“Defunding” Has Consequences… FYI

Lawmakers that want to get rid of family planning organizations, like Planned Parenthood, are so daft and have no concept of what the consequences will be. You think these organizations just exist for fun? You think they’re just for show?

How is taking away access to birth control going to solve the right’s abortion “crisis?” It’s not. It’s going to make it worse. Withholding medications that prevent pregnancy will in no way prevent more pregnancies. Who can be so daft to think it will work?

Donald Trump and his administration had made an ultimatum to women’s health centers and women’s health providers to either cut abortion services or risk having their funding cut.

The choice seems simple enough: stop doing abortions so you can stay open for business. But is it really that simple? Should organizations stop their perfectly legal activities just because “representatives” are playing politics with women’s healthcare?

Again, abortions are a constitutionally protected and legal procedure. Why should women have their constitutionally protected right to seek and have a safe, legal abortion taken away from them?

Unlike the President, Planned Parenthood and organizations like it decided to stand with the women they service and care for instead of the anti-women, anti- choice politicians.

Republicans have gone from pretending that they care about women to blatantly and explicitly showing that they don’t give a damn. Your representatives don’t care that Planned Parenthood is the only option for many women.

Do lawmakers think that closing clinics have no effects on women? Researchers looked at what happened in Texas and the numbers showed that there are effects that occur when Planned Parenthood’s doors are forced to close.

In 2011, Texas came up with a way to block funding from family planning organizations that either offer, or may refer, women to abortion clinics. The 2011 measure led to closures of 82 clinics in the state of Texas. When the 2011 measure wasn’t enough, in 2013, Texas ditched the Medicaid program in order to legally keep funds away from Planned Parenthood clinics.  60% of low-income women in Texas were assisted by a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Once the 2013 measure was implemented, IUD, implants and shot claims at pharmacies fell by 36% in counties that previously had a Planned Parenthood clinic. Did all these women suddenly say, “to hell with birth control!” Probably not.

It’s important to note that these declines were not seen in counties that did not have a Planned Parenthood. clinic prior to the 2013 measure. In some of these clinic-less counties, the percentage of women using various birth control methods even increased after the “defunding” went into effect.

Further, with clinics closed and little to no access to birth control, there was an increase in births: 7% to 8.4% in just a mere 18 months. Again, those communities that did not lose access to family planning clinics had a decrease in births over the same 18 months.

All in all, the researchers calculated that the loss in clinic access resulted in a 27% increase in births.

Your Vice President also knows a little bit about the consequences of defunding Planned Parenthood.

As a congressman, he supported a House amendment to allow the defunding of Planned Parenthood. When he became governor of Indiana, Scott County closed its one and only Planned Parenthood. This clinic also happened to be the only HIV testing center for its nearly 24,000 residents.

With the one testing center closed, all hell broke loose on the residents. HIV was spreading and spreading rapidly. At its worst, 20 new cases were being diagnosed each week.

If these two examples don’t show the devastating effects of closing Planned Parenthood clinics, I don’t know what will. Instead of protecting his citizens, former Indiana governor and current Vice President chose party over people. His image and reputation was more important than keeping his constituents safe and informed. Texas lawmakers chose party over people. Texas lawmakers demonstrated that they cared more about themselves than the health, wellness and futures of female Texans.

The Scott County situation isn’t unique. The Texas situation isn’t unique. If we allow politicians to make the same decisions, we will face the same outcomes. More states will leave 60% of their low-income women without proper family planning care. More states will see a 27% increase in births. More counties will close their only HIV testing centers. More counties will be faced with HIV epidemics. Is that what we want? Because that’s where we’re headed.

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