Are we the only ones who are a bit shocked that the debate over federal funding for Planned Parenthood is still going on? As we told you last week, Republicans are attempting to cut off the organization from all government money, which would leave a huge number of women across the country without access to affordable birth control, pap tests, breast exams, and screening and treatment of STDs, among other things. Seems like a no brainer to keep the door of PP open, right?
Well, part of the reason it may not be so clear to many people is that there’s a lot of misinformation going around about PP and what that government money goes to.
Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl recently said in a speech about why PP shouldn’t get federal funding, “You don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked. If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”
In actuality, abortions make up only three percent of PP’s services. The majority of what they offer are those important health screenings and preventative measures we mentioned above. Senator Kyl’s office later issued a statement, explaining that what he said “was not intended to be a factual statement”. Oh! Here we were thinking that when politicians gave public speeches, they had researched what they were talking about so that they could be sure they were delivering only factual information to their constituents.
Around the same time that Senator Kyl delivered his erroneous statements, the show Fox & Friends on cable’s Fox News Channel reported—again, incorrectly—that PP isn’t as necessary as people think because the health services they offer, such as pap smears, are also offered at Walgreens. But a Walgreens spokesperson quickly issued a statement refuting the Fox & Friends report: “Neither Walgreens, nor its in-store healthcare clinics, Take Care Clinics, offer pap smears or breast exams,” Take Care Clinic spokeswoman Lauren Nestler told the site Media Matters.
New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins had a great piece recently on the debate. If you’re looking to get more information, we highly recommend checking it out.
And be sure to find out what you can do to protect your sexual health.
Article republished from Cosmopolitan: