Should The Government Fund Planned Parenthood?

Introduction

In recent discussions involving Planned Parenthood, a controversial issue has been whether the government should fund or defund organization. On the one hand, some argue that Planned Parenthood is mainly an organization created for performing abortions. On the other hand, however, others argue that Planned Parenthood is an important resource that provides various health care services such as cervical cancer screenings, checkups, mammograms, and contraceptives to lower-income women who do not have access to these services due to their socioeconomic status. In the words of Karen DeCrow, one of this view’s proponents, “Planned Parenthood is the most important private provider of reproductive healthcare for women in the United States.” According to this view, Planned Parenthood has a right to operate and provide women with some of their basic healthcare needs.

My own view is that Planned Parenthood should be funded by the government. Though I concede that religion plays a strong role in our society and influences individuals’ beliefs, I still maintain that Planned Parenthood is a beneficial organization for women. For example, many women can receive screenings for cervical cancer, and with early detection it can save many lives. A large number women are at risk for various health problems and one of the main cause for this is because of their socioeconomic status and the delay of appropriate treatment. Although some might object that Planned Parenthood has insidious motives or the organization is misappropriating funding, I would reply that most of the opponents have not been denied their basic rights to choose what is best for them, or they do not lack the resources necessary for their well-being. The issue is important because this is not only about contraceptives, abortions or money, this is an issue of women’s rights and their right to choose what is best for their health.

Annotated Bibliography

Devi, S. (2015). Anti-abortion groups target funding of planned parenthood. The Lancet, 386(9997), 941. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00113-0

In this journal article, “Anti-Abortion Groups Target Funding of Planned Parenthood,” Sharmila Devi reports of the various strategies used by anti-abortion groups of terminating the Planned Parenthood organization. Devi discusses the heavily falsified and graphic video, released by David Daleiden, the leader of the anti-abortion group, Center for Medical Progress (CMP), claims that Planned Parenthood is conducting illegal acts, altering abortions and selling fetal tissue for profits. Devi observes that abortions make up 3% of the services at Planned Parenthood but many women are in support of the organization because it provides various services such as screenings, check-up and contraceptives. Center for Medical Progress, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Charlotte Lozier Institute claim that if Planned Parenthood was defunded, there are health centers that are able to provide services to lower-income women, however, Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University argue that the situation would be dire if there are millions of women will have to wait or travel to other states in order to receive care. Rosenbaum claims that most health centers are currently unable to provide medical assistance to many communities, and it would be nearly impossible to provide care for these women if there is an abrupt change. Devi reminds the reader that even though President Obama has stated that defunding Planned Parenthood would be a federal violation, the organization is currently restricted from using federal funds to perform any future abortion procedures. The intended audience varies because the primary goal of this article is to inform the reader of the current events surrounding Planned Parenthood.

This article provides information of some of the well known anti-abortion groups and their views, this will be helpful in answering my research question because in order to deliver my argument, I have to review the oppositions of funding Planned Parenthood.

Laguens, D. (2013). Planned parenthood and the next generation of feminist activists. Feminist Studies, 39(1), 187-191.

In the journal article, “Planned Parenthood And The Next Generation Of Feminist Activists,” Dawn Laguens argue that despite the belief that millennials are not as active in important causes such as the feminist movement or their thoughts on abortion rights, the younger generation is more involved than many people believe. Laguens reminds the reader of the significant role Planned Parenthood has played in the lives of many young women, as well as the negative effects that would transpire due to defunding Planned Parenthood. Laguens insist that the problem is not that millennials have limited understanding in these issues but the problem is the method of communication. Laguens reports that in 2011, “state legislatures nearly tripled the previous record of provisions restricting abortion” which is the sum of one hundred and thirty-five. Laguens claims that in mid-2012, “states enacted thirty-nine new provisions that restrict a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion.” Laguens asserts that in some states, prior to an abortion, the mandatory ultrasound laws which are in place to require physicians to perform an ultrasound and deliver information that is not based in science. Laguens suggests that because of these restrictions, it is crucial that the younger generation understand the seriousness of these issues in order to move forward and “deliver on the promise of Roe v. Wade, the promise of equity and equality that generations of women have fought for, the promise of a world where women make their own decisions and have full access to healthcare, no matter who they are or where they live.” Laguens advocates that society should strengthen these feminists beliefs and allow the younger generation to fully grasp the issues surrounding women’s rights.

The intended audience of this article are the younger generation and as a millennial, I can relate to this article on a personal level and this is will be helpful in answering my research question because it targets a certain demographic and it is important to examine different aspects.

Schenker, J. G., & Eisenberg, V. H. (1997). Ethical issues relating to reproduction control and women’s health. International Journal Of Gynecology And Obstetrics, 58(1), 167-176.

