By SOFIA LYNCH
With President Barack Obama’s second term nearing its end, he is in a race against the clock to enact all the changes he foresaw in his presidency. With many issues already vying for the president’s attention all at once, the recent bill that was passed to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act doesn’t quite make much sense.
After many pushes from the Republican party to make this happen in the past, the bill squeaked its way through the Senate with the help of a special tool, a “budget reconciliation.” This tool allows the measure to clear the Senate with just 51 votes instead of the 60 votes typically required, according to CNN.
These two issues confronted through this bill are very crucial to the Republican party. So, with a passing of such a controversial bill, Republicans catapulted the issues they want to see changed into the public eye right before a major election. The method they used to get it there, however, was less than couth. Essentially, the Republicans of the Senate just said, “Na-na, na-na, boo-boo,” to President Obama and his presidency thus far. With every issue that lies at our country’s doorstep, you would think there are better things our legislation could be doing.
These playground tactics are one of the least upsetting pieces about this bill passing, however. What is upsetting is that a ludicrous piece of legislation on defunding Planned Parenthood should be even a blip on the radar of our nation’s leader at this time. Not only are there bigger fish to fry, but the idea of even defunding Planned Parenthood stems solely from a common misconception that it is an abortion clinic.
Abortion services represent 3 percent of what is offered at Planned Parenthood. Last year, they provided nearly 500,000 breast exams and nearly 400,000 Pap tests, according to Karen Shea, the director of medical standards at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, quoted by Forbes. They administered tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections and offered educational programs to prevent things like STI’s and unintended pregnancies.
Even if Planned Parenthood didn’t offer much more than abortions and contraception, a room full of men should not get to make the call on what a woman can do with her body. That, however, is entirely its own battle.
Planned Parenthood first and foremost serves as an educator and health provider. The name itself represents exactly the importance of this organization: it offers help with planning parenthood. Why should there be anything wrong with an organization that wants to help make sure children are conceived to parents that want them and are prepared to care for them?
Maybe instead of being so caught up on the idea of making sure every conceived life comes to fruition, more efforts should be focused on those lives that did come to be, but in poor circumstances, like all the children in foster care or all the families below the poverty line. Or maybe, just maybe, we should focus on the issues that actually need fixing, rather than taking an axe to issues that have already been addressed.