Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Pro-Life group advocated for anti-feminist claims

Augustana’s pro-life club demonstrates in partnership with Illinois Students for Life of America on Monday, April 1. The posters show statistics from Planned Parenthood, gathered from the annual 2017-2018 Planned Parenthood report. Photo by Emily Jacobson.

On Monday, Augustana’s pro-life organization displayed anti-Planned Parenthood messaging and crosses signifying the amount of daily abortions performed in an effort to advocate for defunding Planned Parenthood. Augustana’s pro-life group had no justified means to promote defunding an accessible healthcare provider for women in need.
In an attempt to justify and back up their claims, the group displayed and handed out cards with multiple statistics that painted Planned Parenthood in a negative light. Although I am an advocate for safe care for women, many of these claims against Planned Parenthood were under a false premise or didn’t provide the full story, with many cherry-picked pieces of evidence.  
In one handout their card claims, “[Planned Parenthood] is not an investment in healthcare. They are an investment in abortion.” This is false information since the Hyde Amendment of 1976 blocks federal funding from abortion services. In fact, the only exceptions to federal funding for an abortion are if the mother’s life is in danger or in the case of rape or incest.
In other words, any funding that goes towards Planned Parenthood clinics is not an investment towards abortions but solely an investment towards women’s health services. So, why does this pro-life group want to essentially get rid of clinics that provide health care services to women that are already paid through our taxes? Even then, it wouldn’t even be unreasonable for our taxes to go towards abortions since a women’s choice to have control over her own body should be a right, regardless of her financial status.  
In a continuous effort to convince the public that Planned Parenthood services are unsafe, another handout listed specific rare cases where women had received failed safe abortions, such as the tragic case of Tonya Reaves.
However, according to the National Library of Medicine fewer than 1 percent of first-trimester abortions result in complications, with the majority 89 percent of legal abortions happening in the first trimester. So, although there are rare cases when accidents can happen, the majority 99 percent of abortions are actually completed safely. 
Personally, I’d rather there be women receiving safe abortions through Planned Parenthood versus women performing unsafe abortions on themselves if they no longer can get easy access to a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Further, this group falsely claims that defunding Planned Parenthood would increase the safety of women. However, in states such as Texas, pregnancy related deaths doubled after a decrease in funding towards Planned Parenthood. In other words, while this group is making statements from false premises, instances of defunding Planned Parenthood show a different trend about the safety of women. 
The Texas case provides evidence that what anti-Planned Parenthood advocates stand for could potentially contribute to an increase in pregnancy related deaths. Obviously, this isn’t right since women deserve the highest possible chance of a safe pregnancy.
Another card also claims: “Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s) can do more with your money.” This statement is similar to the common belief among pro-lifer’s that FQHC’s can be an effective replacement for Planned Parenthood.
However, the Guttmacher Institute found that although FQHC’s also provide family planning services, they could not effectively replace and take in the millions of clients already served by Planned Parenthood.
As a result, defunding Planned Parenthood would create an inadequate number of clinics where women can receive care. Frankly, anyone who wants women to struggle to find care for family planning is undeserving to have their opinion shouted on a campus like Augustana, where the students care for one another.
Essentially, continuous funding of Planned Parenthood is crucial to the health of women. And it is inequitable for Augustana’s pro-life group to advocate for an anti-feminist cause that would result in the reproductive safety of women to be in jeopardy.  

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Pro-Life group advocated for anti-feminist claims