parenthood would be counterproductive

April 08, 2011

Two issues that Republicans in Congress claim to care a great deal about are lowering the national deficit and reducing abortions. As a means of achieving these goals, they are intent on eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and its family planning services provided under the Title X program, which has been helping individuals and families of low to moderate income since 1970.

If Republicans are successful in excluding these funds from the final federal budget l, the results would most likely be the opposite of conservative's goals. Money spent on family planning has proven to be a very cost effective use of taxpayer's dollars by helping people to decide on the number (if any) and spacing of their children. This undeniably leads to healthier, more productive families and saves tax money by lessening the need for local and government financial and healthcare assistance

For many women, Planned Parenthood clinics are their only source of reproductive health care, and if these facilities are forced to close, other agencies would have to assume the costs or many women would be left without any care. In addition, the funding for all Planned Parenthood services makes up a very small part of the federal budget, and the elimination of funds would have no real effect on the deficit.

As far as abortions are concerned, the main reason they are performed is because of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Common sense would indicate that by preventing these pregnancies, women would have fewer abortions. The Republicans' effort to eliminate funding that provides needed information and effective contraceptives would instead result in more abortions. This illogical approach is both irrational and shortsighted.

It is a fact that by law, no federal tax money can be used by Planned Parenthood for performing abortions, and 97% of Planned Parenthood's total services are preventive. Tax money pays only for health services such as pap smears, breast and pelvic exams, cancer screenings, contraceptives, testing, information and STDs and HIV/AIDS counseling.

What we are witnessing in Congress is a disturbing example of politicians placing misguided ideology and politics above responsibility and the best interests of our country.

John Stewart, Jarrettsville

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