In 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic, and it was destined to become the Planned Parenthood we know today.
Planned Parenthood has an air of controversy that constantly surrounds it. However, the decision to keep Planned Parenthood open isn't about whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, but rather, if you believe women of all ages, races, and classes are deserving of women's healthcare services.
Throughout history, Planned Parenthood clinics across the nation have been hit with different types of attacks, from picketing to bombings, to even murder and acid attacks. The issue of access to abortion is typically a hot topic when it comes to elections, as is general healthcare, but the issue was brought to the forefront in the most recent election. Women gathered from all corners of the earth on January 27, 2017, to show just how much access to abortion and women's healthcare is a human right.
Yet abortion only constitutes three percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides. The clinic is consistently under fire by the government and much of the public over the debate to keep it federally funded. When it comes to money given to Planned Parenthood, "federally funded" means Medicaid reimbursements for preventive care and a portion from Title X.
To get even more specific as to how "federal" money is used, here is an illustration that explains the way Planned Parenthood gets its money back from Medicaid.
Aside from the three percent of services made up by abortions, 97 percent is made up of birth control services, STD screenings and treatment, breast exams, and pap tests. About 2.5 million men and women are helped by Planned Parenthood each year, and closing its doors can severely impact their lives.
Joss Whedon, director of movies such as The Avengers and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has come out with a powerful short film that highlights just how much of an impact the clinic has on the lives of young women. It brings attention to Planned Parenthood's role in helping to prevent cancer and unwanted pregnancy, as well as treating sexually transmitted infections and offering peer education and outreach programs.
Whedon said in a statement:
If politicians succeed in shutting down Planned Parenthood, millions of people lose access to basic health services. STD testing, birth control, cancer screenings…how can these be at risk? ‘UNLOCKED’ is about what a world without Planned Parenthood would look like, which is truly dire. I’ve supported Planned Parenthood in the past, but until I worked with them closely on this, I didn’t understand how many services they — and for some, they alone — provide.
The short film is chilling, no doubt, but it highlights the grim reality that is America without Planned Parenthood. At the end of the film, the question is asked to viewers, "What world do you want?"
It is one of the most important questions that can be asked, and the film forces you to think about it.
You can watch the short film below, and donate directly to Planned Parenthood by clicking here.
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