Anti-abortion group offers alternative to Planned Parenthood

Anti-abortion+group+offers+alternative+to+Planned+Parenthood

By Diamond Jones, Daily Egyptian

The debate about whether taxpayers should fund Planned Parenthood came to campus Wednesday. 

SIU’s Student Center was a site for the nationwide “We Don’t Need Planned Parenthood” campaign started by the Students for Life of America, an anti-abortion group for college students.

Members of Saluki Respect Life, an anti-abortion student group on campus, displayed signs that stated federally qualified health centers provide care for all patients, tailor their services to community needs and offer a wider array of services than Planned Parenthood.

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“With our group being a part of this tour, we want to educate our audience on how these centers can provide more services for more women with taxpayer money,” said Kasey Schwartz, president of Saluki Life Respect, which consists of about 10 students.

If $548.4 million in government funding was given to these centers, the group told people at the Student Center, it would create $5 billion for economic benefits, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers in 2009. This would create an estimated 47,290 jobs in the nation’s economically challenged areas.  

And women don’t need Planned Parenthood to get an abortion, the group said, because it carries out just one-third of the nation’s abortion procedures.

Julie Lynn, Planned Parenthood’s manager of external affairs for Illinois, said Tuesday her organization does more than abortion by administering STI testing and treatment, sex education, annual exams, breast cancer screenings and sexual health services for men.

Some people who support Planned Parenthood showed up to the Student Center to talk with the group, said Schwartz, a graduate student in speech pathology from Carterville. Most conversations were respectful, but some students ripped her group’s cards up or handed them back. She said Saluki Respect Life handed out close to 1,000 information cards.

Shay Woolard, vice president of Saluki Life Respect, said federally qualified health centers have 22.8 million patients nationally compared to Planned Parenthood’s 2.7 million.

“With this tour we were not only able to educate students about the [federally qualified health centers], but also about the help the pro-life movement gives to pregnant and parenting woman who need support,” she said. “Pregnancy can be tough and so can life and maintaining general health. We want women to know we’re here for them to talk and give our genuine support.”

For more information on your local federally qualified health centers and other health services check out these sources: optionalline.org findahealthcenter.hrs.gov and pregnantoncampus.org

Diamond Jones can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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