Voting Information Guide: Accessibility to Women’s Health Services

By Taylor Butler, Morgan Nelson, Olivia Morin, and Madison Marceau

 

History and Backgroundplanned1

For almost one hundred years Planned Parenthood has been providing affordable services for contraceptives, abortions, STD testing and treatment, and other health services. In the United States alone, Planned Parenthood serves 2,470,000 clients, including mainly women but also men.


Family planning funding
is money from federal and state funds, which helps family planning centers with client services. Planned Parenthood is directly funded by family planning.


A total of twelve states have restrictions on the use of state family planning funding with seven states not funding abortion providers at all. Contraceptives have received constraints with restrictions on emergency contraceptives in nine states.

 

Planned Parenthood Expenses  planned2

Federal funding comprises 41 percent of  Planned Parenthood’s revenue, providing a broad range of preventive care. LifeNews.com states, “on average, Planned Parenthood receives approximately
$500 million a year in taxpayer funds.” According to the the Public Affairs Office of Planned Parenthood in Massachusetts,the cancellation of federal funding “would take away essential health care services” that many people rely on.            
                                                                                  

At Worcester State Universitypp4

Health Services on campus at Worcester State University is a widely-used service among students. On the school’s website, it is stated that Health Services “provide[s] acute and routine medical care, health screenings, immunizations, and specialty referrals, as well as information on health maintenance and wellness.” They also provide condoms and many pamphlets to help inform students about certain self-care, including the option to go to Planned Parenthood.

Students should feel comfortable going to ask questions on contraceptives, STD testing and treatment, and women’s care.

pp3“These topics shouldn’t be so controversial and I wish students could more easily discuss these matters,”said Karen Asquith, secretary at Health Services.

Planned Parenthood has become intertwined with the pro-life, pro-choice debate. People often first look to see if a candidate is pro-life or pro-choice before evaluating the candidate’s standing on Planned Parenthood. Their stance on abortion is indicative of their plans for this organization.

Hillary Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, is pro-choice and supports Planned Parenthood. Clinton, as reported by the Washington Post, “wants to allow federal funding to cover low-income women’s abortion costs, among other progressive proposals.” She has also promised to try to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which would allow the use of tax dollars tofund abortions.

Donald Trump

At one point during his campaign, Donald Trump said he that there should be a form of punishment for women who get abortions and for doctors that provide abortions, which is an extreme stance even for members of the pro-life community. He has since retracted that statement. The only exceptions to an abortion ban Trump supports are in cases of rape, incest, and if the mother’s life is in danger. Trump also intends to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which has provided millions with birth control methods and prenatal care with no extra cost. He has also issued a call to make the Hyde Amendment permanent, which bans almost all federal taxpayer funding of abortions.

Trump says,“You can say whatever you want but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood that are helped greatly… I would defund it because of the abortion factor.”

Jill Stein

Jill Stein is pro-choice. In response to the ISideWith survey (which helps viewers determine their candidate match) Stein answered, “[Planned Parenthood’s] services reach far beyond abortions and can save many lives through cancer screening, prenatal services, and adoption referrals.” She wants to allow full access to contraceptives and reproductive care.

Stein also plans to expand women’s access to “morning after” contraception by lifting the Obama administration’s ban. This ban prevents girls under age seventeen from buying a morning after pill without a prescription. Customers would be required to show identification in order to purchase over-the-counter contraceptives.

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson is pro-choice and has stated that each woman should be allowed to make decisions about her own health and well-being. He supports a woman’s right to choose up until the viability of the fetus. Johnson plans to support the funding of Planned Parenthood. He acknowledges the law of the land as Casey v. Planned Parenthood, a 1992 Supreme Court decision which prohibits states from banning most abortions.

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