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Column: We need a president who can mix sex, politics

Photo by Taylor Leckie
Kim Braesch, a UNF advertising student, models what columnist Taylor Leckie thinks could happen, if Planned Parenthood disappears.

Let’s face it, teenagers are horny. They will have sex whether they have society’s permission or not.

And they ought to be educated on the process, so where does the education start? This is a topic that President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Mitt Romney have much debate over.

It would be nice if the education would start in the home but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many of us were introduced to sexual education in the classroom, and some of us probably figured it out all on our own.

Thanks to governmentally funded programs and organizations such as Planned Parenthood, we are provided with testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, contraception and cancer screening and prevention.

Why would we want to eliminate an opportunity to help people plan for their future and live healthier lives?

If Romney is elected, according to his website and politifact.com, he will abolish all family planning funds under the Public Health Service Act. This includes Title X, which is one of the two federal sources funding Planned Parenthood that was originally funded more than 42 years ago under the Nixon administration.

To this day, millions of dollars of government aide go toward federally supported programs. Romney said he will get rid of the contraceptive coverage requirement and eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

Say you find this information appealing, and you don’t want Planned Parenthood because you’re under the impression that most of their activities involve abortions. This is a false bit of information. Popular, but false nonetheless.

According to factcheck.org, Planned Parenthood provided 11.4 million medical services in a single year, only 3 percent of these involved anything regarding abortion. That leaves n97 percent to important things such as funding education, testing, cancer screening and prevention, and contraception.

You may also find it interesting to know that according to a report conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, two thirds of teen pregnancies occur among teens 18 to 19 years old. Of all teen pregnancies, 82 percent were not planned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, $10.9 billion is spent annually on teen pregnancies. Imagine what the amount would be without Planned Parenthood?

According to usnews.com, Obama reversed policies set in place under President George W. Bush who opted for $100 million in funds for abstinence-only programs. Several of the states turned down money for these programs rather than give up their contraception education programs in public schools.

Obama is reflecting the interest of these states by promoting teen pregnancy prevention initiatives.

Romney might be able to help our country by cutting funding, but at what cost? At least Obama understands the importance of education along with the health and well-being of the average person.

Sex and politics have always created controversy. We need is someone who can get a handle on both.

It shouldn’t be a person who wants to revoke a person’s right to make decisions regarding her own body. It shouldn’t be a person who cares more about saving money than saving lives.

It should be the person who listens to the needs of the people. It should be the person who makes the tough decisions to provide education and medical assistance to those who currently struggle without.

We may not have a politician who has all of the answers, but we do have the ability to vote for a president who can make a difference one way or the other.

It’s up to us to decide who that president will be.

Email Taylor Leckie at [email protected].

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