Will The Attack On Planned Parenthood Hurt African Americans The Most?

No matter where you fall as it relates to abortion, young people and access to sexual health, or introducing contraception to young folks you have to know that there will be serious consequences for decreasing funding for Planned Parenthood’s work. The bottom line is that less money for Planned Parenthood will mean less access for the underserved and often forgotten….those usually without healthcare or a primary physician. What this impact could look like…..only time will tell. Check out what Lori Adelman from The Grio.com thinks about it below and then weigh in with your thoughts.

In Ms. Williams’* health class at a South Central Los Angeles high school, the students were full of questions.

“Where can I get checked out if I don’t have a lot of money?”

“Do those birth control pills my sister bought off the street corner really work?”

“Should I be nervous about the quality of care I’ll receive at the local clinic?”

Ms. Williams’ students reflect the mindset and situation of many Planned Parenthood clients: They understand the importance of “getting checked out”, but are often living in poverty, uninsured, or under-informed about where to obtain health services. And many of them are women and men of color. In 2009, 15 percent of Planned Parenthood clients were black. That’s more than 400,000 people. The number of black patients has been steadily increasing in recent years, with the number of black men visiting Planned Parenthood clinics increasing by a whopping 225 percent over the past 9 years.

Such are the inadvertent casualties of last Friday’s Republican-led attack on Planned Parenthood. In a measure known as the Pence Amendment (named for its sponsor congressman Mike Pence), the organization would be prohibited from receiving federal funds for any of its activities. The Pence Amendment was approved 240-185.

If the resolution is allowed to go into law as is, the nation’s most trusted name in sexual and reproductive health care will lose government support to provide family planning, contraception, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual medical exams, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections to millions of Americans.

Such a budget cut would trickle down to Planned Parenthood’s more than 820 local health centers nationwide and have devastating consequences for people like Ms. Williams’ students, who have few health care options, are predominantly black, and rely on the services of local clinics for access to high-quality and low-cost sexual and reproductive care.

As Ms. Williams sees it, the government is moving in the wrong direction by voting to defund the beloved health care organization. “We don’t need the government to be taking away funding from these clinics; if anything we need to be strengthening and increasing their efforts,” she stated. “Especially in the black community, we need more information and services because there is so much unmet need.”

The “unmet need” Williams refers to is real. According to a recent Hart Research survey, 54 percent of African-American women ages 18-34 have experienced difficulty purchasing birth control and using it consistently because it was too expensive. And African-American women have almost three times the unintended pregnancy rate of white women.

It’s obvious that our community can’t afford to have our services cut back now.

B Intentional Family, weigh in on this. Do you think cutting back Planned Parenthood’s funding will cut off critical healthcare options for black folks the most and do you think that it’s a sacrifice that needs to be made or will it make the issues worse?

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2 replies
  1. Peter Sage
    Peter Sage says:

    Contraception and other birth control services empower black women. Planned Parenthood helps young women, black and white, take control of their bodies.

    But it also has a downside. Black population in America would be much, much higher if blacks lost access to Planned Parenthood services. What is good for the current generation of women is bad for the long term potential of a black-majority-America. Republican congressmen who are fighting Planned Parenthood are actually doing the black-majority-America cause a good service. Fifty years from now, if black women have 3-5 children each, while more prosperous white Americans keep having only 2 children, we will have an entirely different look to America.
    Latino 20%, Black 30%, Asian 5%, Mixed 10%, and White only 40%.

    There is a bright side to the current Republican attack on contraception services from Planned Parenthood: we will reshape the country's demographics.

    I personally support Planned Parenthood, because I support the empowerment of women to control their own bodies. But I recognize that white America owes a special debt to black people for 250 years of slavery. And denial of contraception will hurt all women now, and especially black women, but it will create the black voter majorities which will sow the seeds of destruction for the current practitioners of anti-black, anti-brown, anti-immigrant, and anti-contraception policies

  2. K.O.
    K.O. says:

    This is not a sacrifice that needs to be made. Although Planned Parenthood has a bad reputation, so many of their services are absolutely necessary for uninsured people and people who don't have access to quality care or regular doctors. Just to see the increase in Black men using their services is great. I can't imagine what losing Planned Parenthood would do for our young people and their access to birth control, and disease testing. No Bueno fam. I'm not feeling this one.

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