The current debate over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood will cause a rift between female voters and the Republican Party as it did in 2012. In January of 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) issued a mandate which requires all employer health plans to offer free contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, which was passed under President Barack Obama (Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”). This mandate went under scrutiny and caused a heated debate. Many religious institutions and right-wing voters had fired attacks against the bill and the Democratic Party. The religious institutions had considered the act as a threat to their religious freedom.
This accusation seems problematic, however; the issue of not allowing health insurance to cover birth control had many voters, men and women alike, stop and ask themselves, “What era are we in?” The debate on the HSS Mandate was associated with competition, verbal aggression, and violence from the conservative side and has many voters, especially women, losing their affiliation with the Republican Party. Now, it is 2015, and it seems that the Republicans are suffering from short-term memory loss. The Republican Party is trying their damn hardest to defund Planned Parenthood while avoiding a shutdown. Republicans really know how to charm and gain favor among voters, especially females, they need to be more open and learn to identify with the female and lower class population.
The Planned Parenthood organization is not an attempt to rob the religious institutions of their freedom or religious rights. It is trying to improve the health benefits for women. However, the far right wing, Bible thumpers want to brainwash the public into believing the only service they provide is abortions. Planned Parenthood provides many medical services, such as, they help women get health insurance, they teach adults about sex and reproductive health, and they perform screens for STDS and cancer and offer abortions. Yes, they provide abortions, but that is a small part of what they do, but it’s an IMPORTANT part.
The medical professions at the Planned Parenthood clinics are not pushing to perform abortions. Instead, they over counseling to the pregnant women and inform them of their options: adoption, parenthood or abortion. At Planned Parenthood women decide their fate and what is best for their life, the medical professions are there to support them. There are other areas in the country that under legislations force women to be on waiting list and force physicians to read information to their patients that are MEDICALLY UNTRUE—abortions cause breast cancer, depression, and increased risk of suicide or infertility. These are all tactics to force fear and guilt in women while they are making a difficult and important decision for their future.
The majority of those opposing the work provided by Planned Parenthood are older, white males affiliated with the Republican Party, or those that hold a religious position. A poll taken by USA Today indicated that 65% of citizens said “no” that all federal funding for Planned Parenthood should be cut off; 29% “yes” all funding should be eliminated; 6% were undecided. Many women feel that the Republican Party and those affiliated with it are pursuing their goals at the expense of those Planned Parenthood helps the most: lower and working class WOMAN and MEN. The right-wing conservatives are trying to change the minds of the rest of the population by expressing the idea that it is against their religious faith or that tax dollars should not pay for the promiscuous nature of females (but let’s keep in mind that Planned Parenthood does more than just hand out birth control to women and perform abortions).
The funding of Planned Parenthood is not in any way an attempt to rob religious institutions of their right. Instead, it is trying to improve the health benefits for women and men. The benefits go beyond trying to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Men in Congress do not have to concern themselves with the same reproductive health issues that women do and with the help of affordable birth control and gynecologist visits, the chances of ovarian, cervical cancer, and the like would lessen. However, women like me are being supported by the Democratic Party to fight for their health and well-being, and we can predict some Republican female voters will sway back to the Democratic side.
The Republican Party needs to listen to what the majority of voters are saying over the debate. To gain favor among the female voting population, the Republican Party needs to follow a plan collaboration to involve people with diverse interests working together to achieve a mutually satisfying outcome. The Republican Party is being stubborn in this debate and polarizing themselves. They need to realize their bull-headed nature towards the subject is only yielding them in the debate, and ultimately in future elections. Their ultimate goal is to win the Presidential Election so that they are able to suggest and pass new bills into action. If they want to hold a position of leadership, then they need to make amends with a majority of voters, especially those that are female. Those opposing funding Planned Parenthood should listen calmly to what these women and men are demanding and asking for. They are asking for better health coverage, not a teaching on the immoral or moral codes of sexual behavior.
Having contraceptives and other reproductive health screenings covered under the Planned Parenthood funding does not physically harm the parties that are trying to have the defunding passed. The Republican Party needs to understand that many males who are supportive of the funding of Planned Parenthood back female voters. The funding should not be seen as a battle between religious freedom and sexual health and reproductive freedom. The funding promises health care to those that cannot afford it. If the conservative side does not stop fighting to end the funding for Planned Parenthood, then they can find themselves losing the votes in the upcoming election, which I would be pleased to see.
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