In the medical journal article, “Ethical Issues Relating To Reproduction Control And Women’s Health,” from the International Journal of Gynecology And Obstetrics, J. G. Schenker and  V. H. Eisenberg emphasize on the importance of women’s reproductive rights. Schenker and Eisenberg praise the development of various methods of contraception and insist on the positive impact they have on women’s health such as lowering the risk of sexually transmitted disease, endometrial and ovarian cancer. Schenker and Eisenberg insist that it is imperative that women are thoroughly educated on the resources that are available to them and necessary for their overall well-being. According to Schenker and Eisenberg, the pro-life belief of a fetus as a “patient” denounces women’s autonomy. Schenker and Eisenberg advocate that women have the right to abortion, their basic health care needs and they are free to make their own choices for which they should not be condemned by society. Schenker and Eisenberg argue that women are constantly oppressed by society due to their gender and the belief that the primary role of women is to procreate. Schenker and Eisenberg remind the reader that in many cases the topic of abortion is whether the procedure should be legal or illegal but the law should not be involved in women’s health. Schenker and Eisenberg advocate that the government and the society should encourage women’s autonomy and protect their basic human rights. The intended audience of this article are people who advocate equal rights for women, but Schenker and Eisenberg’s view may contradict many people’s beliefs and values regarding women’s reproductive rights.

This article may be useful to my research question because it reflects and strengthens my views on women’s rights.

The Editorial Board (2015, December 19). A Bad Year For Reproductive Rights: [Editorial]. The New York Times, p. 10.

In the article, “A Bad Year For Reproductive Rights,” published in The New York Times, members of the Editorial Board review the significant role politics played in 2015 regarding the issue of women’s reproductive rights. This news article is most likely to generate attention from readers who are in support for women’s reproductive rights. The Editorial Board reports that there were 57 new constraints on women’s rights to abortion and the possibility of more constraints that inevitably rise in 2016. The Board discuss the TRAP laws, known as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers and the affect is has on women across several states with strict anti-abortion views. These laws have forced many abortion clinics restrict their services forcing women to seek out help from other states. The Board reminds the audience that due to these laws and restrictions on women’s rights to choose, there is an increase in the possibility that many women will attempt to terminate a pregnancy without any medical help or knowledge. The Board warn that in many states where these are incredibly strict, termination of a pregnancy, women may face charges for attempted murder. The Board support their claim by providing results from a survey that “estimated that 100,000 to 240,000 Texas women ages 18 to 49 have attempted a self-induced abortion without medical assistance.” The results from the study show that these women most likely lack basic resources such as contraceptives most likely due to financial needs. The Board claim that Arizona and Arkansas “passed laws requiring doctors to give women misleading information about the possibility of “reversing” a medication-induced abortion.” The Board assert that even though “modern, evidence-based drug protocol for medication abortion” is more effective and inexpensive, Arkansas has banned this method to be practiced in clinics. The Editorial Board insist that these laws should be overruled not only because of their effects on women’s health but also because politics or politicians have no right to take away women’s right make decisions regarding their bodies. Many politicians, majority of the members of the Republican Party have attempted to shut down family planning services such as Planned Parenthood, which provides lower-income women with various services.

This article is useful because it presented an overview of the most recent events related to women’s rights issues and that is relevant to my research question.

Topulos, M.D., G. P., Greene, M.D., M. F., & Drazen, M.D., J. M. (2015). Planned parenthood at risk. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(10), 963. doi:10.1056/NEJMe1510281

In the journal article, “Planned Parenthood At Risk,” from the New England Journal of Medicine, George P. Topulos, M.D., Michael F. Greene, M.D., and Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D., report that Planned Parenthood is under attack by anti-abortion groups. This article was released in September 2015 when a fabricated video surfaced showing the organization’s misuse of fetal tissue donations. Topulos et al. acknowledge Planned Parenthood for following ethical guidelines and support the utilization of fetal tissue that were donated by women in order to medical purposes. The authors also praise the organization’s endeavor to help not only millions of women but also a number men across the United States. The authors use data from 2013, collected from Planned Parenthood to show that the organization “provided services to 2.7 million women, men, and young people during 4.6 million health center visits. At least 60% of these patients benefited from public health coverage programs such as the nation’s family-planning program (Title X) and Medicaid. At least 78% of these patients lived with incomes at or below 150% of the federal poverty level.”The authors report that Planned Parenthood have provided some of the most essential services such as “400,000 Pap tests, nearly 500,000 breast examinations, nearly 4.5 million tests for sexually transmitted illnesses (including HIV), and treatments” to their patients. Although the authors are in support for Planned Parenthood and their intended audience are supporters of the organization, this article is beneficial to individuals in understanding the importance of Planned Parenthood.

This article is helpful for my research question because it includes credible sources that provide accurate statistics and reaffirms my views on the importance of Planned Parenthood clinics.

