10 Ways Planned Parenthood is about more than just abortions

Sep 18, 2015 at 6:15 p.m. ET
Image: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The conversation around women's healthcare is filled with controversy whether we like it or not.

Earlier this year, in a 241-187 vote, the House approved legislation freezing Planned Parenthood's federal funding for one year, after controversy surrounding their use of fetal tissue divided the country. But while politicians argue over the ethics of using the remains of aborted babies in medical research, they forget one crucial point: Abortions are just a tiny part of what Planned Parenthood does — a mere 3 percent of services — and by law no federal money goes to abortion services anyhow. The bulk of what they do is provide basic and necessary health care to women who often have nowhere else to get it.

And now women (and some men) are taking to social media, under the hashtag #IStandWithPP, to share exactly why the institution is so important to them and their communities. Here are just a few of the reasons that people use Planned Parenthood (and none of them have to do with abortion):

1. For general health care for women

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2. For access to birth control

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3. For information

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4. For cancer screenings

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5. To give women power over their own bodies

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6. For affordable and easy access to health care

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7. For a safe place to go after a sexual assault

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8. For help for teens and moms

#IStandWithPP because when I was in foster care as a teen, they were the only ones to give us health exams, education & care. Grateful. — Juanita Chang (@juanitachang) September 18, 2015

9. For help having a baby

#IStandWithPP because they found my endometriosis & helped control it, making it possible for me to have a baby later in life

— MommaH (@FracturCritical) September 18, 2015

10. For preventative health care

#IStandWithPP because they helped me get access to preventative health services when I didn't have insurance. — AnneliseCohon (@ShiftUpwards) September 18, 2015

But don't count Planned Parenthood out just yet. "Millions of Americans rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, and other critical preventive care, and nothing that politicians in Congress did today will change the fact that our doors remain open to everyone, in every part of this country, who needs high-quality, compassionate reproductive health care," said Eric Ferrero, the vice president of communications of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, in a press release.

And as you can see above, women do need it. It's not just about abortion; it's about women who need health care when there's nowhere else to turn.

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