The House of Representatives approved a series of budget cuts totaling about $61 billion dollars on Feb. 19.
These budget cuts will affect a slew of government organizations, most notably Planned Parenthood, which, according to its website, is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider for both males and females.
Approximately $317 million will be detracted from Planned Parenthood’s funding if this proposal is passed in the Senate and signed by President Obama.
Yes, the United States is in the midst of a devastating financial crisis and our country’s debt is in the trillions and rising.
Cutting spending from Planned Parenthood, however, is most definitely not an appropriate solution.
Considering the House is overwhelmingly Republican and the Senate is Democratic, the bill will hopefully be defeated.
Still, the fact that members of the House felt detracting funding from Planned Parenthood was a good idea in the first place raises a series of important questions.
Are female reproductive rights being made a political issue, rather than a personal issue?
And are political figures throttling female reproductive rights for the sake of budget cuts?
Speaker of the House John Boehner explained to the Los Angeles Times that in voting to remove funding from Planned Parenthood, the House was simply “carrying out the will of the voters who sent nearly 100 new Republicans to Washington in November.”
Based on previous conservative voting patterns, however, the proposed withdrawal of funds appears largely based on the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services at its clinics.
Pro-life voters who sent new representatives to Capitol Hill deserve to be heard — but in this case, the House just might have gone too far.
Currently, no federal funding goes toward abortion. In fact, ninety-seven percent of the program’s funding, in fact, goes to preventive care services, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer screenings. In addition to preventive care services, the money goes toward funding for HIV tests and birth control.
It is therefore logical to deduce that if this bill is passed in the Senate and is not vetoed by President Obama, millions of women, men and families will be affected.
If that’s not bad enough, consider this: Planned Parenthood is the only form of medical treatment that 60 percent of its patients will receive throughout the entire year.
Yet ironically, the House decided to keep the $7.4 million the Army uses to sponsor a NASCAR driver.
I indisputably support the ideologies of all — pro-life and pro-choice. I applaud the Republican representatives for listening to their constituents’ desires.
Yet the issue at hand does not deal with the question of whether or not the U.S. government condones abortion.
True, Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services, but none of the money allocated to it is used for these services.
All abortions are privately funded. Thus, Boehner’s argument for using Planned Parenthood’s abortion services as an excuse to eradicate funding is flawed because in reality, Planned Parenthood provides an abundance of services that benefit both genders and both parties of our society.
Mellissa Linton is a freshman majoring in English.