By EDITORIAL BOARD
Last Thursday, the Hopkins Voice for Life chapter presented a display against Planned Parenthood on Gilman Quad. The protest was based around allegations that Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted fetuses to third parties. The group believes that the government should cut Planned Parenthood’s federal funding, a view the Editorial Board does not share. We strongly disagree with the notion that Planned Parenthood does not deserve federal funding. In fact, we believe the organization is a pillar of public health.
One serious issue surrounding this Planned Parenthood debate is that a surprising number of people are unaware that the organization offers a wide range of healthcare products and services besides abortions. They distribute birth control, conduct pap tests and breast exams, test for a full panel of sexually transmitted diseases, offer sexual education programs and the list goes on. From a public health standpoint, the organization is essential to our society. And while Hopkins students typically utilize the Health and Wellness Center for such resources, Planned Parenthood centers are often the only choice for others in the community. The notion that Planned Parenthood only does abortions is naive and just simply untrue.
Planned Parenthood is doing vital work. Everyone should have access to free HIV and STI tests in addition to the condoms that can curb the spread of such diseases. Young mothers should be able to have easy, low-hassle access to abortions. Now more than ever, our community needs the resources that this organization provides. Cutting its federal funding and hindering its operations would prevent the people who need help the most from getting it.
The Editorial Board is strongly pro-choice. (We have described our position in a previous editorial.) However, we also believe that the issue of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes beyond being pro-life or pro-choice. At the end of the day, the Editorial Board is pro-women’s health. We believe that cutting Planned Parenthood’s federal funding would not only be detrimental to millions of Americans, it would be a grave mistake. At a time when our country is more divided than ever, the Editorial Board believes this should be a total non-issue.