The national debate over the defunding of Planned Parenthood has exposed the many barriers to accessing affordable and appropriate health care for low-income women. The Senate voted to cut off federal funding to the nonprofit.
According to The New York Times, when providers like Planned Parenthood are shut down, they leave low-income women with few alternatives for reproductive and preventative health care. Access to health care has shown to increase public health. Closing these centers and taking away federal funding limits patient access to all of these and hurts women.
What is not known to many is that federal funds have not paid for abortions since the 1977 Hyde Amendment. The proposed funding cuts would cut programs like testing, treatment, screening and prevention in reproductive health for women.
Restricting access to health care is only an exclusionary tactic to further oppress and control women’s rights as citizens. Because adverse health effects are disproportionately experienced by minorities, appropriate and affordable and accessible care should be offered to the entire population on equal terms.
Instead of restricting funding to organizations like Planned Parenthood, the goal of policy makers should be to end the injustice of unequal access to health care.