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Following Trump's executive action, students speak out on defunding Planned Parenthood

ASU students on both sides share their insights on Donald Trump's plans to defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood Student Reactions

Illustration depicting different views on President Donald J. Trump's announcement to defund Planned Parenthood. Published on Thursday Jan. 26, 2017.

As President Donald Trump signed the Mexico City Policy, an executive order that calls for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, ASU students weighed in.

While the president has called for the organization's defunding, more people have begun to use the service since the election. 

Jodi Liggett, the vice president of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, said appointments regarding IUDs in Arizona have gone up nearly 64 percent since the election.

Amanda Vincent, president of ASU's VOX chapter, a club that defends Planned Parenthood, opposed the notion of defunding the organization.

“As someone who feels disadvantaged and disenfranchised to begin with, I become increasingly more frustrated knowing that there are people out there who are facing more of a struggle than I am to achieve access to the same care,” Vincent said.

Vincent said defunding Planned Parenthood does far more than stop abortions. 

“Imagine taking away STI testing, taking away pap smears, taking away cancer screenings, taking away counseling information sessions because planned parenthood is also trauma trained, having that all taken away,” Vincent said, “It is almost threatening in the manor that you have to calculate your actions now.”

Vincent said VOX has taken a more political role since the election, and the club wants to educate people on what Planned Parenthood stands for. He said that defunding the organization won't eliminate it. 

“Planned Parenthood is still going to be around, it is just going to be inaccessible,” Vincent said. “All those treatments people may not have access to through a private health care insurer or a primary health care physician under Medicaid, that’s going to vanish for them.”

Andrew Niemann, a biochemistry senior and a member of VOX since last semester, has used Planned Parenthood and advocates its services.

“This organization is important because it gives women and men an option," Niemann said. "Sometimes not everything goes as planned and you get pregnant during college, or you forgot to use protection and now might have an STD. Planned Parenthood is there for those who do not know what to do and can help people get out of the situation they’re in. Not only does Planned Parenthood help pregnancies, but there is a long list of services that they offer to better society.”

Another club on campus, Students for Life, is an anti-abortion club and is for defunding Planned Parenthood.

Mariah Martinez, Pregnant on Campus Chair for Students For Life, said she's been pro-life her whole life and doesn't think there is an excuse for an abortion. 

“I grew up pretty passionately pro-life and I owe that all to my mom, actually, she taught me that from the moment a baby is conceived until the moment that person dies, you have to respect the dignity of that human life," Martinez said. "It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is they’ll be born into, or how they became conceived, and I just came to believe that abortion horribly violates that."

Martinez has been with Students for Life for more than two years and works with students to provide pregnancy resources such as affordable prenatal care. She also teaches women their Title IX rights as pregnant students.

Club President Jackie Welsh, who has been with Students for Life for the last four years, said abortion doesn't solve the problem. 

"No solution is perfect which requires the death of another human being," Welsh said. "And I’ve listened to enough stories from post-abortive women in organizations such as Silent No More to know that abortion profoundly has hurt women too, and they wish other women knew what they have suffered.”

Welsh said that while she is for defunding Planned Parenthood, she wants to make sure people know what their other options are.

“Some people are very angry and scared, and will want to restore the funding at the next opportunity," Welsh said. "If the other options for care are not publicized well, the transition to new health care centers will not be smooth, many people may feel cut off from support, and the ruling may be reversed without significant change in people’s hearts towards the issue of abortion and pregnancy."

For more information on either of these clubs, you may visit their Facebook pages at VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood at ASU and ASU Students for Life.

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