By Ellie Schuckman
American politics has become the hub for brash arguments and idiotic comments, resulting in several field days for the media. The ongoing, heated battles between Republicans and Democrats has reached a new level of insanity — fighting once again about defunding Planned Parenthood.
The nonprofit organization saw roughly $528 million in 2014 from the federal government, nearly one third of its $1.3 billion yearly budget, according to The Washington Post. However, it’s important to note that the federal funds are not used for the service at the heart of current debates — abortions. The organization instead uses money from private donors and foundations to fund the abortion services, according to the same article.
The majority of the money received from the government currently comes from Medicaid, the health care program typically used by low-income Americans. That money is not even legally allowed to be used for abortions. Defunding Planned Parenthood will therefore not stop abortions, it will merely cut other resources used for men and women such as cancer screenings, STD testing, medical treatment and contraception.
The center of this argument does not even rely on federal funding — it has relatively nothing to do with the federal government.
So then why has the fight nearly shut down the government and become a leading issue for politicians?
Blame that on the 2016 presidential election that has already consumed the media.
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, during the second Republican primary debate, candidate Carly Fiorina made comments claiming that she saw a video showing a fully-formed fetus being kept alive to harvest its brain. When confronted about the supposed video, Fiorina refused to step forward with the footage and fact-checkers have been unable to find the video as well, according to ABC News.
Many Democrats are opposed to defunding the organization and are defending Planned Parenthood, which has repeatedly stated no such video exists and those which have surfaced are misrepresentative and have been doctored.
No matter the validity of the videos, the underlying issue made prevalent is the fight over abortions. Republicans — most of whom are against them — do not want to see government funds going toward abortions. A reasonable request some may say. However, what gives those individuals the right to decide how others make their personal, medical decisions? What gives any person the right to decide what health care choice a woman should make? Why must there be a reason given when a woman walks into a clinic?
Abortion is the only medical procedure in which “how did it happen?” (them getting pregnant) has been the issue. If someone has a broken bone or needs a shot, they will get treated with relatively no judgement or questions asked. With abortions, however, lawmakers are continuously blaming women.
Before someone can have an abortion, counseling is often required. Imagine needing a simple operation to repair your shoulder after falling. The doctor walks in and questions how the injury happened, and then starts judging you because you slipped in the rain. They then refuse to operate and say you must live with the consequences. You then begin to feel guilty.
It’s really that simple.
Regardless of political beliefs, this is a private issue grown large by religious and spiritual beliefs. Once again, we are seeing faith intertwined with politics and the government overstepping the boundaries of personal freedom.
Last week, the government nearly shut down because politicians couldn’t reach an agreement. While eventually a deal was passed to avoid another shutdown, temporarily funding the government through Friday, Dec. 11, the issue hasn’t been solved. It’s simply been put off to be dealt with at a later time.
The House of Representatives, with a Republican majority, still managed to pass a separate measure to defund Planned Parenthood, according to CNN.
These ongoing battles need to stop. What’s the point in having a government when politicians can’t stop fighting each other long enough to actually do something to benefit the people they’re empowered to serve?
Personal beliefs are terribly intertwined with how politicians conduct themselves and the issues they see fit, and this needs to end. Give individuals their individual rights and leave out personal bias.
Students share opinions around campus
“I don’t think (defunding) should happen. (Planned Parenthood) is very beneficial as a whole to the population.”
“I think (Planned Parenthood) is needed. I think it’s a good option for whatever (people) need help (with).”