President Trump, within his first few days within office and after the Women’s March, reinstated the Global Gag Rule. This prohibits funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation which will impact many women (Washington Times). The issue has been a nationally controversial topic because of abortion services. Although this will create obstacles and barriers for women to receive basic health care, the federation will continue its work.
According to the Washington Times,
“The International Planned Parenthood Federation said it will continue to promote abortion around the globe and forfeit the $100 million it had received annually from the U.S. government.”
In 1973, the US Supreme Court decided in the court case Roe v. Wade that women had autonomy over their own bodies. It said that women have the right to choose how to make their own medical decisions, even those that include abortion (Roe v. Wade). Though this was a Supreme Court decision, there are people who are trying to prohibit women from having access to these health services. With the defunding of Planned Parenthood, this will limit women’s accessibility.
Arguments against Planned Parenthood include murder and tax dollars. Most abortions occur early during pregnancy, when the fetus is not even fully developed.
According to the Guttmacher Institute,
“Two-thirds of abortions occur at eight weeks of pregnancy or earlier; 89% occur in the first 12 weeks.”
Here is Bill Nye, the Science Guy, courtesy of Big Think, to explain:
While governmental funding did go to Planned Parenthood, tax payer’s dollars were not used toward abortion services.
According to the Department of Health and Human Service’s website,
“Family planning services funded through the Title X program include: clinical family planning and related preventive health services; information, education, and counseling related to family planning; and referral services as indicated. By law, Title X funds cannot be used to provide or encourage abortion.”
Abortion is one of the major, controversial arguments against Planned Parenthood; yet, that only accounts for three percent of their services.
Planned Parenthood’s website says that it provides health care to five million women and men each year. Their health care includes sexual and reproductive, as well as education and information. These services are necessary for women’s’ and men’s health. Planned Parenthood’s mission is prevention and health services.
Their services, from their website, include,
“. . . STD testing and treatment, contraception, and accompanying health care, education, and information.”
“The other 97 percent of services were for contraception, treatment and tests for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screenings, and other women’s health services.”
A chart explaining their services can be seen here: Planned Parenthood Services Pie Chart
The Global Gag Rule will be detrimental to women’s health. With this rule, it will just make safe abortion less available. Women may try to find other unsafe avenues in order to make their own decision about their bodies.
“. . . every time the global gag rule returns, more women in developing countries bear unwanted pregnancies, die or become disabled due to unsafe abortions, or lose crucial medical care.”
The Global Gag Rule is harmful toward women because when it is instated, employees are fired, services are reduced, and clinics are forced to close (Guttmacher Institute). This loss of education and services leads to unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion (Guttmacher Institute).
This rule is not saving lives, it is instituting an infringement against a woman’s right to choose. It infringes upon on how they receive affordable, basic health care.
So what can you do to help? How will we be able to continue allowing men and women to receive basic health care? Let your voice be heard. By getting involved or donating, you can help protect health care and reproductive rights for women.