07/26/2012 05:23 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2012

Eliminating Planned Parenthood Would Be a Major Step Back for America

Planned Parenthood is facing new calls for congressional scrutiny after a Chicago woman died following an abortion at a local clinic last week. Representative Cliff Stearns, (R-Fla.), who launched a probe into Planned Parenthood earlier this year, is now calling for a public hearing on Capitol Hill, following the death of twenty-four-year old Tonya Reaves, who died of hemorrhaging shortly after undergoing an abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Planned Parenthood is "the largest provider of reproductive healthcare in the United States which includes, among many services, contraception, comprehensive sex education, and abortions." The organization boasts over 800 clinics in the United States with an annual budget of one billion dollars. Planned Parenthood has received federal funding since 1970, when Richard Nixon signed the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act into law. They receive around $350 million each year in federal funds.

Planned Parenthood "has more than four million activists, supporters and donors nationwide." They are the largest provider of sex education in America and they have performed over four million breast exams in the past five years. Contraception "accounts for 35% of their total services, while abortions account for 3%." The organization performs "about 300,000 abortions every year, among the three million people it serves."

Planned Parenthood empowers women to take control of their own reproductive health and gives them the choice to control their own bodies. They endure endless attacks and criticism from fundamentalists and right-wing conservatives who attempt to discredit them any way they can, up to and including outright lies.

Senator Orrin Hatch stated that 95% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions. He was only 92% off the actual statistic. Radical radio personality Alex Jones called Planned Parenthood a "Nazi organization." And those are just a few examples of the lengths that social conservatives will go to destroy Planned Parenthood's reputation.

The delusional thinking is that this conspiracy is about Planned Parenthood. It's not. Critical thinking says it's about ultimately overturning Roe vs. Wade and legalized abortion. It's about control over women. These control freaks masked as moral crusaders want to tell women what they can and can't do with their own bodies.

The conservatives in government and the religious leaders from the far right think they know what's best for women, but since women aren't listening, they want to outlaw their right to ignore them. Then if women don't listen they'll simply throw them in jail. The sickest part of the story is how they mask their ambition by claiming that banning abortion is about saving babies. These people will say and do anything to force us to comply with their version of morality.

The destruction of Planned Parenthood and legalized abortion wouldn't stop abortions any more than the drug war has stopped drug use. Women will have abortions, and if they are illegal they will have them in back rooms and dark places. The poor will revert back to using coat hangers.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said this in response to making abortion illegal: "We've been there before and we're not going back." She's correct. We have been there before and it didn't work, which is why we changed it.

Maybe the religious extremists would like to reinstate prohibition as well? And while we're at it, why don't we repeal a woman's right to vote? Don't laugh, because the religious zealots are capable of any of these things.

These are conversations we're still having in America, and that's what killing us. We must evolve or be replaced by a country that will. If Planned Parenthood and legal abortion are eliminated, it could cause a domino effect that could set this country back 50 years. I applaud Planned Parenthood for empowering women and support them in their fight to survive the attacks of the socially backward.