Planned Parenthood is still feeling the wrath of pro-lifer’s and social conservatives alike. In the wake of multiple hidden camera videos that appear to show the controversial women’s health organization discussing the sale of harvested fetal tissue, abortion opponents are moving in to take Planned Parenthood down.
On August 19, Utah became the most recent state where concerned critics of Planned Parenthood organized a rally to protest using public money to fund the organization. Pro-life advocates, including Utah Governor Gary Herbert and other state political leaders addressed a large crowd from the capital steps. The underlying goal? To prevent state agencies from allowing federal funds to find their way into Planned Parenthood’s pocket.
“I’m here today to add my voice to yours, in standing up for the sanctity of life.”
Governor Herbert addressed an underlying concern that’s been repeatedly thrown around in the aftermath of the current Planned Parenthood scandal by reassuring women that important social programs won’t be lost in the process of defunding Planned Parenthood. Rather, he explicitly stated that funds diverted from the embattled group would simply be allocated to other women’s heath care providers in the state.
The last couple of months have dealt some incredibly crushing and public blows to Planned Parenthood’s social presence. Despite the fact that the organization’s PR staff has been working overtime, many people simply can’t get past what they saw and heard on the undercover videos. Planned Parenthood has expressly denied breaking any laws or selling tissue. Representatives claim the dollar figures being discussed were related to the legally-recoverable costs of harvesting, storing, and transporting the tissue in question.
Planned Parenthood has long been a favorite target for abortion foes. Despite the fact that they are about far more than just abortion. This is clearly a trusted, well-established organization that provides a wide array of vital reproductive healthcare services. From family planning education and programs to STD testing, Planned Parenthood provides invaluable resources for men and women alike. It is because of this that so many are leery about the potential of negative social repercussions if funding is reduced or even lost altogether.
It’s also worth noting that it is already illegal under Federal law to use taxpayer money to fund abortions. This means that any funding that is withheld from Planned Parenthood will be coming directly from budgets intended to provide reproductive health services. The fear, and it is a valid one, is that rather than these sanctions preventing abortions, they will prevent access to proper health care for those who need the access the most.
Regardless of where you stand personally on the issue of abortion, nobody wants to see a resurgence of STD cases or unintended pregnancies as a result of the current scandal. With more and more states jumping on the defunding bandwagon, here’s to hoping that the valuable services provided by Planned Parenthood are not lost in the melee.
[Image Courtesy of Olivier Doulier/Getty Images]