, 2010). This would also adversely impact younger, sexually active women more because they have a greater likelihood of having multiple partners and not being in a long-term relationship such as marriage or cohabitation (Sassler, Miller, and Favinger, 2009).
C. Unwanted Pregnancies
Linked to the issue of reduction in contraceptive use, there will be an increase in unwanted pregnancies, particularly for teen women (Harper et al., 2010). Cuts in funding that cause increases in the cost of birth control will lead to a decrease in use of birth control, leading to more unintended pregnancies. Planned Parenthood also offers services to terminate unintended or unwanted pregnancies through oral and surgical methods (Fjerstad et al., 2009).
A reduction in funding would likely make these services more expensive, which would add to the difficulties faced by poor women. Increased costs of contraception led to discontinuing birth control and engaging in unprotected sex that, in turn, led to an unintended pregnancy that cannot be terminated because of the increased costs of these services. Planned Parenthood has also developed means of terminating pregnancies that, over time, have decreased adverse effects such as serious infections (Fjerstad et al., 2009). Funding cuts would lead to decreased access to high quality reproductive health services for low income women.
D. Preventative Care and Education
Planned Parenthood also offers routine preventative care and offers education and counseling on sexual health issues (Tanne, 2011). Preventative care can help identify abnormal or precancerous cells in a woman's genital areas during a routine pap smear, helping prevent cancer or detect it much earlier (Klerman et al., 2007). Other diseases and conditions can be prevented or detected early for treatment with the services offered by PPFA. Education also contributes to a woman's ability to prevent reproductive health problems (Harper et al., 2010). Planned Parenthood helps educate youth on safe sex, helping prevent STDs and teen pregnancy (Damewood, 2008). Cuts in funding for Planned Parenthood would decrease the availability of education and reduce access to preventative care for poor and disadvantaged women.
III. Solutions, Implications, and Conclusion
In order to avoid the adverse impacts of funding reductions on poor and disadvantaged women, the simple solution is to avoid cuts in federal funding. However, the pressure of the economic recession (Gold, 2010), political promises to cut government spending (Tanne, 2011), and political controversy that comes with supporting Planned Parenthood (Berry, 2009) makes no cuts at all an unlikely solution. The necessary compromise is to cut some funding, but ensure funding for essential services such as preventative care and STI detection.
Unless Planned Parenthood can find funding from alternative sources, free services will have to be replaced with fee-for-service arrangements (Damewood, 2008). However, if federal funding is not completely cut, these services can remain deeply discounted. The slight increase in fees compounded with continuing most of the federal funding will protect the low income clientele that Planned Parenthood serves.
Berry, J. (2011, March 17). Planned Parenthood official: Politics behind measure to gut funding. Nashua Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/news/912706-196/planned-parenthood-official-politics-behind-measure.html
Claeys, V. (2010). Brave and angry -- the creation and development of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care 15(S2), S67-S76.
Damewood, a. (2008, June 9). Planned Parenthood funding cut. The Register-Guard, p. C19.
Devins, N.E. (2009). How Planned Parenthood v. Casey (Pretty Much) Settled the Abortion Wars. Yale Law Journal 118, 1318-1354.
Gold, R.B. (2010). Recession Taking Its Toll: Family Planning Safety Net Stretched Thin as Service Demand Increases. Guttmacher Policy Review 13(1), 8-12.
Harper, C.C., Brown, B.A., Foster-Rosales, a., and Raine, T.R. (2010). Hormonal contraceptive method choice among young, low-income women: How important is the provider? Patient Education and Counseling 81(2), 349-354.
Fjerstad, M., Trussell, J., Sivin, I., Lichtenberg, E.S., and Cullins, V. (2009). Rates of Serious Infection after Changes in Regimens for Medical Abortion. The New England Journal of Medicine 361(2), 145-151.
Klerman, L.V., Johnson, K.A., Chang, C., Wright-Slaughter, P., and Goodman, D.C. (2007). Accessibility of Family Planning Services: Impact of Structural and Organizational Factors. Maternal and Child Health Journal…