Students discuss the lack of discussion surrounding Planned Parenthood


Planned. Parenthood. 

Two words that have the power to evoke enormous controversy and unimaginable rage. 

Two words. 

Resting upon these two words is the health and safety of millions, yet we refuse to even utter them. Why aren’t we talking about Planned Parenthood? Why aren’t we talking about this widely known institution that helps so many? Why, in 2019, does its connotation prevent such an essential conversation?

For Junior Amelia Pointer, whose views most closely align with the Democratic party, the feeling that these two words create is one of positivity. 

“I think that, without Planned Parenthood, a lot of people wouldn’t get the medical or preventative help that they need,” Amelia said. “It helps so many women who can’t afford health care otherwise. People [always say] that it’s just for abortions, but no, they do everything. It’s really sad, the way that people want to take that away from people who need it.”

In regards to the funding of the organization, Senior TJ Dlugos does not give his support.

“I believe that Planned Parenthood should not be funded through the US Government,” TJ said, “because I have strong Christian values that say that every baby has a right to life.”

Senior Megan Raisch, who says that she most aligns with the Republican Party, reacts to these two words in more of a “middle ground” way. She admits that she personally does not know a multitude of facts surrounding the Planned Parenthood debate; however, she is still able to recognize the fact that there are always two sides to any situation. 

“My initial reaction to hearing ‘Planned Parenthood,’” Megan said, “I think of two things: I think of it as a resource for growing families to be used in a positive way because I know they can help a lot of people with the complications of pregnancy and starting a family. I also think that a lot of people see it as a really negative thing just because trying to control what seems natural can be really touchy for some people.”

This seems to be part of why there is so much misinformation surrounding the apparently “taboo” topic. If there is a lack of information, it only seems logical that what follows is a lack of opinions based in fact. 

Junior and Democratic Party supporter Koyuki Buckhold agrees, and also states that there is not only a lack of facts but a surplus of propaganda from both groups that claim to be in support of or against the institution. 

“I think Planned Parenthood gets that image,” Koyuki said, “because a lot of pro-life or anti-abortion people label it as an abortion factory; they advertise it that way. The very far-right people and Republicans [say that] Planned Parenthood is bad so they get a bad rap.”

TJ, however, believes the opposite.

“Planned Parenthood is a government-funded program that aborts babies,” TJ said, “but [they] project themselves as a health-based company or program.”

According to Amelia, however, even though there are data and facts out there, many choose to simply ignore those that do not align with their personal beliefs. 

“I think it’s not so much that [people] don’t have the information,” Amelia said, “it’s that they have it but they are choosing to ignore it. I think it definitely depends on what kind of news sources you follow; if you are more conservative, obviously, you’re going to get [different] facts.”

One of the most widely known misconceptions is the idea that the health care services that Planned Parenthood provides are solely based upon abortion.  

In fact, however, according to, abortions are only a minuscule three percent of the services that are provided at clinics, with others including things like cancer screenings, rape kits, STD/STI prevention, as well as prenatal care and pregnancy health. Yet another resource provided are classes that deal with things such as mental health, sexual health, and services concerning men’s health. 

But, even when people are getting all the facts, we still choose to avoid conversations with people whose views may differ from our own. Why is that?

Koyuki attributes a lot of misconceptions not only to a lack of information, but a lack of willingness to communicate. 

“I think [we need to] spread awareness on what they actually do as opposed to what people think they do,” Koyuki said. “[We need to] highlight the crucial things that they do—apart from abortion—that would be detrimental to women, especially low income and at-risk women around the country, if those services were no longer attainable.”

Amelia says that, like most things, it all depends on the person you’re asking. Having conversations about such important subjects with those who you love and respect can be difficult already, and bringing in two opposing opinions only strives to make matters more uncomfortable. 

“For me, I don’t like talking about controversial things with people I know,” Amelia said. “I don’t want to feel that discomfort when you don’t agree with someone on something that’s so important. Especially if you’re close with someone or they are the people that you surround yourself with, it can get really awkward. It’s unfortunate, but you kind of have to talk about it to make any progress. I understand why people don’t want to, but it definitely needs to be.”

TJ atests to this statement and says that talking about Planned Parenthood is difficult because it is a “really touchy subject.” Megan also states that many people tend to get offended by these conversations, especially since they surround a subject so personal.  

“It’s a moral subject.” Megan said, “It’s a matter of one person thinking something is right and that being morally correct for them and the other person thinking the opposite. Disagreeing about a subject can sometimes be fine, but when it comes to humanity and your morals as a person, people can get really offended because you’re attacking their core beliefs.”

But, is it possible to be against abortion but in support of Planned Parenthood? According to Koyuki, the very fact that they do so much more than abortion should make the answer to this question, ‘yes.’

“[Planned Parenthood] provides health care that could be crucial for some people at low cost and its accessible for the most part,” Koyuki said. “By blocking it, a lot of people won’t have healthcare services that they need including STD testing, rape kits, and stuff like that, so I think what they do is very important.”

An anonymous student agrees and says yes, it is indeed possible. 

“Personally, I support the right to choose to have an abortion—your body, your choice,” they said, “But people who don’t support abortion should still inherently support Planned Parenthood. It’s so much more than abortions. There are vital STD tests [and] reproductive health information.”

For TJ, however, there are multiple sides to the story.

“I believe that in recent news [Planned Parenthood] has been pretty important just because people are coming to light of what they’re doing,” TJ said. “I can definitely see them being important for STD testing, but I don’t really agree with what they’re doing with aborting babies and killing them.”

No matter which side your opinion falls, the conversation regarding Planned Parenthood needs to continue. In order for any kind of change to be implemented, people must remain informed and educated.

“[Planned Parenthood] is just such a safe space overall,” they said, “That no matter what your opinion on abortion is, you should support Planned Parenthood’s goal to educate, support, and persevere.”