The Oxford Eagle
Over the past few months, the sexual health and family planning clinic Planned Parenthood has come under fire from lawmakers and civilians alike.
The controversy lies in only one of Planned Parenthood’s thousands of services—abortion.
Because of this, conservative legislators are calling for a defunding of Planned Parenthood, which receives about $580 million annually in federal spending.
These costs go towards STI/STD testing, birth control and other contraceptives, and cancer screenings, among other things.
According to Mashable.com, only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services can be attributed to abortions. And of that, federal spending does not play a role in abortion services.
The Title X Family Planning Program, which is another government agency that supplies funding to Planned Parenthood, states that “by law, Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Ole Miss students, when asked about their opinions on the matter, responded in a number of ways.
Many had no idea what Planned Parenthood even was, or did not know enough on the subject to make a comment.
However, there were a number of students who were knowledgeable about Planned Parenthood’s recent mentionings in the news and were able to respond.
Connor Holman, a freshman English major, said he believes Planned Parenthood is an important foundation as an avenue for women’s health.
“I think the people who disagree on the point of abortion still shouldn’t believe in defunding Planned Parenthood because it’s the biggest avenue for birth control, STD health, and other things like that,” Holman said.
“I think defunding it would be more detrimental than they think. I think if anyone had a daughter, a wife, a sister or something like that, I don’t exactly see how they could want to abolish it completely.”
Braxton Jones, a senior IMC major, thinks defunding the clinic could put a strain on already financially exhausted people who use its services.
“Defunding would seriously hinder what they’re able to do for people who already don’t have the financial accessibility for a lot of the things that Planned Parenthood offers,” Jones said.
On the issue of money, many students agreed that defunding would cause more problems for American taxpayers.
“If [the government] cuts the funding for Planned Parenthood then [patients] are gonna have to get medical cards and things like that so that they can take care of their baby,” Aleisha Beavers, junior radiology science major said. “So it’s gonna cost more to do that than to just have the Planned Parenthood.”
Beavers is correct in her statement—it is estimated that federal spending would increase an additional $130 million to its already $580 million spending for various clinical procedures and services if Planned Parenthood were defunded. This would be due to numerous individuals relying more heavily on welfare services to provide for their unplanned children or cancer treatments, for example.
Crawford Moore, a junior political science major, disagrees. He wants to see all Planned Parenthood clinics defunded and believes the extra spending is worth it.
“I’d be fine with [the government spending more money for welfare programs if Planned Parenthood were defunded] because we’ve had 60 million babies killed since 1973 with the passing of Rowe v. Wade,” Moore said.
“I don’t mind us paying another million, $200 million dollars or whatever if we stop killing babies. That’s fine… I think as a tax payer, I should have a say in what my money is going to, and as a Christian, it is my moral obligation to stop something that I see as unjust and wrong.”
Aja Bell, a sophomore IMC major, thinks the issue is more complicated than that.
“Programs like this shouldn’t be defunded outright because every situation is unique and should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis,” Bell said. “And defunding a program like this will only serve as a catalyst in creating more problems.”
At the end of the day, most positions on Planned Parenthood come down to being pro-life or pro-choice. Rather than seeing the clinic as a health care facility, many people only connote it with its abortion services.
“I don’t particularly think defunding it will do anything for the pro-life side of things,” said Anna Greenlee, a senior music education major. “I think there are different avenues that can be taken rather than take healthcare away from women.”