Unless your name is Patrick Star and you live under a rock, then you are well aware that election season is upon us. The candidates have stepped forward and both the Republican and Democratic debates have passed. All eyes have been on these politicians and all ears have been ready to hear their stances on various policies. And every one of them has an opinion on Planned Parenthood.
If you’re like me, you might have heard the term Planned Parenthood being tossed around in conversation or on the news, but you’re not too sure what they do. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a nonprofit organization that offers research and education on contraception, family planning and reproductive problems. They:
- Provide reproductive and related health care (such as birth control, contraceptives, sexually transmitted disease testing, abortion and relevant cancer screenings)
- Advocate public policies that support its mission
- Provide sex education materials and courses
- Promote research into sexual health issues
You can read about a super cool personal experience with PPFA from fellow blogger rosehasathorn here.
To me and a lot of others, Planned Parenthood is an amazing organization that helps so many women who otherwise wouldn’t have access to these kinds of services. However, there are a lot of others who are against Planned Parenthood for religious or political reasons. If you are looking to vote for a candidate who supports funding for Planned Parenthood, you will probably end up voting left. Of the current candidates for the 2016 Presidential race, all of the Republican candidates are against abortion, birth control and Planned Parenthood (no shocker there), while the Democratic candidates are for these issues.
- Hillary Clinton wants to ensure that abortion remain legal and safe. She supports expanded access to birth control and Planned Parenthood.
- Martin O’Malley has a long history of working to assure women’s access to legal and safe abortion. He supports access to affordable birth control. He also signed the Family Planning Works Act into law, which made nearly 35,000 additional low- and moderate-income women in the state of Maryland eligible for free pregnancy counseling, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, cancer screenings and other services that are essential to women’s health.
- Both Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders have worked to provide women access to safe and legal abortion. Like Clinton, they also support expanded access to birth control and Planned Parenthood.
Women’s health issues are unfortunately primarily debated by men in our government. However, the candidates mentioned above are ready to take action on these issues in a positive way and support Planned Parenthood in all of its glory. If you are planning to vote (which you should, because every vote counts; we can’t solve the problem if we don’t make our voice heard), then vote wisely with these candidates in mind. So often do we take a lot of what we have for granted. I know I am lucky to have access to these services if I ever needed them, but not all women do. If we want these
benefits to be available to all women, regardless of income, then we need to take a stand and not only support Planned Parenthood, but support the politicians who do as well.