Women’s access to safe and affordable healthcare has been under attack for most of history, and within the past few years the political right has tried every fear-mongering trick to get the American public on their side. A couple weeks ago, a heavily edited video surfaced from an anti-abortion group, the Center for Medical Progress, in which a Planned Parenthood representative is seen discussing the alleged illegal “selling” of aborted fetal tissue. The video was incredibly deceptive, and had no journalistic value. It is common for healthcare providers to legally donate fetal tissue to ethical research labs with the absolute consent of the patient, and Planned Parenthood is no different. It is absurd to think that one of the largest women’s healthcare providers in America would do anything illegal to jeopardize the integrity of their organization and the trust of their patients.
As a result, the political right has used this misleading video as their main argument for why Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded. Our country is in a sad state when the majority of our politicians choose to overlook the blatant lies the Center for Medical Progress perpetuated rather than support an organization that has been helping women and men of every class and color since 1916. Planned Parenthood is more than an abortion provider. It is a healthcare provider that empowers women and men to take control of their health. Even so, abortion is a necessary service for many women. Unplanned pregnancies and children are two of the reasons so many women are in poverty or cannot lift themselves out of poverty. Abortion gives women a chance at succeeding and having some control over their destiny. Defunding Planned Parenthood would cause irreversible damage to society, especially women.
The population should not tolerate this vile hatred of women and access to women’s healthcare. Even with all the advancements women have made, society still fears an empowered woman. The greatest path to empowerment is through healthcare. The political right wants women’s progress to halt and they want women to be dependent on politicians who think they know the most about women’s bodies. It is incomprehensible why people still believe this video, which has been proven to be false and deceitful. The circulation of false information has been the biggest hurdle for many women’s rights groups. Biased groups will take anything that resembles their truth to instill fear onto the public. Thankfully, women’s rights groups and many politicians will not stand for this, and there are many women and men who tirelessly work for unhindered access to healthcare.
Written By: Enxhi Liti, Intern- NOW Oakland/Macomb County Chapter