Gov. Gary Herbert vs. Planned Parenthood
Utah’s Planned Parenthood became the target of Governor Gary Herbert following the viral video footage that allegedly showed Planned Parenthood employees discussing selling fetal tissues in August 2015. Herbert tried to cut off funding from the organization after viewing said videos, leading Planned Parenthood to sue the governor’s office in order to maintain funding. Recently, a federal judge ruled in Planned Parenthood’s favor, claiming that Herbert’s attempts to block funding were political in nature.
The court ruling protects Planned Parenthood from further attempts to block its funding and guarantees that the state cannot break its contract with the organization without legitimate cause. This means Herbert and his staff cannot defund a program simply because they watched misleading videos about abortion services.
In short, 2015-2016 has been a rocky year for the contraceptive provider, which has raised questions about what they actually do. According to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, abortion accounts for about 3% of the total health services provided. However, this seems to overshadow the amount of good the organization actually does.
According to released court documents, the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah assisted over 50,000 Utahns in 2015, 86% of whom were uninsured. They also do not discriminate against anyone who seeks assistance, regardless of health insurance status or economic, ethnic, cultural or demographic standing in Utah. Planned Parenthood provides basic medical treatment, cancer screenings and contraceptives to those who would not have access otherwise.
Herbert’s attempt to defund the program is a slight against the people of Utah who depend on the basic services provided by Planned Parenthood. Had he been successful, thousands of ethnic Utahns and young people (mostly women) would not be able to receive contraceptives, proper breast and cervical cancer screenings or STD testing.
While many may not agree with abortion, it is a tiny fraction of the services provided by Planned Parenthood clinics. Remember this the next time a governor tries to defund a program that helps those in need.
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Editor in Chief and life-long student