On February 10, a resolution of government funding was drafted which will cut $327 million that fund family planning organizations such as Planned Parenthood. The resolution is part of a larger move to lessen the country’s $1.5 trillion deficit this year. According to Mother Jones, currently, the government funding that such organizations receive is $327 million, which means that if the new resolution passes, the House will remove any government funding for Planned Parenthood. The money that these organizations receive funds birth control, cancer screenings and other subsidized contraceptive services that low-income women would otherwise not be able to afford. However, many argue that these organizations can be funded privately and there are concerns that these organizations fund controversial abortion services.
The Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies Meika Loe said the budget cuts greatly affects college students because “while they may have access to the resources they need while at college, college graduates are historically among the least covered by health insurance and therefore highly likely to seek out health services like that of Planned Parenthood that are available to all on a sliding scale.”
Nationally, some conservatives and liberals are objecting to the proposal to eliminate all funding for family planning. Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, along with New York Congressman Richard Hanna, are a few of the conservative members that are speaking out against their own party. They believe family planning and health services for women are essential social goods.
A local Planned Parenthood affiliate Beth LeGere said, “Many years ago, Republicans were leading the fight to preserve women’s health. Only in the last 20 plus years since the ‘conservatives’ have really started making waves have ‘Republicans’ walked away from these preventive services.”
First-year Eliza Aierstuck opposes the budget cuts. She said the proposed budget cuts fail to fund Title X, which is America’s family planning program started by President Richard Nixon in 1970. Aierstuck said, “By eliminating any funding for Planned Parenthood, the government is only increasing its funding for unsuccessful abstinence-only programs.”
In response to the budget cuts, LeGere said, “Colgate has taken a leading role in educating individuals about what Planned Parenthood means to the community and the health care services our centers offer.” The Women’s Study Center plans on hosting brown bag events on pregnancy and birth control. Women’s Studies also plans to complete Planned Parenthood action cards to be sent to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand as well as “Birth Control Matters” post-cards that students can sign which specifically address the birth control issue.