This past Sunday, October 16, the first-created Planned Parenthood in Brooklyn, New York celebrated its one hundred year anniversary. The institution was founded by three women who sought to distribute birth control and deliver advice and information about the medicine to people in need. These women were arrested for their acts, but their court case brought national attention to the controversy surrounding birth control and sex education. Many laws since this event have changed to offer retrievability of more contraceptives and counseling concerning sexual health.
Today, the use of contraceptives is more widely accepted than it was one hundred years ago. However, now we face a new polemic regarding abortion – mainly, mortality versus a woman’s right to choose. Beginning in 1970, Planned Parenthood also began acting as an abortion clinic. Originally, the institution did not advocate for abortions. Nevertheless, since the reversal of this philosophy, Planned Parenthood has been commonly associated with performing abortions.
For those who are pro-life, Planned Parenthood generated antagonists. The clinic faces criticism that spans from merely critical to ghastly and vile, and has been confronted with thousands of protests. In November of 2015, a gunman attacked the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood. The man claimed to be anti-abortion, and confessed his actions were to contend his beliefs.
Along with protests, lack of government funding for these institutions has caused hundreds of abortion clinics to close down. Many women seeking abortions have difficulty paying the expenses of traveling to a clinic, let alone finding one. Constricting laws of performing an abortion have also served to limit the number of women eligible, and even the safety of the procedure.
Supporters of abortion stand by Planned Parenthood. There are advocates in government fighting for the reopenings and financings of clinics. A poll taken by TIME magazine in 2015 reveals that 58% of people believe that the federal government should continue to fund Planned Parenthood, but this statistic is not drastic. Clearly, the topic of abortion is controversial. However, the 100-year anniversary of the first Planned Parenthood is a wakeup call to just how long we have conflicted over the righteousness of sexual health procedures. Hopefully we can resolve this dispute in the near future peacefully and effectively.