The Struggles for Planned Parenthood

(Photo: Tallahassee Democrat)

Words by: Amber Jones

Jamie Smith* will never forget the day her life changed drastically. On May 17, 2012 she woke up at 4 a.m. restless, with sweaty palms, constant nausea and the worst headache she’d ever experienced. These symptoms preceded one of her most intense life decisions she’d faced. Smith had an abortion only three weeks before her high school graduation. Loneliness and desperation were the only ways she could describe her feelings.

“I felt so alone and embarrassed, even though my mom and two nurses were by my side throughout the procedure,” Smith said. “However it was the right thing for me to do, because I wasn’t ready and I’m still not.”

Smith is without a doubt grateful that the Planned Parenthood clinic of Gainesville, Fla. allowed her to make the right choice.

“Without them I would be another statistic or fighting for my life, trying to get a back-alley abortion performed,” Smith said. The 21-year-old Florida A&M University students’ abortion remains a sensitive topic, even years later.

Although Planned Parenthood changed Smith’s life for the better, there are still many people who are against the organization and everything that it stands for.

Many people are convinced that Planned Parenthood does more harm than good, so many people that the state has had to intervene.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered inspections to be made at all of the Florida Planned Parenthood clinics for violation checks after the release of a fictitious video, which showed Planned Parenthood representatives selling fetal tissue of aborted fetuses.

In April, an administrative hearing will be made on some clinics in southwest Florida that are contesting the accusations of abortions being made in women’s second trimester.

Abortions being done after the first trimester are a licensure violation.

CEO of Planned Parenthood Barbara Zdravecky believes that Central and Southwest Florida clinics will pass all violation checks with flying colors.

“I promise Planned Parenthood of Southwest Florida and Central Florida will be cleared as well,” she said.

Zdravecky made this promise while addressing Planned Parenthood supporters at a fundraising luncheon where protesters gathered outside of a Fort Myers Country Club to express their disdain for the organization, however this protest only added fuel to the Florida leader’s fire.

The luncheon took place on the 43rd anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade case, the case that made abortions legal in 1973.

Zdravecky used the luncheon to address the accusation that Planned Parenthood officials were trying to sell aborted fetal tissue and to focus on the new bills in the legislature that are trying to defund and do away with the health-care organization.

The release of the video was arranged to support Republican debates and members of congress who are anti Planned Parenthood. The organization responsible for the video, the Center for Medical Progress, was found to be a fake organization that illegitimately registered with the IRS.

The Center for Medical Progress released a statement accusing the Gulf Coast director of Planned Parenthood for overseeing the selling of aborted fetuses and never reporting anything.

Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Director of Research, Melissa Farrell, has overseen their program selling aborted fetal parts over the past 10 years,” CMP ambassador David Daleiden stated in a press release on Planned Parenthood’s invoice for aborted fetal specimens.

State funding for Planned Parenthood won’t be determined until the state budget is approved early March.

*Name changed to protect identity

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