Foothill Technology High School

Opinion: Stop attacking Planned Parenthood

Do you know what’s really unpleasant, even dangerous? Sexually transmitted diseases and infections, breast cancer, urinary tract infections, being pregnant with a child that you are either unable to care for or the birth of this child would be a risk to your/their health

Opinion writer Riley Knouse believes that an attack on Planned Parenthood is an attack on women, and all who use its services. Credit: Jenny Chang/The Foothill Dragon Press

Do you know what’s really unpleasant, even dangerous? Sexually transmitted diseases and infections, breast cancer, urinary tract infections, being pregnant with a child that you are either unable to care for or the birth of this child would be a risk to your/their health, and anything odd going on with your cervix. It’s a good thing Planned Parenthood helps in preventing all of these things, and more.

However, it’s hard to provide affordable health care when you are being attacked, protested and hated.

Yes, there has recently been another shooting at a Planned Parenthood, this one in Colorado. Three were killed: two civilians and a police officer. This is not the first time that a Planned Parenthood has been attacked. Frankly, this is infuriating.

Let me make this clear to everyone who is pro-life: No one likes abortions. Being pro-choice does not mean that you are saying “Sweet! Abortion!” Being pro-choice means that you acknowledge that there are times where it is a better choice than birthing a baby when either its health and/or the mother’s health will be at risk, or when a woman was raped and did not have a choice of whether or not she wanted to be pregnant.

Let me make this clear to everyone who is anti-Planned Parenthood: You are trying to dismantle an organization whose goal is to provide affordable health care and sex education to men, women and adolescents.

Don’t believe me?

In a pie chart of what services Planned Parenthood provides, 41% is STI/STD testing and treatment, 34% contraception, 11% other women’s health services, 10% cancer screening and prevention, 3% abortion and 1% other stories. Another source states that abortions make up 12%, “assuming no person received more than one abortion.”

Yes, a whopping 3 -12%.

To try to bring Planned Parenthood down would be harmful for communities, not helpful. You are not saving fetuses, you are just risking the lives of already living people. Also, let’s talk about the irony of shooting or bombing a Planned Parenthood. In order to save (unborn) lives, you are murdering people.

I really, really hope that all of you see how that isn’t exactly productive.

But I’m going to try to delve into the mind of someone who wants to attack a clinic. If we refer to the above statistic of the services Planned Parenthood offers, then wouldn’t that mean that you’re less likely killing people who seek to get an abortion, but instead people who are just seeking healthcare? How dare they try to see if they are at risk of having cancer, UTI, STI or STD! How dare they try to get a form of birth control!

Every ounce of my sarcasm was intended in that last statement.

Planned Parenthood is not against you. Rather, they are striving to help you by providing affordable healthcare. We are focusing too much on one controversial tree and not making an effort to even glance at the forest. The bigger picture of Planned Parenthood is not abortion, abortion is only a small image within everything we’re shown.

There’s a woman in Portland who broke up a Planned Parenthood protest by shouting “Yeast infection!” She brought attention to something that’s actually a service more commonly provided rather than one that’s not. What she did was simple, yet incredibly effective, that has brought attention to a matter that needs to be discussed.

A health clinic is not the problem. Throwing my pro-choice views aside, it’s still clear that we should not be going against an organization that is desperately needed.

The argument of whether or not abortion is moral should not fall heavily onto Planned Parenthood. It’s time that both sides of this argument realize that Planned Parenthood has a very small role to play the topic of abortion.

–Riley Knouse