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Stand Up For Women’s Health image via Google

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The Importance of Proper Care

In the article, Practices Regarding Rape Related Pregnancies In U.S. Abortion Care Settings, Rachel Murphy, M.D., MPH, Molly Murphy, MPH, Kristin M. Rankin, PhD, Allison Cowett, MD, MPH, Bryna Harwood, MD, MS., observe the process of post-assault care for rape victims and the ramifications of rape. Murphy et al. (2015) report the care patients currently receive in many clinics and hospitals and they support their claim by collecting data and statistics of rape related pregnancies and abortions through out the United States. 

Murphy et al. (2015) support their claims by providing the reader with multiple scientific findings conducted by them, as well as national data collected acquired from other sources. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists emphasizes on the importance of proper patient care for those who were victims of sexual assault. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists insist that proper patient care “includes attention to acute physical trauma, counseling and provision of emergency contraception if indicated, mental health care, and tests or prophylaxis for sexually transmitted infections.” These are some of the most crucial procedures that many clinics fail practice and provide to women. 

Murphy et al. acknowledge that often many people overlook some of the serious results of rape, such as “physical injury, sexually transmitted disease, and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.” The authors insist that the stigma attached to rape makes it difficult for women to ask for help. This is not only because rape victims are often afraid or feel shame, but also because physical and psychological trauma play a major role in their decision making. The authors remind us that many women are only aware of very few options available to them. However, the authors believe physicians and primary care providers have the resources and encourage them to provide women with more help, not only in physical checkups, but also in emergency contraceptives to prevent pregnancies, counseling and support for their mental health. 

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Statistics of rape victims throughout different races. Image via Google.

R e s e a r c h

Research. The word is a form of stressor for many people. Depending on the level of formality necessary for an assignment, it can be very overwhelming to even began the process of writing a research paper. However, with all of the resources at the library and more conveniently on the internet, research has become more accessible to everyone. 

For my research paper, I chose my topic based on my career goal as well as my interest in the feminist movement. I have decided to become a gynecologist and my decision to pursue this particular field in medicine is because I am a feminist. I believe in equality and I have seen many young women and girls who have had their personal autonomy taken away from them due to societal expectations based on their gender, culture, age and race. 

To narrow down my research topic, I will be focusing on the lack of independence available to women in the medical field regarding wage gap between male and female doctors, discrimination against women, not only because of their gender but also because of women with different racial backgrounds. These are a few of the topics I want to delve into during my research. I believe to thoroughly answer a specific research question, I will be using multiple topics, such as the ones listed above, to support my paper because these issues are related to one another. 

I am very passionate about these issues and during the research process, I hope to gain more knowledge about these specific topics and work alongside others who are equally as passionate about these controversies as I am. 

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Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project. Image via Hello Giggles. 

 

The Ineffective Conversation

In a recent medical journal article, “The Secret of the Care of the Patient Is in Knowing and Applying the Evidence about Effective Clinical Communication,” RM Frankel and HB Sherman argue that the lack of comprehensive communication between doctors and patients lead to ineffective overall patient care. The authors use data collected from the Institute of Medicine, multiple case studies and various types of research on modern patient care and the dynamics between a physician and patient during routine appointments. Frankel and Sherman report that IOM estimated “between 44,000 and 98,000 lives are lost in hospitals every year due to preventable errors, 80% of which could be traced back to breakdowns in communication.” Based on these findings, Frankel and Herman encourage the revision of patient-care for current doctors and to educate new doctors, as well as their patients to prevent any future loss or consequences resulting from insufficient communication.

Throughout the article, Frankel and Sherman emphasize the term “patient-centered,” which was coined in 1986 by Howard Levenstein, a South African physician, who believed that in order to efficiently treat a patient, doctors must consider some psychological and social aspects. Frankel and Sherman use case studies to convey the ineffectiveness and efficacy of clinical communication skills that are used in practice. The authors provide different ways doctors can improve their patient care habits by considering the guidelines of the Biopsychosocial model, which is an approach often used in modern medicine that examines the biological, psychological and social factors of the patient.

Frankel and Sherman compare and contrast past and present treatments of patients when there were no cures for diseases, physicians were able to provide compassion and empathy as a source of medicine, which they believe is the key to improving patients’ health care. The authors believe that the old tradition of compassion as medicine has proven to be successful over the years, however, often this method is viewed outdated or time consuming for clinical practice. Frankel and Sherman state that “communication, by its nature, is inherently relational,” and that meticulous communication is imperative to efficiently care for patients and to establish trust between physicians and their patients.

Frankel, RM, and HB Sherman. “The Secret of the Care of the Patient Is in Knowing and Applying the Evidence About Effective Clinical Communication.” Oral Diseases (2015), Vol. 21: 919-926. John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2014.

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