LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Standing with Planned Parenthood

Dear Editor:

In regards to the Planned Parenthood controversy, I, for one, fully support Planned Parenthood and hope that it will not be defunded solely based on false information. 

This past summer, videos were released about the supposed atrocities being performed at Planned Parenthood. To begin with, the videos were highly edited and created by an anti-abortion group. Right there in that one sentence, ‘highly edited’ and ‘anti-abortion group’ should set off an alarm that something is not right. These videos were released to serve one purpose, to give the public a negative one-sided view of Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, because of these videos, the anti-abortion group succeeded in their goal, create a big enough controversy in hopes of defunding Planned Parenthood.

The purpose of Planned Parenthood is to assist the low to middle income population receive medical services. If you look up statistics (my source is npr.org, others sources have the same to similar stats), abortion only accounts for 3% of services provided; 42% for STIs/STDs, 34% contraception, 11% other women’s services, 9% cancer screening, and 1% other services. Let’s not forget that federal money cannot be used for abortions at Planned Parenthood, except in the case of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother; any other abortions performed are paid by the individual.

The numbers speaks for themselves, abortion only makes up 3% of the total services offered while the majority is for STIs/STDs tests and treatments and contraception. Why defund Planned Parenthood because of the alleged illegal sale of fetal tissue when abortion makes up 3%? Where will the people who depend on the other services provided go if Planned Parenthood is defunded? What about the employees who will lose their jobs? Will there be something else implemented to replace Planned Parenthood to continue providing the other services? These are the questions that we should be asking if defunding does occur.

Regarding the supposed sale of fetal tissue, there are laws that forbid the sale of fetal tissue for profit. The money Planned Parenthood receives for the fetal tissue is to cover the costs to store and transport the fetal tissue to its destination. In addition, not every aborted fetus is used for medical research, the woman who had the abortion must give written consent. 

Since the release of the videos, many states have conducted their own investigations of Planned Parenthood. To date, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Indiana and Florida have concluded their investigations and found no wrong doing. Arizona, Texas, Ohio and Louisiana have ongoing investigations and so far nothing has turned up to support the claims of the videos. All the evidence provided should be sufficient enough to show that there is no wrong doing at all.

Before you make a decision based on a one-sided perspective, keep an open mind and do your own research and see what you can find out on your own. For those of you who are against abortion for religious or personal beliefs, that’s fine, but don’t forget, not everyone shares the same beliefs as you do. Abortion is a woman’s choice, and hers alone, and nobody should have the right to decide for her. 

Guillermo Vasquez