Planned Parenthood not just for people who “messed up”

Lyndsie Yamrus, Assistant Opinion Editor

One of the most ignorant remarks I’ve ever heard, in the middle of a political debate, went something along the lines of: “Planned Parenthood is just an excuse for girls so they can go sleep around on the weekend.”

How unfair it is to just assume that everyone who has ever visited one of these health centers is there because they “messed up” somewhere along the line and got pregnant or has gotten an STD.

First of all, both men and women use Planned Parenthood services, not just females alone.

Yes, unfortunately there are many oblivious and/or selfish sexually active people in the world that aren’t mindful of the risks or careful by any means.

These are often the finger-pointing cases; where others regard your need for Planned Parenthood as your own problem, since you were the one who wasn’t careful and got pregnant, or got an STD.

“Why should I pay for your problems?” is a common outlook.

I single out these two services first because they are the top two provided services provided to clients (35 percent each), according to factcheck.org.

This obviously isn’t the case for everyone though. Sometimes contraception fails. Sometimes people don’t inform their partners that they have STDs, forcing them to pay the consequences.

Everyone is entitled to their equally valid opinion regarding birth control and abortions, but must realize that although their main goal is the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, these services do not fully represent the aims of Planned Parenthood. In fact, abortions make up only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood services, and federal funding does not go toward financing them.

Abortion in any case is legal in every state in the United States and has been since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade. Funding cuts to Planned Parenthood will not prevent abortions, but will instead prevent men and women alike from obtaining the necessary reproductive health care they need.

Not all individuals rely on Planned Parenthood because they “messed up.”

For men, Planned Parenthood offers testicular, prostate and colon cancer screenings as well as infertility screenings and referrals. Routine exams and problem checkups are provided as well, among other necessary assistances.

Similarly, infertility, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer screenings and respective treatments are offered for women.

In a perfect world, everyone would have health insurance. But for one reason or another, they don’t, and that shouldn’t be the sole factor in determining quality of life.

These cancer screenings are vital, as many individuals will not know they have cancer cells in their bodies until it is too late. For example, the cervical cancer-causing virus (in rarer cases) known as HPV rarely shows symptoms, but can be found in regular Pap-tests that have proven to save lives.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer today have not had regular Pap smears or they have not followed up on abnormal Pap smear results.”

The idea here is that the fate of a man or woman should not be a dependent on their economic status. This is the real goal of Planned Parenthood; to provide high-quality and affordable reproductive care and support to those who need it, no matter what the need is. And Planned Parenthood does accept insurance if you have it, so people who can afford it are able to receive these services as well.

More important is the need to remind society of who really uses these services. They’re people like you and me. Many are just picking up birth control, but many others need tests, treatments, screenings and advice for situations beyond their control.

The last thing the users of Planned Parenthood need is for others to judge them and assume they’re where they are because they made bad decisions. That’s not always the case.