UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | July 12, 2024

Planned Parenthood funding cuts unacceptable

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I looked down in disbelief at the two pink lines on the stick: I was pregnant.

As a single 19-year-old, I didn’t want my parents finding out just yet. So instead of going to my regular doctor, I went to Planned Parenthood because I knew it would give me accurate information without sending a bill in the mail for my parents to find.

It was the first time I had been there, and I felt out of place. I asked to be tested again to make sure I was in fact pregnant.

When the nurse returned, she told me the test was positive. I was noticeably upset, but she didn’t ask me why. She didn’t ask me what I wanted to do next. I was young, single, and despite what she might have thought I should do with the baby, I felt I was safely able to decide for myself. No one there was pushing me in one direction or another.

I ended up miscarrying that pregnancy, and Planned Parenthood helped me get through a difficult, confusing time in my life and answered countless questions I had. 

Gov. Gary Herbert’s decision to take away its funding is more than just wrong; it’s taking away a person’s right to education.

The decision to stop distributing federal funds to the Planned Parenthood clinics across Utah came about after a video was released that showed officials from the organization bargaining the price of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses. 

According to an an article written by KSL, Planned Parenthood Spokesman Eric Ferrero said the fetal issue is donated for scientific research by patients who fully consent to it. It also isn’t the only organization that uses fetal tissue for science.

Baylee Maxwell, a freshman general education major from Salt Lake City, said she thinks the governor’s decision is “silly” because people aren’t going to stop getting abortions if Planned Parenthood is gone.

“I feel like if the mother doesn’t want the baby anyway, why not use it for something scientific, something that’s going to help society, or something that’s going to give us knowledge about our bodies?” Maxwell said.

Maxwell said she would never personally have an abortion, but it’s not her choice to make for someone else, and it shouldn’t ever be a choice made by another person. 

It’s unfortunate Planned Parenthood is associated so closely with abortion because I know several people who seek out its testing and educational services but would never have an abortion. 

A receptionist at the St. George location said it’s going to continue to provide its services to the community despite the lack of funding.

“We’re here to stay, (and) we’re here for the patients,” she said. 

According to an article written by the Salt Lake Tribune, Gov. Herbert said the funding that would have gone to Planned Parenthood is going to “other qualified providers.” 

However, Planned Parenthood is already a qualified provider of information on sexually transmitted diseases and abstinence education. Telling the public to seek out other providers is confusing since Planned Parenthood has historically been a well-known place for people to seek help. People go to Planned Parenthood not only because it’s a pay-what-you-can clinic, but also because they trust its staff to give the same quality service they would get at another, more expensive, provider. 

Regardless of what your stance on abortion is, supporting the governor’s decision is ignorant because he’s attempting to take away a resource many individuals and families rely on. Rather than getting wrapped up in the politics of it all, you should ask yourself: What’s more important, making sure everyone knows you’re a pro-life activist or supporting the community’s right to STD testing and confidential sex education?