It’s my body and I’ll choose if I want to

Planned Parenthood has a vision and it is simply this: “Every individual has the knowledge, freedom, and power to achieve reproductive health.”

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to defund Planned Parenthood internationally Tuesday, Jan. 27, with the United States in his sights next.

To protest the defunding of Planned Parenthood, a woman clearly illustrates her personal rights as a woman. (Dave Blesdsoe, Flickr. Used with a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.)

To protest the defunding of Planned Parenthood, a woman clearly illustrates her personal rights as a woman. (Dave Blesdsoe, Flickr. Used with a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.)

To exacerbate the negative aspects of the defunding, not only is Donald Trump’s executive order concerning, but his Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch is also a strong supporter of defunding Planned Parenthood.

“The future is grim and uncertain,” said Nichole Ramirez Planned Parenthood’s Vice President of Marketing Communications, “but we will fight so that we can continue to provide patients with affordable, high-quality care like we have for the past 100 years.”    

This leaves many American women in panic about the future who rely solely on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare. 

The majority of these women are mainly college students living on low-income wages or without healthcare, and defunding Planned Parenthood would dramatically affect them, Ramirez said.

“It would be detrimental to the 850,000 low-income women and men in California,” she said. “For many people, Planned Parenthood is their only source of healthcare. Planned Parenthood medical visits make up one-third of all family planning visits in California.”

Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers in reproductive health services within the United States. It offers sexual and reproductive health as well as sex education. This reaches out to nearly 5 million women, men and adolescents worldwide.

With these types of services there is a clear outcome that is positive and supportive of woman’s health, so why does Trump want it defunded?

There is a misinterpreted stigma behind Planned Parenthood that its services geared predominantly towards abortion.

“Every individual has the knowledge, freedom, and power to achieve reproductive health.”

According to CNN, only 3 percent of all services are abortions, while the remaining 34 percent are for contraception, and lastly 45 percent for STD screening and treatment.

There is something to be said for this and the idea that Planned Parenthood is used mainly for abortions is a false accusation. In fact it’s students like us that use Planned Parenthood as a source for birth control, with little to no cost at all.

With defunding about to become a reality where does that leave us? It leaves women, especially students, with little to no access to reasonably priced birth control.  Besides birth control, check up visits and screenings for women would now come with a heavy price if uninsured, leaving women unable to be seen or stay in optimal health.

Not only this but also confidentiality is at stake regarding young teens looking for a place to safely disclose sexual history and obtain birth control without parents becoming involved.  With less access to contraceptives come more unplanned births and more women having to sacrifice their ambitions and educational goals due to unplanned pregnancies.

“Our organization prevents an estimated 579,000 unintended pregnancies per year and provide sex education to 1.5 million young people and adults each year,” according to the Planned Parenthood website.

It is up to us to stand up and fight for what rightly belongs to us: a woman’s body is a woman’s choice. There are numerous ways for students to get involved. Join the community action fund newsletter, make a donation, go to a local center for treatment and call your local representatives.  Mobilizing your campus and getting involved in promoting sexual health and to protect women’s health. Lastly social media is the strongest outlet, let your opinion be known!

There will always be a fight for progress. With all of the advances and battles won within the female community there is no turning back now. Moving forward and fighting for all with all people. Fighting for the most vulnerable and being aware of all forms of oppression will only strengthen the fight for women’s reproductive rights.  

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