Gabrielle Union Speaks Up for Planned Parenthood

The actress says the debate over federal funding for the organization is about much more than abortions. 

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Gabrielle Union (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

We've heard before that "a hit on Planned Parenthood really becomes a hit on African-American women." Willie J. Parker, M.D., made that clear to The Root after the House passed a measure to strip the organization of funding. He explained that many patients who use the services provided there are uninsured African-American women who have nowhere else to go to detect cancer, hypertension and diabetes and treat primary health care needs.

It's one thing to hear that from a faceless doctor, and another thing altogether to hear it from Gabrielle Union.

Inspired by her best friend, who died of breast cancer and who believed that women should be their own best advocates, Union has used her celebrity platform to explain to anyone who may not have been paying attention what a catastrophe it would be to deny the organization federal funding. She wants people to know that there's much more going on there than abortions. And she even takes on the billboard-fueled argument that Planned Parenthood "targets" black women.

From Union's piece on AOL Black Voices:

With all that's going on in the media about Planned Parenthood and abortions, I think the media is doing the public a great disservice. The fact that only 3 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides are abortions makes you wonder what's happening with the other 97 percent of what Planned Parenthood is doing.

The vast majority of the work that they do is preventative. Planned Parenthood provides low-cost reproductive information and care, which goes into providing contraception. For women who choose to keep their babies, they offer low-cost pregnancy services as well.

Planned Parenthood is providing vaccines, cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 mammograms, STD screenings and (overall) half-a-million HIV screenings. The way people are focusing now on Planned Parenthood is like they are taking one piece and deciding that the whole thing is bad, and that's just not the case.

As for Planned Parenthood's supposed targeting of African-American women, I think when you factor in socioeconomics and the fact that there are plenty of underprivileged and younger women who don't have access to proper health care and affordable contraception, you also see an increase in the number of African-American women getting abortions ...

Read the rest at AOL Black Voices.

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