When it comes to healthcare, pro-choice and pro-life people seem to agree that women deserve safe and comprehensive care before, during, and after pregnancy.

It seems like everywhere we look there’s talk about “defunding” and we’d like to shift that mindset to one of “reallocation.” Many are concerned about low-income women who they feel might get lost in the fallout if Planned Parenthood is defunded. We wanted to address these concerns directly with our pro-choice and pro-life readers.

There seems to be major confusion and misinformation about the services offered at Planned Parenthood and the costs associated.

Planned Parenthood received $528 million in government funding last year and many assume they offer comprehensive services for free. For example, many believe they offer mammograms to women, however they do not now nor have they ever offered mammograms to any of their clients.

Many believe that they offer abortion services for free, but this is also not the case. Abortion is absolutely a for profit industry. Federal funding and other government monies cannot be used for abortions, which has been the case since 1976. A cursory search of the Planned Parenthood’s website shows they are charging up to $800 for the abortion pill and up to $1500 for in-clinic abortions.

But Planned Parenthood doesn’t just make a profit on abortions. In reviewing the website, on a sliding scale from those with a salary of $20,000 per year to $200,000 per year, it states they routinely charge women for services available at local pregnancy resource centers or health clinics for free. A pregnancy test can average from $20-$50, STI testing can average $80- $200, and an annual exam can range from $108 to $270.

Less than 1% of all their affiliates offer prenatal care.

Recently Vice President Pence and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan mentioned Planned Parenthood is unnecessary because there are women’s health clinics and pregnancy centers that offer many of the same services plus more tangible resources and classes (including post abortion care) for free. Incredibly, these clinics and centers out number Planned Parenthood 20 to 1! That means today, all across America, women have access to quality and often free healthcare without needing Planned Parenthood.

Here at Save the Storks we are not involved in politicking or defunding anything.

However, the truth is “defunding” Planned Parenthood doesn’t end abortion or leave out women. Outside of the federal funding they receive (that they are not allowed to use for abortion services because of the Hyde Amendment) they also receive millions in private donations as well as charging for their services with no sliding scale for abortion for women who cannot afford it.

Currently the government forces pro-life people to support Planned Parenthood through their tax dollars, which if we are all supposed to be free and have choice, isn’t fair.

If you just took that one piece away and instead funded women’s health care that didn’t include abortion, both sides of this issue could be reconciled.

What if federal funding instead went to women’s health clinics and pregnancy centers that offered free women’s healthcare that did not include abortions? Pro-choice and pro-life people could see eye to eye on the support and care of women. Gone would be the rhetoric that those who are pro-life don’t care about women. Gone would be the rhetoric that those who are pro-women have to be pro-abortion.

What if we could unite both sides of this issue to protect women’s health?

What if women could get federally funded (and FREE) health care, prenatal care, and resources from safe and regulated women’s clinics? What if women were taken care of and pro-life and pro-choice people felt heard?

What if we didn’t try to legislate morality first? What if we cared for women SO WELL that abortion became unthinkable? What if we shifted culture, and with it, the hearts and minds of generations?

Ashley Noelle

Over the past decade, Ashley Noelle has been a Conference Director, Writer, and Ministry Leader while raising three daughters as a police officer’s wife. She’s a southern girl living in California with a Saturday night personality and Sunday morning heart. Whether it’s gathering for supper club, working full-time, raising children, homeschooling, or standing on stage speaking life into others, she believes all women have a unique passion, platform, and purpose. Ashley is fiercely passionate about encouraging women to find their voice and walk in freedom. Connect with her on instagram!