Abortion government funded health clinics - beneficial or harmful?


Contraceptive: something that is used in an attempt to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Restriction: To prohibit or deny

Conservative: In this article, it is the right-wing political ideology typically associated with the Republican party.

STD: a sexually transmitted disease.

IUD: an intrauterine device

Federal: relating to the central government of the United States.

Is there a connection between the use of contraceptives and abortions?

Many people are under the impression that the more contraceptive use there is, then more abortions will occur. However, in a study on the relationship between contraceptives and abortions the Guttmacher Policy Review concludes that an increased use of contraceptives, which could lead to fewer unintended pregnancies, likely had a larger impact on the decline of abortions compared to abortion restrictions. This is significant because the data leads convinces many to come to the logical conclusion that the government needs to be spending more time and resources on increasing contraceptives and less on creating new abortion restrictions. In a paper authored by Diane Duke Williams, Jeffrey Peipert, MD, PhD, a Washington University obstetrician and gynecologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital states that, “...we can reduce the rate of unintended pregnancy, and this is key to reducing abortions in this country”. Peipert’s comment further contributes to the argument that the most effective way of reducing the number of abortions in the US is to increase the amount of contraceptives available and used.

What are views of the side who oppose government funded contraceptives and abortions?

The pro life protesters, Conservatives, and those who are against the government funding health clinics have many different reasons for thinking the way that they do. Grace-Marie Turner, who is the president of the Galen Institute, states that the “Government would best attend to its legitimate functions rather than intruding further into the areas of morality and religious conviction.” People who think like her believe that reproductive rights should not be regulated by the government and the best way to prevent STDs and pregnancies is abstinence only. Jeanne F. Mancini who is the president of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, contributes to the argument that in a study conducted by the CDC they found that 1 in 4 sexually active teenage girls have an STD. This contributes to their argument that an increased use in contraceptives also increases teens’ “false sense of safety” during sex. They believe that after the chance of conception is reduced, due to contraceptives such as an IUD, that sex is then without punishments. People think that teens just have sex and don’t think about the other consequences of sex, such as STDs.

What would happen if government funded health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, are defunded?

The main argument from protesters of government funded health clinics is that their tax money will be used for things they do not believe in, such as abortions. However, according to William Saletan, writer for the website Slate, “federal law prohibits the use of public money for elective abortions, by Planned Parenthood or anyone else”. This means that if government funded health clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, would have a detrimental effect on society. Not having access to birth control nor other health services such as mammograms and pap smears will have a negative effect especially on low income women who do not have access to other forms of health insurance. Saletan later goes on to argue that without proper education on contraceptive use, the usefulness of them decrease. He says that, “...when used correctly condoms have a 2 percent failure rate”. Without the proper sex education or access to other forms of more reliable forms of contraception that government funded health clinics provide, there could be a sharp increase in unplanned pregnancies.

Who would be most benefitted by government funded contraceptives, abortions, and health clinics?

Women, especially women who have lower wages, will be the most impacted by the accessibility of health clinics, contraceptives, and abortions. By having the opportunity and choice either to terminate a pregnancy, take preventive measures against a pregnancy, and access to medical care, women will have more flexibility in the workforce and be able to take their personal health into their own hands without feeling pressured into a decision. Gracie-Marie Turner states that, “Many of the young women described in The Times article have had a difficult start in life… They see too few job opportunities, especially in poorer areas…”, while describing her opinion. While a majority of abortions are performed on economically struggling women, having more access to contraceptives, health clinics, and sex education could reduce the number of unintentional pregnancies. Also these government health clinics can help to reduce the number of maternal deaths due to childbirth, improper abortion techniques, and prenatal complications. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non profit organization that focuses on health issues, “Approximately one-third of maternal deaths could be prevented annually if women who did not wish to become pregnant had access to and used effective contraception”. This is drawing attention to that fact that many women die because of preventable complications during a pregnancy. Increasing the amount of government funded health clinics would help women become better educated on their reproductive systems and have access to affordable medical care and forms of contraception.

How divided is America on the subject of government-funded contraceptives and abortions?

Another issue revolving around the topic of government funded health clinics, contraceptives and abortions is that many Americans feel very strongly about their beliefs on both sides. About 59 percent of adults in the US believe that abortion should be legal in most cases whereas 37 percent believe abortions should be illegal in most cases according to Michael Lipka and John Gramlich, researchers for the Pew Research Center. Also 44 percent of people believe that having an abortion is morally wrong (Lipka, Gramlich). Most of the time those who are against abortions and other forms of contraception consider themselves to be pro life and very religious. Furthermore, the division in beliefs is also tied to a person’s political party. Likpa and Gramlich also state that Democrats are more likely to say that abortion should be legal in most cases than a Republican. The debate over whether or not to have an increased number of government funded health centers that provide medical services, contraceptive, and non government funded abortions, will continue to be a main point of discussion for many politicians and citizens alike.


This video is about a reporter who is talking about the Supreme Court decision to not pass a Texas law that would impose severe restrictions on the availability of abortions and other forms of health care and contraceptives.


Created with images by Sanjasy - "baby birth healthy baby" • ProgressOhio - "Protect Women's Health vertical"

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