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POV: Planned Parenthood: To be or not to be

AAUW has always held the position that women’s health care should never be used as a political issue. Politicians should not use these issues for their own political gain. Health care is a right and not a privilege. All individuals should have access to affordable and quality care.

There are some misconceptions concerning the services provided by Planned Parenthood. The organization has been one of the leading health care providers for women. It provides important health care services, sex education, and sexuality information. According to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the organization has “provided nearly five million people worldwide with the means to make responsible choices about their sexual and reproductive health.”

Planned Parenthood 2010 Annual Affiliate Service Census Report indicates that 38 percent of their services are for STI/STD testing and treatment for both women and men, 33.5 percent for contraception, 14.5 percent for cancer screening and prevention, 10.4 percent for pregnancy tests and prenatal services, 3 percent for abortion services, and 0.6 percent for adoption referrals, family practice services. The organization is also involved in international activities.

According to the federation, “we provide health care and education through local partners and advocate for sound U.S. foreign policies that affect sexual and reproductive health and rights globally.” Their international efforts have attempted to build global partnerships for the purpose of sharing ideas and professional expertise that connect health care and education with advocacy.

In many instances, this organization is vital for women’s health care needs such as cancer screenings, especially for low income women. AAUW and Planned Parenthood share core health care values. Both organizations believe that extended health care should be provided for millions of people who do not have insurance. They support increased access to quality preventive care, and lifesaving screenings for breast and cervical cancer. These organizations are against charging women higher insurance premiums than men, and they believe that insurance coverage should not be denied because of preexisting health conditions.

AAUW supports Planned Parenthood and also the efforts of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It is AAUW’s hope that both organizations will always continue to work together for the improvement and the advancement of women’s health care in the United States and internationally especially in the area of early cancer detection.

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