Planned Parenthood is Important for American Women of Color
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Planned Parenthood has helped women with their reproductive needs and health for over 100 years. In current times, 1 out of 5 women has looked to Planned Parenthood for affordable health care. In the year 2014 alone, Planned Parenthood provided birth control for 4 million people, 4 million sexually transmitted disease tests, and over 360,000 breast exams. Although Planned Parenthood helps women from all demographics, their impact is substantial among women of color.
Many of Planned Parenthood’s patients are low-income women of color. According to Planned Parenthood themselves, “Seventy-five percent of Planned Parenthood patients have incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), and approximately 60 percent of Planned Parenthood patients access care through the Medicaid program and/or the Title X family planning program.” People of color are at a higher risk of unwanted pregnancies due to a lack of access to birth control and poor sex education. Additionally, women of color are more likely to die from childbirth because their pain is often belittled during hospital stays. Planned Parenthood wants to combat these problems by providing women of color a place to obtain affordable health care, however, the efforts by legislators all across the country to cut funding have negatively impacted Planned Parenthood, and subsequently, women of color.
The attacks on Planned Parenthood seemed to have grown in numbers and strength in recent years. Legislations across many of the states are made to cut funding from this organization. Furthermore, abortion bans also undermine Planned Parenthood’s goals of providing women with accessible and affordable birth control. These legislations ultimately make healthcare less accessible to many women. This is evident in my home state of Texas. The removal of Planned Parenthood from Texas’ state family program has caused a 35 percent decline in women using the most effective methods of birth control and a 27 percent increase in births in women who had previously used highly effective birth control. These numbers are just from Texas alone. The reality is that the attacks on Planned Parenthood by mostly male legislators have negatively impacted women, especially women of color. Most of the places in which Planned Parenthood has been threatened to have a high percentage of Latin and black patients. Women of color already suffer from inequities in the healthcare system and the attacks on Planned Parenthood are simply more evidence of this inequity.
It is vital that Planned Parenthood suffers no more attacks from outdated legislators. The truth is that many Americans, close to 75%, support Planned Parenthood. The American public knows that this organization is vital to many marginalized Americans and their health. It is important to challenge these legislations and protect a women’s right to their body and to affordable reproductive health care.