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Planned Parenthood (http://www.plannedparenthhood.org/) is an American organization that specializes in the provision of reproductive healthcare. Margaret Sanger founded the organization in 1921, in Brooklyn, New York. The organization provides reproductive healthcare to men, women, and young people around the globe. Apart from providing healthcare services to patients, the group undertakes advocacy of women’s rights with regard to access to abortion and reproductive healthcare services. Planned Parenthood has affiliates that operate over 900 health centers across America. Among the services that these health centers provide include birth control and counseling on family planning, pregnancy tests, breast examination, gynecological care, HIV testing, sex education, adoption referrals and abortion services (Balter 475). Most of the Planned Parenthood clients are poor and would not otherwise be able to access the healthcare without the help of Planned Parenthood.
Abortion is one of the principal ethical issues that face the legislators of many nations. In the United States, every woman has a right to abortion and access to contraception. This is an extension to their right to privacy (Yarnold 114). Planned Parenthood is one of the major groups that support abortion and use of contraceptives in the US. In collaboration with other groups, Planned Parenthood has led to the legalization of abortion during the first trimester in the US. Continuous lobbying by members of the group led to repeal on the ban on abortion and use of birth control (Davis 142).
Planned Parenthood assists women in litigation processes that concern abortion. In the US, the crucial court ruling that legalized abortion is Row vs. Wade (1973). The court ruled that the right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to seek an abortion. Other court rulings have cemented this stand. Planned Parenthood is one of the groups that have tremendously helped in legalization of abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. In Planned Parenthood vs. Casey (1992), the court struck a provision of the Pennsylvania law that made women notify their husbands before undertaking abortion (Cullen-Dupont 203). This case was significant in removing some of the legislature hurdles that face abortion.
Planned Parenthood has several sources of revenue. A sizeable percentage of its revenue comes from the government. The organization also receives funding from other charitable organizations that support various healthcare programs it has. Contribution from members also accounts for a fraction of its revenues. The membership fee of the organization ranges from $25 to $150. The amount mainly depends on the type member. However, government funding of the organization faces stiff resistance from various parties. There is currently a raging debate on whether government should continue funding this organization. This is because the organization operates various abortion clinics and may channel the funds to the clinics instead of providing other healthcare needs it claims to provide (Morgan and Yukhananov para18). Planned Parenthood lobbies for politicians who are pro-abortion, as they would represent the views of the organization in congress and senate. The views of Planned Parenthood on abortion make it back politicians who support their views. Most democrat politicians support Planned Parenthood with opposition coming mainly from republicans.
Planned Parenthood believes that all women should have access to birth control. The organization believes that birth control is one of the basic healthcare needs that every woman should get. This comes in the wake of claims by Republican frontrunner, Mitt Romney, his administration would remove federal funding of Planned Parenthood if he becomes the next president (Bassett para 1). According to the organization, birth control is more than just a health care issue to some women. It is also a financial issue, especially for women in college or university. Catering for the birth control needs of these groups means they will not have to choose between paying for tuition and books or paying for basic healthcare needs. Birth control is one of the healthcare needs of this group. The foundations of the opinion of Planned Parenthood are based on data from American College Health Association. According to the College Health Association, about 40 percent of female college students use prescription oral contraceptives. In addition, a Wall Street Journal Poll that shows Americans by 53 – 33 margin, prefer the federal government to make employers offer free birth control as part of the health insurance plan they offer their employees. Various other polls also show that the government should ensure women have access to birth control. All the polls are from outside sources that are unbiased.
Planned Parenthood advocates for abortion and use of contraceptives (it is pro-choice). It advocates for the freedom of choice of women as to whether they should have a child or not. However, there are organizations that oppose abortion strongly (pro-life organizations). They advocate for the right to life of the unborn child. Religious organizations are the main pro-life groups that oppose Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood also faces opposition from other groups for encouraging women to use contraceptives. The Mormon Church, The southern Baptists, and the Roman Catholics are the religious denominations that strongly oppose Planned Parenthood for propagating the use of contraceptives (Davis 167). The Roman Catholic Church opposes the use “artificial” birth control methods and encourages the use of “natural” methods. According to the Roman Catholics, use of contraceptives is morally wrong, since it artificially interrupts the normal process of conception. In addition, Roman Catholics are of the view that use of contraceptives would increase illicit sexual activity (Fry, Veatch, and Taylor 270).
Planned Parenthood is an organization that elicits mixed reactions from various parties. This is mainly due to its pro-abortion activities. However, the organization provides other healthcare services that are essential to the general population.
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