How Defunding Planned Parenthood Would Hurt Us All

by Cate Carrejo
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2017 is going to bring a lot of challenges, and one of the biggest might be the fight to keep Planned Parenthood alive. The conservative Congressional crusade against the public healthcare provider is threatening to put PP out of business, but in the end, that wouldn't be a bad thing just for women or progressives — it'd be a terrible thing for the entire country. There are many reasons defunding Planned Parenthood would hurt everyone, not just liberals or the millions of people Planned Parenthood helps every year.

The vast majority of the argument for defunding Planned Parenthood is that the organization as a whole provides abortions. Even though federal funds legally cannot be used to pay for abortions, people still want to see zero money from the federal government going to Planned Parenthood. That would more than likely cause Planned Parenthood to shut down, since about 40 percent of its annual revenue comes from two federal healthcare programs, Medicaid and Title X.

Despite the fact that abortion is currently protected by law (though expect the next president to try to change that), congressional Republicans seem to be determined to shut down Planned Parenthood for providing this legal medical service. However, Planned Parenthood is so, so much more than abortions, and the full ramifications of its closure need to be thoroughly considered before a decision is made. These 31 reasons why Planned Parenthood shouldn't close should be more than convincing.

People Will Die

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Planned Parenthood saves thousands of women's lives every year, just from cancer screenings — and that doesn't include the millions who receive STI treatments and prophylactic treatments to prevent disease, too. As far as I'm concerned, there are no other reasons needed after this, but alas, I will continue.

More People Will Be Born Into Poverty

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Approximately 80 percent of Planned Parenthood's patients live at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line, meaning they make less than $28,410 for a family of five or $11,770 for a one-person household. Assuming proportional rates of treatment within this demographic, 34 percent of them seek contraceptive service that would vanish if the organization shutters, meaning more children born into poverty.

Thousands Will Lose Their Jobs

Women Will Fall Behind In The Workforce

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With more unintended pregnancies due to the loss of easily available contraception and educational resources, many women will be forced to quit their jobs to raise children before they planned or were ready.

The Foster Care System Will Become Even More Strained

Inevitably, not every woman who has an unintended pregnancy will keep a resulting child. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2015, 671,000 children spent time in foster care, and that number will spike if women can't access contraception or abortions from Planned Parenthood.

STI Incidences Will Rise

Planned Parenthood's most common service is STI treatment and prevention (it constitutes 45 percent of its medical services), meaning sex could get a lot more dangerous without the healthcare provider.

The LGBTQ+ Community Could Be Decimated Again

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Planned Parenthood provides a ton of educational and medical resources for the LGBTQ+ community — without it, the progress that has been made could be reversed.

Women Will Lose A Source Of Pride

For millions of women, Planned Parenthood is an organization to be extremely proud of, and seeing its defeat by old white men in Congress will be crushing.

It Would Legitimize The Violence That Has Been Perpetrated Against The Organization

Violence against Planned Parenthood over the years has killed dozens, and if those terrorists' goals are achieved, it will be giving in to their threats.

Which Could Inspire More Violence In Turn

Anyone misguidedly trying to crusade against abortion could then use Planned Parenthood's downfall as proof that the violence against the organization worked.

The Teenage Birth Rate Will Go Up Even Higher

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The U.S. has one of the highest teen birth rates in the developed world, and the loss of Planned Parenthood's services will make that jump more.

It Puts The U.S. Further Out Of Touch With The Rest Of The World

Most of the developed world has universal health care, and the U.S. can't even get it together enough to keep public clinics open.

Women Will Be Emotionally Burdened With Unplanned & Unwanted Pregnancies

That Means More Kids Without A Good Start In Life

Children resulting from an unplanned pregnancy frequently suffer cognitive deficits and other disadvantages they don't deserve, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The Crime Rate Could Increase

According to the Donohue-Levitt Hypothesis, the crime rate fell in the 1990s because there were fewer unplanned and unwanted pregnancies after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1977, leading to fewer unplanned pregnancies and fewer parents that were financially or situationally unprepared to raise children.

Abortion Will Be Even More Unaccessible & Stigmatized

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The "victory" of defunding Planned Parenthood could encourage zealots to seek even more extreme restrictions on abortion, and will make it to be even more stigmatized in society when it shouldn't be.

It's Generally Oppressive

Closing Planned Parenthood purely on ideological reasons takes away a perfectly respectable choice from women who freely choose to seek abortions.

It Perpetuates The White Straight Cisgender Male Power Dynamic

Planned Parenthood does vital work for women, ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community. Who benefits when those who are already marginalized become further disadvantaged? Those at the top of the power structure.

Young Girls Will Grow Up With Fewer Choices

The choice to have safe sex will be diminished if Planned Parenthood is shut down and access to contraception and STI tests and treatment are lessened, and the primary burden of that will fall to young girls.

Everyone's Healthcare Costs Will Rise


Planned Parenthood often prevents diseases or catches them in early stages, potentially saving people millions in healthcare premiums down the line.

The Wealth Gap Will Accelerate

With more people paying out of pocket for reproductive healthcare costs, the middle class will disappear even more quickly than it is already.

Private Companies Will Profit Instead Of Communities

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Planned Parenthood is one of the biggest healthcare non-profits in the country — without it, that funding is likely to go to for-profit companies that won't reinvest in the community the way Planned Parenthood does.

People Will Use It As An Excuse To Be Judgmental

You just know that the haters are going to come out of the woodwork and bash women for the choices in their private lives.

The Benefits Won't Outweigh The Costs

There's zero tangible or monetary benefit from defunding Planned Parenthood, and it's only going to end up costing the federal government more, since more people will need public assistance for housing, unemployment, and health insurance.

It's Just A Hypocritical Excuse To Further Institutionalize Misogyny

Conservatives are supposedly all about limited government, but they had no problem interfering with women's private lives. This isn't about upholding the nation's moral standard, it's honestly just about supporting the male-dominated status quo.

There Could Be An Environmental Impact Of Women Traveling To Get The Services They Need

Some women have to travel dozens of hours just to receive the health services they need, meaning there would be a small but completely unnecessary environmental cost being paid as a result of the potential closure.

Education Rates Will Fall

Young parents who find themselves with unintended pregnancies may drop out of school to provide for their families, driving down the rate of young people with higher education. Call me an out of touch liberal elite, but I want to live in a country where people get to go to college if they want.

The Effects Of Overpopulation Will Get Worse

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The U.S. is already starting to feel the strain of resources due to overpopulation (arguably, it's one of the reasons why Planned Parenthood is being scapegoated as a huge problem). If the birth rate increases as results of unintended pregnancies, those effects are only going to get worse.

The Divorce Rate Could Rise

Unplanned pregnancies often lead to impromptu marriages, which have a strong tendency of not working out.

It Sets A Dangerous Precedent For Government Interference

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If the government can decide what medical procedures people can and can't access, there's no telling what else it can decide for people, without even the popular majority behind it.

It's A Distraction From The Real Problems Facing The Nation


Ultimately, Planned Parenthood is not what's causing the extensive problems in the U.S., and closing it isn't going to solve anything. This crusade against Planned Parenthood is little more than a smear campaign by conservatives to distract from their donor-driven agenda of placing corporate profits before people.