When people think of Planned Parenthood, more than likely the first thing that comes to mind is abortion. While they do indeed offer abortions that is not the only service they offer. So why do we all go straight to abortion? Abortion is a controversial topic that many people deem morally and religiously wrong. Hearing that a place provides a multitude of services but hearing that one of them is one that is deemed wrong, well, it tends to overshadow the other services. If one believes it’s wrong then I’m sure they’re wondering, why is it so important to keep them open?
Well, planned parenthood offers a variety of services that are all extremely important. For some women, Planned Parenthood is the only way they have access to birth control. Women with insurance take for granted appointments with their OBGYN, where they get screened for STI’s, birth control options, yearly exams, breast exams, cancer screenings, prenatal care, and the list goes on.
My question is, shouldn’t that be an affordable and accessible right for all women? Some women’s only option for exams, cancer screenings, etc., is planned parenthood, where they focus on women’s health and knowledge and provide safe and affordable options.
Not only do they provide services for women, they also have many resources for parents, teens and educators on safe sex, consent, and many important sexuality education topics that should be discussed. Since sexuality education in schools is also a controversial topic for ridiculous reasons, it is not often taught in schools, which is detrimental to the safety of adolescents.
Educators should use resources from Planned Parenthood and use them in schools to provide correct knowledge to students about what they are going through. They have an entire page with links sourcing individuals to information on safe sex, pleasure and sexual dysfunction. They cover reproductive and sexual anatomy as well, something we hopefully all learned in middle school.
Planned Parenthood offers information on sexual orientation and gender. Their website provides information on the difference between sex and gender identity, facts on transgender identities and a link on how to support a trans child, as a parent. They even have a get support option for those thinking about coming out that directs them to a detailed page about the eight most common questions ranging from what coming out means to transitioning.
Their website even has a multitude of pages covering consent, knowing what consent is, sexual assault, how to get help and how to help others. In my personal experience, I was not taught about consent until I came to college and attended Students for Violence Prevention (SVP) events. Consent is a mandatory and important thing that everybody should be aware of, from the moment they’re born. So why do we never talk about it growing up? All the more reason to normalize Planned Parenthood.
If we can stop focusing on one aspect of their business and open our minds to safety, education, and caring about those who are living in poverty that still deserve basic human rights, we can take steps to becoming a more open and empathetic society. I’m not saying, “you must be okay with abortion”, if you believe it’s wrong, that’s your opinion but please look past the one service they provide that you don’t agree with and look at the many other important services. Why should we defund or shut down a business that provides so many important services? Why would we not want our children to know boundaries, consent, sexuality education and how to get cheap or free help if they need it?