When the discussion of Planned Parenthood arises, talk of money is inevitable. As much as morality, safety, and general ethics matter, we must ask the question: why should citizens be worried about the defunding of Planned Parenthood? Discourse on the organization does not stem only from ethical positions, but also monetary standpoints; we must consider the economic impacts our country may face upon the defunding of an establishment such as Planned Parenthood.
Using taxpayer money is one of the most cost effective solutions to poverty; it provides a positive a way to create jobs, and eases the burden on families who are struggling financially to pay for this type of healthcare that Planned Parenthood provides. The organization reduces the amount of tax money that would be spent on unintended pregnancies by millions. Women who use Planned Parenthood services are better able to support themselves and their families, and are therefore less reliant on welfare in other areas.
“We’re at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancies, and it’s an “historic low” in teenage pregnancies”- Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood
Removing funding for Planned Parenthood will inevitably lead to lower access to contraceptives and therefore lead to more pregnancies. According to the CBO, they estimate that “Medicaid will have to pay for several thousand more births, many of them to poor children who will themselves qualify for Medicaid.” Furthermore, if Planned Parenthood loses its funding, patients will also lose access to tests and treatments for certain cancers and sexually transmitted diseases. It isn’y only abortions that are being “prevented”, but safe sex and safe pregnancies as well.
Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood, appeared on the Daily Show to discuss the Republican efforts to defund the organization. Opponents of Planned Parenthood often focus too greatly on its costs and overlook the statistics of how helpful and necessary this program truly is, funding and all.
For instance, she states “over the last eight years of the Obama administration, 55 million women were covered for birth control with no copay”. These stats represent the mass amount of women protected by a healthcare, and are able to do much more than have safe sex; they are able to keep their jobs and better financially support themselves.
Ellen Chesler, the Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow, says “There is no better preventative investment than family planning,” and that is exactly what Planned Parenthood is about, economically and otherwise.
Women make up half of the work force, making them a necessity for economic growth, and this cannot be done if their rights to control their fertility are being denied. To put this into perspective from the public, The Atlantic reported “In a recent poll, 72 percent of Pennsylvania voters said a woman’s ability to control the timing and size of her family impacts her financial stability.”
The role of economics goes much deeper than the the federal funding it receives (just like every other public healthcare providers), it affects the quality of life for women and their families.