After Tuesday's shocking election upset, there are many voters very concerned that President-elect Donald Trump will defund Planned Parenthood when he gets into office. Women are right to be concerned about their health and reproductive rights, as Trump and his running mate Mike Pence campaigned on defunding Planned Parenthood, along with repealing Roe v. Wade. In response to Clinton's defeat, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, tweeted out a simple message: "These. Doors. Stay. Open." It was reassuring to see Richards' dedication to her organization, its mission, and the (seemingly) never-ending fight to keep it funded.
But for Planned Parenthood advocates, the next few years are not going to be easy. Richards issued a statement, according to CBS News, "We will fight alongside our partners to make sure that the progress of the past eight years, including emerging from the worst recession we’ve had in close to a century, expanding health care coverage to more than 20 million Americans, breaking down barriers of discrimination and racism, and upholding marriage equality, is protected." She added, "We cannot allow the acceptance of institutionalized racism, sexism, and discrimination to become our new normal.”
Keeping Planned Parenthood funded and expanding its services is a hard enough feat under administrations that are sympathetic to the cause — with Trump and Pence in the Oval Office it will be much worse.
Trump and Pence wrote to their pro-life coalition this fall that they were committed to defunding Planned Parenthood if they continued to perform abortions and "reallocating their funding to community health centers that provide comprehensive health care for women." (Which uh, is also what Planned Parenthood is, but apparently these guys lost the memo.) It's not just Trump that women should worry about, since his stance on abortions and women's reproductive rights has varied throughout the years. It's Mike Pence.
Politico dubbed the future vice president, a "one man crusade" against the organization. In fact, it's all because of Pence that Congress even talks about defunding Planned Parenthood — he was the first sponsor a bill to defund it in 2007 and the eight other times the bill was passed. He has threatened to shut down the entire government over it. Indiana has cut funding to Planned Parenthood clinics by over $1 million under Pence's tenure. Because he shut down the affordable clinics in his states, STI testing went down and the state suffered from an HIV outbreak.
According to Vox, Pence said at the time, "If Planned Parenthood wants to be involved in providing counseling services and HIV testing, they ought not be in the business of providing abortions. As long as they aspire to do that, I’ll be after them." Pence's commitment to taking down Planned Parenthood and creating a society that "values life" is one of the reasons the Trump campaign chose him as a running mate — no anti-choice voter would doubt Trump's dedication to stopping abortions.
It is going to be a very scary few years for women with Trump and Pence making decisions about their bodies for them. If you're nervous, or want to make sure Planned Parenthood's doors stay open, there are ways to donate. Right now, women and the Planned Parenthood clinics could use all the love they can get.