Monday, April 24, 2017

A Pro-Life student urges politicians to protect funding for Planned Parenthood

To The Honorable Senators of Illinois, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth,

Greetings, today I am writing to you to express my concern for the funding of Planned Parenthood. Over the years there has been many a debate about the morality of Planned Parenthood and whether their services are right or wrong. Even though I myself am an avid pro-lifer and have participated in several pro-life events such as the March for Life in Washington D.C., this is not what I want my letter to be about. I simply aim to address the issue of the allocation of funds for the Planned Parenthood program.

Despite the bad reputation among many of us who are pro-Life, which Planned Parenthood has earned itself over the years with many scandals, the program does have many good things to offer to our community. These good things include STD testing, birth control, cancer screenings, and their sex ed program. In 2014 Planned Parenthood helped 4,218,149 with STI/STD treatment and testing alone (PPFA pg. 2). In that same year they provided contraception to 2,945,059 people (PPFA pg. 2). These statistics alone prove that Planned Parenthood does more than just terminate pregnancies. 

Few would argue that Planned Parenthood is all bad and that their work in treating STDs and cancer screenings is not a valued asset to our society. However, there are people like myself who are deeply troubled by the idea of our tax money funding procedures that we so vehemently oppose. In 2014 Planned Parenthood received $528 million dollars from the government alone (Kurtzleben np).  That money counts as 40% of their total revenue (Kurzleben np).  Realistically it makes sense that not all of the tax money goes to abortions; however, people who stand on the side of pro-life do not wish for a single penny of their hard earned money to go to abortion. However, many would agree that the money the government allocates to Planned Parenthood is still useful and necessary.

Therefore, I propose that there be a policy that dictates where and how the money the government gives to Planned Parenthood is used. This policy would also require Planned Parenthood to provide the public with financial statements for every penny of their $528 million dollar revenue. The government could make it simple for Planned Parenthood by giving out their funds in the form of grants that can only be used for a certain aspect of Planned Parenthoods programing. For instance say the government only allow 100 of the 528 million to be used for the distribution of condoms overseas in impoverished nations. 

Despite how people feel towards Planned Parenthood, they are the “leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, and the nation's largest provider of sex education” (Parenthood np).  I think that having a policy like the one I proposed would be an excellent compromise to the pro-life, pro-choice battle that all too often places Planned Parenthood in the crossfires. 

Thank you for your time and attention.
[Student's Name]


Kurtzleben, Danielle. “Fact Check: How Does Planned Parenthood Spend That Government Money?”. NPR it’s all politics. August 5, 2015.

PPFA — Planned Parenthood Federation of America. (2015a). 2014 Annual Affiliate Service Census Executive Summary. New York: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (An internal report). _____. (2015b). 2014-2015 Annual Report. New York: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. 

Parenthood, Planned. "Planned Parenthood at a Glance." Planned Parenthood. N.p., 17 Feb. 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. 

This is an interesting example of allowing a political leader to know that although you are representing a particular camp in some controversial issue, you do not necessarily support all the opinions associated with your camp.  You are pro-life, and against abortions, and you especially do not want money spent on abortions.  Many who agree with you on that issue want to defund Planned Parenthood.  You are suggesting that despite your pro-life stance, you still want to protect Planned Parenthood and ensure that it receives government payment for the services other than abortion that is delivers.

As another aside, Planned Parenthood is already prevented from using federal dollars on abortions.  See the Fact Check story from several years ago about this. Planned Parenthood describes how it gets federal dollars mainly through Medicaid and Title X for preventive health services (never abortion, which cannot be paid for with federal dollars).  So, to some extent, the policy you are advocating for here is already one that exists. 

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