For anyone still on the fence about how important Planned Parenthood is to the well-being of women and girls (and LGBTQ people and even some straight men), a new documentary from Duplass Brothers Productions is almost guaranteed to sway you.
The four-minute documentary tells the stories of several patients and workers at Planned Parenthood health centers in Alaska, and explains why the clinics are so important for them.
In fact, legislators in Texas already have defunded Planned Parenthood health centers in the state. And while much of the rhetoric behind these funding cuts villanizes the organization for performing abortions (which already aren't funded by the government), Texas has only seen higher rates of both teen pregnancy and abortion since cuts in funding forced 82 health centers to close.
Statistics like these, along with the stories of people who rely on Planned Parenthood, only strengthen our resolve to fight against government funding cuts.
Lauren Budd, director of the documentary and a student at Dartmouth College, tells Refinery29 that interviewing the patients for this video opened her eyes to how consistent, friendly, and thorough healthcare is across all of Planned Parenthood's health centers.
"Women we spoke to in Juneau received the same quality of care as people in centers miles and miles away," she says. "They're treated with same respect and quality of care anywhere, and I was so amazed at the efficacy of this organization as it operates in each individual health center."
It's a quality of care many people wouldn't otherwise have access to. In the video, one woman speaks about seeking treatment for a blood clot that was passing through her body and being turned away from four different doctors because she couldn't set up a payment plan. For low-income and uninsured families, Planned Parenthood is a miracle — and the health centers literally save lives.
It's easy for those of us who are insured or who live in large cities where there's multiple Planned Parenthood health centers to lose sight of how important Planned Parenthood is for people in rural areas like Alaska, Budd says.
"In LA and New York there are lots [of centers], so the reality of Planned Parenthood being under threat doesn’t seem to register," she says. "But there are states where there’s only one, there are states where you drive hundreds of miles and hours and hours to get the care you need. It only further emphasizes the importance of keeping Planned Parenthood alive."
As of now, Planned Parenthood centers in most states are still receiving government funding — but that could change. Women in the senate — including Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski — recently shut down a Republican-backed bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act with nothing to take it's place. And versions of a replacement healthcare act that would include a provision to defund Planned Parenthood have previously been killed in the Senate because they couldn't get enough votes. But the Senate is planning to vote on repealing the ACA next week.
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