“What would you say you do here?”
It’s a line from Office Space, of course, that references the corporate phenomenon of people who constantly show up for work, even though no one knows exactly what they accomplish. But they’re there, so you can’t say they’re really doing nothing, right?
But if you were The Bobs, hired to streamline corporate welfare flowing from the Federal government, Planned Parenthood would be your Tom Smykowski. While millions pour into “America’s largest healthcare provider for women,” there’s really not much that makes Planned Parenthood special — or, for that matter, really all that necessary. And much of that is thanks to Democrats who have simply eliminated any need for Planned Parenthood.
According to Twitter, which has been vocal on the subject of late, Planned Parenthood is the only entity that cares for women, providing them much-needed wellness visits, birth control prescriptions, and cancer screenings, as though they were the only ones on Earth with the wherewithal to stand touching people of the feminine persuasion. According to Planned Parenthood’s defenders, the clinic chain is nothing short of a Magical Vagina Fairy Palace, where ladies go to have their gender-specifics washed, polished, and left sparkling and pregnancy-free. When I was living in the city, it was an available option for medical care, certainly, but often under-staffed, crowded, impersonal, and more concerned with terminating problems than treating them. If you wanted to get a quick Pap-smear, it was, I suppose, better than other community health options, if only because the waiting room’s dated office furniture was in shades of pink.
As Mollie Hemingway helpfully pointed out, much of Planned Parenthood’s claims are over-wrought, to say the least. They have fewer than 700 clinics nationwide and perform a fraction of the women’s health procedures that community-focused health centers (that do not provide abortion) do. Community health services also provide far more comprehensive healthcare screenings, including ones that Planned Parenthood is incapable of providing — mammograms. The only cancer screening Planned Parenthood regularly provides is the quick boob-graze that comes with your yearly women’s wellness visit — something which you can and should be doing on yourself at home.
As for providing “low-cost” healthcare options, Planned Parenthood is defeated by its very allies. Obamacare put measures in place, beginning in 2014, that made receiving female-focused healthcare either low cost or free from almost any healthcare provider. According to ObamacareFacts.com and progressive think tank, the Center for American Progress, women who have even the lowest-level — i.e. government mandated (and free, for those who cannot afford it) — insurance are allotted a free yearly well-woman visit (that includes a Pap smear and breast exam), free mammograms, testing and treatment for HPV and other STIs, HIV screening, and counseling for contraception. Even if abortion is not included, and waiver rights are given for companies who’d prefer not to pay for contraception, that takes care of most, if not all, of what Planned Parenthood claims they corner the market on.
Most of these providers also offer these services in cleaner, more well-maintained clinics that ascribe to a higher health, welfare, and cleanliness standard than Planned Parenthood. The “controversial” Texas law that has closed several abortion clinics, for example, is hardly restrictive for a healthcare provider, but Planned Parenthood objects to it anyway, including standards that would require clinics that provide surgical abortions (which are, yes, surgeries) to abide by regulations that govern surgical centers. As it stands, Planned Parenthood has fought even basic regulations on their clinics, making some of them less equipped to handle medical emergencies than your average veterinary care facility.
So, what is it that Planned Parenthood does? The only “healthcare” Planned Parenthood does that a community-focused health service provider doesn’t do is abortion. And while this abortion is a holy sacrament of leftism, it’s hardly enough to make the argument that Planned Parenthood is providing something so intrinsically necessary to the fabric of society that it should receive millions in taxpayer funds.
It’s also worth noting that, if Planned Parenthood didn’t receive such a substantial amount of corporate welfare, other clinics, which could perform Planned Parenthood’s job cheaper, more efficiently, and with more care, would spring up as competition. It’s hardly pro-choice to believe that one generally substandard facility should be the only choice women have when seeking out even abortion services. A government-sponsored monopoly hurts everyone, especially the women Planned Parenthood is concerned about.
But, gosh darn-it, I guess Planned Parenthood has people skills.