Planned Parenthood funding draws many opinions from students

Jalin Coleman, Reporter

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On Aug. 19, Planned Parenthood withdrew itself from the federal Title X program after refusing to comply with new gag rules issued by the Trump Administration. The rules forbid Title X grantees from both providing abortions or abortion referrals, except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency. With the 2020 election on the horizon, the discussion on abortion has reached a peak in controversy. 

 Planned Parenthood, as it always has been, is the vocal point of the situation. Planned Parenthood is a “nonprofit organization that does research into and gives advice on contraception, family planning, and reproductive problems.” The organization is seen by many as a necessity. 

“Planned Parenthood serves a purpose,” junior Maxwell Saxton said. “They do serve the general public with having healthy pregnancies. I think people know they do abortions and people think that’s all they do and don’t do anything else.”  

From breast cancer screenings to providing contraception, Planned Parenthood is a resource that many students see as filling a need, especially for high school students who may not have any other options for healthcare.  

“As a high school student, there are a lot of people putting themselves at risk of a pregnancy and a lot of them are uneducated about how to deal with it,” said junior Molly Huber. “It’s hard to know if it affects me personally or not because there’s such a high risk of these issues affecting everyone around me.”  

Planned Parenthood withdrawing from Title X, a federal grant program that provides medical funding for more than four million Americans (guttmacher.org), is a move that resulted in mixed reactions to say the least.  

“It’s really messed up on both sides. Trump’s Administration probably shouldn’t have done that, but Planned Parenthood taking that option away is equally as bad,” Huber said. “They’re the main service that supplies that in America, and for them to take that away kind of sucks.”  

However, some feel that this move showed Planned Parenthood’s resolve to their principles. 

“I think it’s a really smart move because it shows they don’t move with biased standards. They’re going by everyone’s ideals now. I feel it negatively affects the low-income families though because now they can’t get the help or support that they might need from Planned Parenthood,” junior Jaylon Lewis said.  

Many have argued that these gag rules are unconstitutional, as they may violate Roe v. Wade, a historical court case from 1973The case set a precedent that state bans on Abortion were unconstitutional.  

“I feel like if people still access to it have it, then it’s not necessarily them directly violating it,” Lewis said. “However, based on how the Trump Administration is approaching it, it could be since they’re basically saying that low-income families shouldn’t be able to have abortions. I get that that isn’t their intentions, but it’s like they’re targeting them.” 

Again, many students have mixed feelings about the situation and the line seems to be different for everyone. 

“I think it doesn’t fit with the constitution. I think that them keeping it from people who got pregnant just to get pregnant is fine, but I feel like people who went through those traumatic experiences should get the option, or choice,” junior Morgan Miller said. 

The party to blame for the controversial withdrawal remains quite unclear, yet opinions were formed, nonetheless.  

“The Trump Administration abused their power.” said Lewis. “They do have a lot of power, and I feel like they need to use that power wisely. When they’re literally a government administration, I feel like it’s more so their fault because they have more control.” 

Perhaps even more polarizing, no one truly has a clear answer as to where Planned Parenthood should go next. The organization has issued multiple statements on the issue, notably on their website (www.plannedparenthoodaction.org) in which they statedThese attacks on Title X could have devastating consequences and threaten health care for millions. That’s why Planned Parenthood took the Trump-Pence administration to court to fight for the four million people who depend on Title X, and we’re doing everything we can to stop the gag rule from going into effect.” Many students have their own ideas on what the organization should do next.  

“Honestly, the only way I think that solutions can be made is discussion. They probably need to sit and think long and hard about why they took away those resources and if it’s really fair to the people,” Huber said. “Yeah, it sucks that the Trump Administration cut their access or whatever, but I think you have to work with what you got.” 

Abortion, perhaps the most polarized issue among students, can often lead to massive tension and conflict amongst teenagers. Plenty have personal experience with the phenomena.  

“Communication is a big problem. Part of our societal issues stem from a failure to listen. Our society doesn’t really give us a lot of chances to sit down and try to talk things out. It’s lot of us saying our truth and just expecting others to take that truth,” Huber said. 

According to dailycaller.com, Planned Parenthood performed more than 328,348 abortions from 2015-2016. While numbers like these are what typically divides people when it comes to the abortion discussion, to some it’s quite irrelevant.  

“That is not all they provide. I will stand with Planned Parenthood as long as they continuously provide healthcare to women and stay true to the original mission,” junior Emma Pettigrew said.