By Marisa Spalding
This summer, after a series of deceptive undercover videos falsely claimed to show Planned Parenthood staff selling fetal tissue, conservative lawmakers in Congress threatened to shut down the government over any federal budget that included funding to the healthcare provider. While the political debate over abortion continues, for many women, Planned Parenthood is their only option for reproductive healthcare, including birth control, screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), cancer screenings and treatment and abortion. Political posturing against Planned Parenthood and ideological opposition to abortion cloud the root issues of reproductive health inequities and distract from poorer health outcomes based on sex, race and class marginalization that have persisted for decades.
Professor and public health scholar Margaret Whitehead described health inequities in “Concepts and Principles for Tackling Social Inequalities in Health,” her groundbreaking 1990 paper, as “differences [in health] which are unnecessary and unavoidable but, in addition, are also considered unfair and unjust.” Since Whitehead published her paper, ideological opposition to reproductive healthcare—specifically, abortion—has grown and contributed to widening disparities. Read the full article here »