Katherine Tinder is a political science freshman. The views expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or editorial coverage of Mustang News.

Sex can be a matter of life and death.

Specifically, the deaths of 70,000 girls who are killed every year from pregnancy and childbirth complications, as recorded by Planned Parenthood Global.

Additionally, the World Health Organization states that unsafe abortions kill 47,000 women and disable 5 million more every single year and that “almost every one of these deaths and disabilities could have been prevented through sexuality education, contraception, and the provision of safe, legal abortion.”

This was how I opened a persuasive speech for my COMS 101 class last Wednesday night. Serendipitously, the following day saw a peaceful clash between the pro-life club and Triota club on campus. The former was demonstrating against Planned Parenthood, the latter demonstrating against the demonstration.

Because I’ve just done quite a bit of research into reproductive healthcare and Planned Parenthood, I’d like to clear up some facts and reiterate the crucial importance of reproductive healthcare.

The facts:

The Cal Poly Students for Life were admittedly using information from David Daleiden. He and Sandra Merritt, of the Center for Medical Progress, uncovered research on Planned Parenthood using fake identification under a fake company name. Daleiden then used the footage they acquired to release a series of videos claiming that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue for profit.

In an investigation in which a Republican Lt. Gov. appointed a Republican District Attorney to oversee a Texas grand jury hearing, Daleiden and Merritt were indicted for the felony of tampering with a government record.

Planned Parenthood was cleared of all charges.

Three congressional investigations have yielded no evidence of wrongdoing on Planned Parenthood’s part.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce found “…no evidence to substantiate the allegations that Planned Parenthood has engaged in the sale of fetal tissue for profit.”

Additionally, “The Committee received evidence that the individuals making these unsubstantiated claims misrepresented themselves… and that the videos released by the Center for Medical Progress are incomplete, selectively edited and intentionally misleading.”

My interpretation:

The facts are simply that Daleiden’s information is at the very least questionable in its accuracy, and more likely an ugly, skewed truth.

In fact, this kind of mud-slinging at Planned Parenthood is nothing more than a step backwards for people against abortion. Planned Parenthood is one of the largest providers of the very services that prevent abortion in the first place: sex-ed, contraceptives, and family planning.

Even among pro-lifers, many people support abortion in at least very limited circumstances, such as in cases of rape or if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. By throwing inaccurate shade at Planned Parenthood, these people only add fuel to the fire of public support to defund Planned Parenthood, which is a safe and legal place for women to turn, including rape victims.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would not just hurt women in need of abortions. It would hurt anyone wishing to utilize services such as pap smears, birth control options, STI testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and options counseling, etc.

Planned Parenthood is absolutely essential for maintaining access to reproductive healthcare in our country­, for both men and women alike.

Reducing support for reproductive healthcare by attacking Planned Parenthood should not by taken lightly; as previously stated, the unmet need for reproductive healthcare actually kills hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Even a quick Google search will tell you that, at least in the eyes of the law, Planned Parenthood does not sell fetal tissue for profit.

I wish the Cal Poly Students for Life had done some preliminary research, or even a Google search, before displaying inaccurate and questionable information to the general campus. If their goal was to inform, they might have considered informing themselves first.

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