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Planned Parenthood Federation of America

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Imagine a world where men, women, and children were not educated on reproductive healthcare and sexual health. Well, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) provides all of America’s reproductive healthcare, sexual health, abortion, and contraception information. But it was not always this way, PPFA has come a long way throughout the years. PPFA also has a specific mission to carry out. Several men, women, and children benefit from PPFA every year.

The PPFA has a specific mission and is structured a certain way. PPFA otherwise known as Planned Parenthood Federation of America is an organization that provides women, men, and children sexual information in over 900 healthcare centers. The PPFA believes that people not only in the United States should be educated on family planning and reproductive health. The PPFA claims that family planning is what is needed in all countries, not just the United States. The PPFA is structured with 35 board of directors that includes five officers. The nonprofit side has 14 board members. The main office of the PPFA is located in New York City. The PPFA also has many different functions. Within PPFA healthcare clinics people can receive numerous services. Such as abortion or abortion referrals, family planning, birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, adoption referrals, prenatal care, sex education, voluntary sterilization, HIV testing, testing for sexual, and many other services regarding healthcare. Not only do the PPFA clinics provide healthcare services but also counseling, education, and programs for advocacy. There are also several programs within the PPFA. “Programs may include training services for professionals or initiatives that make it easier for the public to make informed reproductive choices” (Gale 2). The PPFA has a very specific policy-shaping process. The PPFA tries to shape the policy by working in the political process. The staff meets with policymakers and conducts publicity campaigns. The PPFA also tries to get its message out and create local, state, and national connections. Overall the PPFA has a very significant mission, structure, functions, and programs.

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PPFA has made huge progress throughout the years. When looking at the 19th century compared to now the PPFA has changed rapidly. In the 19th century, abortion and contraceptives were banned. Congress had passed the Comstock Act in 1873. This act banned access to information such as contraceptives and abortion. In 1890, new laws were in a place where abortions were banned in all cases except if the woman’s life were in danger from the pregnancy. In the 20th century, abortion and contraceptives were still banned but women would continue to use them in the United States. All women in all different classes were able to have abortions in the 20th century, but it was easier for women in higher classes to perform these abortions. The women in higher classes were able to pay for doctors to perform these abortions within their own homes. While women in higher classes could pay for doctors many women in the lower class were forced to find other ways to perform an abortion. In 1916, a woman named Margaret Sanger was a part of a small minority and saw a lack of available birth control. So Margaret decided to open the first birth control clinic. But unfortunately, she had to spend a month in jail due to her actions. Margaret continued to work and later this organization would turn into PPFA. Maragaret a supporter of eugenics or the improvement of the human race. Margaret finally opened her first birth control clinic in 1916. The mid-century is where all big changes happened. In the 1960s women were finally able to use birth control pills for the very first time this pill was very effective in preventing pregnancy. Abortion remained an issue in the 1980s and the 1990s. When this issue heated up there were more violent protesters which not only injured staff members but killed some also. Modern laws allow women the use of contraceptives. In regarding if the PPHA has changed it most definitely has.

PPFA is one of the United States’ most divisive topics in politics. It has recently come under attack to revoke the group’s federal funding. The PPFA has come attack by one of the Republican presidential candidates to take the organization’s federal funding, of which almost half of its 1 billion budget comes from federal funding. When stripping the PPFA funding will sacrifice 97 percent of public health. Which has nothing to do with abortion, but many do benefit from abortion. According to the article Scientific American, “ One in five American women have used the group’s services, and three out of four of its patients are considered to have low incomes.”(Scientific American 1). The PPFA has carried out tests and treatments for millions of individuals in 2011. It carried out 750,000 exams in preventing breast cancer. Which breast cancer is the number one cancer leading to death in the United States. Also the PPFA advocates for many issues regarding reproductive healthcare, which includes abortion. Abortion may be legal, the PPFA has barriers regarding that. Such as teens need parental consent to do the procedure. Also, the patients are being harassed by violent protesters make it hard for women to carry out this procedure. The PPFA is now scared about what children are being educated on at school. Various schools are abstinence-only programs, which means that abstinence is the only way to prevent pregnancy. The PPFA believes that students’ sex education should well balanced. The PPFA also has a very strong public impact that is not just in the United States. Congress’s success in cutting family planning internationally took a major toll on some countries. The PPFA claims that millions of couples have no access to reproductive healthcare where it is needed the most. Also, PPFA claims that almost 150 million women would either avoid pregnancy or stagger it if the women had the correct information to do so. The PPFA has benefited society in many ways, it has saved lives, provides women with abortions and contraptions, and kept populations from soaring. In closing the PPFA has many challenges coming it’s way.

To conclude the PPFA has come a long way from where it started. It has also faced various political challenges to this day. Most importantly PPFA has a very important mission, structure, functions, and programs. So once again imagine a world where women, men, and children could not benefit from PPFA. 

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