More to Planned Parenthood than meets the eye, Mitt

“My test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay from it ... Planned Parenthood, you get rid of that.” — Mitt Romney

A while back, at the height of hot a GOP primary campaign Mitt Romney (and certainly not only he) suggested that it was high time to get rid of Planned Parenthood.

The crowd who errantly believe 98 percent of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes toward performing abortions was thrilled.

The audience who sadly believes sex should be part of life wholly and solely for the purpose of procreation were giggly.

Get rid of Planned Parenthood, they cried, and we save the nation from the wrath of God.

Yessir. Romney, his buddies, and their supporters would love to “get rid” of Planned Parenthood.

So, the question begs to be asked — what would we lose?

Yes, “we.” All of us.

“It’s frustrating that fighting the constant political battles takes us away from the real work we should be doing,” said Julie McKeiver, the West Michigan spokesperson for Planned Parenthood in this area.

“We do find that there is sometimes a lot of mis-information spread about what Planned Parenthood does.

“We try to use the attacks against us to better educate people.”

While under attack for performing outreach work that many would call “blessed,” Planned Parenthood is too often labeled the “spawn of Satan.”

Here in the Mecosta-Osceola area, Planned Parenthood is often the only contact women — poor, uninsured, disenfranchised, or otherwise — are able to see on even a nominally regular basis.

Planned Parenthood helps women in the area deal not only with reproductive health issues, but can help with breast exams, cervical cancer screenings, infertility education, mammogram referrals, hormone replacement therapy, Pap testing, urinary tract infections and routine physicals for women 12 and up.

Planned Parenthood assists in anemia testing, cholesterol, thyroid and diabetes screening, high blood pressure reviews, smoking cessation and pregnancy planning.

And there’s more ...

Planned Parenthood can help in dealing with STD testing and treatment.

Planned Parenthood  is there when a women becomes pregnant offering not only the highly debated (and usually wildly overstated) abortion referrals (no Planned Parenthood office in this part of the country actually has a clinic able to carry out abortions) but other services as well.

If a woman wants to keep the baby, Planned Parenthood is able to provide  referrals and resources for pre-natal care.

If the woman wants to carry the pregnancy to completion, but not keep the baby, Planned Parenthood can provide advice and resources to help with adoption options.

And if a woman wants to become pregnant but is unable to for whatever reason, Planned Parenthood can actually offer fertility awareness services.

Yes, they can help women become pregnant!

But wait ... Planned Parenthood isn’t all about women.

The organization staff can help men as well with testicular and prostate cancer screenings, testing and treatment for urinary tract infections, and screening and referrals for male infertility and other reproductive issues.

Planned Parenthood is there for men and women.

And yes, they do hand out condoms and work with men and women in determining other contraceptive options.

So ... Romney and his team think it’s not worth “borrowing money from China” to pay for all this service — service unavailable from other resources.

I could think of worse things for which to borrow money from China.

For example, why not stop “borrowing money from China” to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States has spent more than $512 billion on the war in Afghanistan, and $802 billion on the war in Iraq. A total of over $1.3 trillion.

Federal funding of Planned Parenthood programs topped out at just over $363 million in 2008-09 — with not one penny used for abortions or abortion services.

That is a touch over 6 percent of the total war budget.

Planned Parenthood serves close to 3 million clients each year in the U.S. alone, through 800 affiliate health centers.

Seventy-six percent of the people served are below the poverty level, and would likely have no other access to healthcare.

Professionals estimate that as a result of contraceptive services alone, some 584,000 unwanted pregnancies are avoided (and some 277,000 potential abortions averted).

There has been an increase in men visiting Planned Parenthood clinics — a 105 percent increase during the past decade.

So, Romney and his pals want to get rid of Planned Parenthood.

Good luck if that ever happens.

The federal government would be shackled with untold costs of healthcare and other line-item expenses they could avoid, but now seem to think so frivolous.

Get real, Mitt.

Planned Parenthood is doing the real “work of the people.”

Not your friends and supporters who simply don’t give a whip.