Indiana's Planned Parenthood Situation Worsens

This article is a follow-up to a guest post that EatBreatheBlog contributor Danielle wrote for Women’s Glib. I was twen...

This article is a follow-up to a guest post that EatBreatheBlog contributor Danielle wrote for Women’s Glib.

I was twenty and living in another state, far from my family and support network, when I received a call regarding my Pap-test. Abnormal cells had been detected, and it was recommended that I have a colposcopy and biopsy immediately. I have a family history of cancer, so this terrified me. I remember calling my mom and sobbing on the telephone as she helplessly tried to comfort me from a distance.

I was poor and uninsured, and I worried how I would be able to afford the procedures that were being ordered, but I was a patient at Planned Parenthood, and they arranged it so I wouldn’t have to pay for my procedures and follow-up appointments. I am pleased to report that, aside from a few more abnormal tests, everything turned out well, and I am healthy.

Recently, Governor Daniels of Indiana attempted to defund Planned Parenthood due to their provision of abortions. In a recent New York Times article, however, it was revealed that, of the procedures performed last year, only 7% were abortions. The other 93% were pregnancy tests, Pap-tests and cancer screenings, HIV counseling, and STD testing. Roughly 11% of last year’s patients were on Medicaid, which means that theoretically, 614 abortions were for Medicaid patients. It is important to note that the Hyde Amendment only allows Medicaid-funded abortions in the case of rape, incest, or life endangerment, so these hypothetical numbers are practically meaningless.

With this in mind, it becomes evident that the only services affected by this legislation are the ones that can make a huge difference in the lives of low-income women. Not everyone has health insurance or enough money to pay for doctor’s visits out-of-pocket, but unplanned pregnancies, cancer, HIV and STDs are indiscriminate to health coverage, annual income, etc.

An injunction was granted to block enforcement of this legislation on June 24, 2011, and was promptly appealed by the state. Many Hoosiers are disappointed or downright angry at the injunction. One of their concerns is that, despite laws intended to ensure that federal money is not used for abortions except in extreme circumstances, those funds are fungible and easy to divert for these procedures. However, there is no evidence of this happening.

Another argument is that patients can receive the same procedures at other medical facilities, but I think they are missing the point here – namely, that the government is using this legislation to dictate where women should or shouldn’t go for medical care. Personally, I have continued to go to Planned Parenthood, both because of their affordability, and because of the rapport I have developed over the years with the staff at my clinic.

I find it ironic that the lawmakers who would defund an organization for imagined misuse of tax dollars, thus making it more difficult to procure affordable family planning, are the same ones who rail against single parents; make cuts to Medicaid, food stamp programs, etc.; and consistently vote against marriage equality and adoption by same-sex couples. This creates an inescapable vortex of unplanned pregnancies, little to no prenatal care, and a lack of loving homes for these children to go to once they are born.

Regardless of personal opinion, abortion is legal and will remain so; perhaps it would be a better use of time and money if our politicians worked to improve the lives of women, rather than making things more difficult for them.

 

 

 

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1 March 2022, 18:07 | Views: 814

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