Should taxpayer dollars go toward funding Planned Parenthood?
via AP

Should taxpayer dollars go toward funding Planned Parenthood?

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President Trump cleared the way to defund Planned Parenthood on Thursday, signing into law a measure designed to funnel money away from the group. Conservatives celebrated the move and see its passage as a good first step toward ending abortions in the United States. Critics say defunding Planned Parenthood just restricts low-income women from receiving preventative care and contraception, and could actually lead to an uptick in abortions. What do you think?

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Trump signed legislation which reverses an Obama-era rule barring state and local governments from withholding federal money to groups that provide family planning services, even if they also provide abortions. Conservatives hailed the move as a restoration of state freedom, as well as the first move to defund Planned Parenthood. Conservatives say Planned Parenthood is the largest providers of abortions in the nation. Defunding Planned Parenthood would severely reduce the number of abortions in the U.S.

“Prioritizing funding away from Planned Parenthood to comprehensive health care alternatives is a winning issue,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, who attended the closed-door bill signing at the White House on Thursday. “We expect to see Congress continue its efforts to redirect additional taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood through pro-life health care reform after the spring recess.”

Critics say abortions are only 3 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides. Planned Parenthood provides family planning services and preventative care to some of the most vulnerable populations in the country. They say defunding Planned Parenthood will hurt women the nation over. Critics also point out that defunding Planned Parenthood would probably have the opposite effect its opponents want and might actually increase abortions. Women will not stop having abortions if Planned Parenthood is defunded, but they will stop having access to family planning services. This leads to more unplanned pregnancies and potentially more abortions. 

“Despite repeated promises that he would protect and invest in women’s health, President Trump has once again shown that his words carry little weight,” said Heidi Williamson, the senior policy analyst for the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress. “Trump’s actions are creating very real and damaging consequences for millions of women and their families, inflicting direct harm on already vulnerable communities.”
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