GOP and Democrats fail to see eye to eye on Planned Parenthood

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Christian Alvarez, Copy Editor

Washington remains divided on government support of Planned Parenthood, as the left stand firm on its approval of the organization whereas the right continue their efforts to defund it.

Since assuming majority control of both houses of Congress, conservatives in the nation’s capital are audaciously vocal about their opinion on the organization that provides maternal and child health services. Mixed opinions persist within the entire Republican party in and of itself, but most conservative politicians feel the need to challenge its existence altogether. The non-profit organization receives close to $500 million in government subsidies a year (CNN), raising some concern from the GOP concerns about the practicality of utilizing a substantial portion of taxpayer dollars for what they deem a “controversial” cause. Aside from the practicality of using such funds, the right also questions the morality of the institution, citing the practice of abortion as inhumane and unjust to human life (U.S News).

The left wing has also chimed in with their views on the issue by reaffirming their continued support for Planned Parenthood, emphasizing a more liberal rhetoric. They describe the organization as an institution that defends women’s health and protection. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren voiced her opinion when she addressed the Senate to elaborate on the negative impacts of defunding Planned Parenthood.

She criticized her conservative colleagues by concluding that “the Republican plan to defund Planned Parenthood is a Republican plan to defund women’s health care”(C-Span).

Though popular culture and media often focus on the birth control aspect of Planned Parenthood, there is a resounding amount of details often left out which  corroborate Sen. Warren’s statement. The nonprofit organization also helps in screening women for breast and cervical cancer, consulting couples on pregnancy options and treating sexually transmitted diseases for both men and women (Planned Parenthood).

Stances on Planned Parenthood are purely subjective and can be interpreted in a variety of ways, but one thing is definitive about the political atmosphere regarding the issue: both parties’ willingness to go to extreme lengths to defend their positions. Senate Republicans, including Sen. Tim Scott from South Carolina and presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have already stated they will fight for a bill to defund the organization even if it brings about another government shutdown. In response, the Democrats have retaliated by threatening to filibuster any attempts, thus rendering them futile (CNN).

The legitimacy of Planned Parenthood, like many other social issues of American society today, proves to be another factor which splits the two largest political parties in the nation. Neither side look willing to concede this particular point to the other, which means Americans should expect more gridlock and heated debate in the  months to come.