Stand with Planned Parenthood
Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, October 31, 2018
On Sept. 18, a group of students wrote a Letter to the Editor about Planned Parenthood and the organization’s new president, Dr. Leana Wen. I would like to offer another perspective — not a direct response to the letter — about the work of Planned Parenthood.
In this letter, it is not my intention to discuss “pro-life” or “pro-choice” positions or to debate the theology of personhood (about which there is great disagreement). Instead, I want to encourage readers to consider how Planned Parenthood’s services do align with our calling as Catholics: Morally, Planned Parenthood upholds our faith in serving the poor and vulnerable, and tangibly, statistics demonstrate the need in our communities for the services provided by Planned Parenthood.
Catholic social justice tradition demands preferential concern for the poor and vulnerable and service to the most marginalized in our society. We care for those who are the neediest. This moral standard, stemming from my Catholic faith, was emboldened by the principles of public health I studied at Notre Dame. In determining my next step, then, my moral compass pointed to working for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. There, I will serve the women and men that are the most marginalized in our society.
Evidence does show that Planned Parenthood is one of the largest healthcare providers for the poor and vulnerable. Every day, more than 8,000 people come to the organization’s 600-plus health centers for cancer screenings, STI prevention, treatment and testing, contraceptive services and safe and legal abortions. Seventy-five percent of health center patients’ incomes are at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and 54 percent of health centers are in medically underserved areas. Planned Parenthood also serves a disproportionately high number of people of color, many of whom lack access to other affordable, quality healthcare options.
For these moral and tangible reasons, I stand with people of faith that support Planned Parenthood. I hope you will stand with us, too.
class of 2015
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.