When Donald Trump was campaigning for president, one of the issues that was consistently at the forefront of my mind was that of women’s health – my health – and I was scared. And I wasn’t alone.
During his campaign, his obvious sexism came out over and over again, each remark and incident seeming even more sexist and misogynistic than the last. From threatening to sue and calling the several women that came forward about having been sexually harassed liars to basically giving men the go-ahead to assault women, it became pretty evident to me, and to people all around the world, that this man has an inherent hatred for women.
Throughout his campaign, Trump vowed to make it harder for women to access birth control via the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which would also cut women off from receiving other basic forms of health care, including essential procedures like mammograms and Pap smears, basically stripping women of their basic healthcare and bodily autonomy.
At the Republican Presidential Debate of February 26, 2016, Trump said this about Planned Parenthood:
As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life. I’m totally against abortion, having to do with Planned Parenthood. But millions and millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood.
So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood that are helped greatly. And I wouldn’t fund it.
I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. I don’t know what percentage it is. They say it’s 3 percent. But I would defund it, because I’m pro-life. But millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.
Okay, so there are several things about this statement that I could bring up to criticize it. Like the fact that he says he doesn’t believe the fact that only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services are abortions, despite literally admitting that he doesn’t “know what percentage it is.” Or the fact that it’s full of logical fallacies and that he really can’t form a completely coherent sentence.
But instead, I’m going to focus on its contradictory nature.
Trump blatantly states that “millions and millions of women” receive healthcare from Planned Parenthood and are “helped greatly,” but then states that he doesn’t really care because they also provide abortions, too.
The man is so concerned with his own desires that he’s willing to overlook the needs of **literally** millions and millions of women that receive basic and life-saving health services from Planned Parenthood.
Despite what Trump might or might not know, Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2015 annual report (the most recent one that I could find) reports that, indeed, only 3% of services they provided were abortion services. The majority of their services, 45%, were STI/STD testing and treatment which, by the way, includes testing for women AND men.
The second most common service that Planned Parenthood provides, coming in at 31%, is different forms of contraception, which actually includes vasectomies. I mean, I’m no expert, but the fact that Planned Parenthood provides so many women with contraception is probably part of the reason why their abortion rate is so low. But that’s just me.
So, yeah, millions and millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood, but many men are, too. Defunding Planned Parenthood isn’t just a women’s issue – we need to stop pretending like it is.
But even if it were solely a women’s issue, why should that make it any less legitimate?