Through My Eyes… Our government does not control female bodies


Story by Lucy Smithwick, Co-Editor-In-Chief

By the age of 50, Margaret Sanger had been arrested no less than eight times. However, she was not a violent criminal. She just wanted accessible birth control. 

Being a women’s rights activist, Sanger wanted women to be able to prevent a pregnancy that could greatly harm their lives. After being a doctor’s assistant, she knew birth control information that the general public was not aware of. She spent her life fighting for the introduction of accessible birth control into society, eventually creating what is now the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother,” Sanger said.

More than 100 years later, the goal of Planned Parenthood has stayed the same: to keep birth control accessible. 

One of the most controversial resources they offer is abortion procedures. In some people’s opinion, abortion is immoral and should be abolished and this is all they see Planned Parenthood as being. I see it in a different way: a woman should have the right to choose what she does with her body. Planned Parenthood is the best route used to achieve this goal.

However, many people, lawmakers even, are still adamant that abortion is murder and that Planned Parenthood is the biggest enemy in the situation. In fact, Vice President Mike Pence is leading the surge to “defund” family planning services, most notably Planned Parenthood.

His reasoning? The belief that birth control and counseling for STDs cannot coincide with abortion resources. 

In what world are those topics mutually exclusive? $450 million (the proposed amount of defunding of the organization) would remove not only the access to safe, emergency abortions but the resources that can be used to counsel any family on pregnancy options and what to do after they received an abortion. Not only that, but money from quality STD testing is removed, impacting everyone, not only women.

Defunding Planned Parenthood is a bad choice. The biggest fight from people who support the “pro-life” debate is that abortion is wrong and Planned Parenthood is known to provide abortions. What they don’t mention, however, is that federal funding cannot be used for an abortion, unless it is an emergency situation (when the mother’s life is at risk). 

Another major problem with the decision is the removal of safe procedures and services. Planned Parenthood currently sees more than 2 million patients. With the passing of this legislation, more than 600 health centers will be shut down, removing the fast access from the people who need the services. 

Abortions are already completely dependent on the person who performs them. With the ban of affordable and safe practices, females who need the services are being put in danger. If something goes wrong during the procedure, a human life will be killed. If the “pro-life” fight is all about saving the lives of innocent humans, why are lawmakers sentencing women to die by restricting their access to a trustworthy procedure or even a procedure at all?

Take this hypothetical, often called the Violinist Analogy. You are unwillingly attached to another, less healthy person who is draining your energy — a human parasite. If you stay together, they’re more likely to live than you. Even if you live, you would have to live with the physical repercussions of giving up your life for another person. The attachment itself causes you constant discomfort, if not pain. If you detach, they will die. Would it be morally wrong to detach yourself? 

Most people would answer no.

Lawmakers who have not experienced the benefits that Planned Parenthood can provide have no right to make laws judging whether or not a person can afford necessary health counseling, much less a person’s control of their body. 

The law desperately needs to be reversed. Until then, people who want to keep the advantages given by Planned Parenthood need to fight for it. 

I stand with Planned Parenthood. Do you?