By Julissa James
The photo of President Donald Trump signing executive orders on Jan. 23 in the Oval Office surrounded by five men looking down on him, is now either blocked out of or ingrained in the minds of many.
One of those executive orders, to De-fund international organizations that offer reproductive health services and family planning, has sparked outrage and backlash toward the Trump administration. Some think it’s a sign of things to come in the United States, as Congress ponders whether to stop funding Planned Parenthood.
Despite misconceptions of health centers like Planned Parenthood being nothing more than abortion clinics, they offer general healthcare services to women and children, even men. These centers have become safe spaces for young people who can’t turn to their parents, low-income families and those who have nowhere else to turn.
The threat of this resource not being available anymore due to lack of funding has caused worry among different communities, most understandably women who feel that their healthcare rights are being violated.
Although Ivonne Curiel, a student who works at the Women’s Resource Center, could not speak on behalf of the center, she did express her opinion as an individual.
“I think it’s unjust,” said Curiel, “very unjust for [this] executive order to [try to] control women’s bodies and take away that agency for women to decide whether or not they want to have a child or need extra resources when it comes to [their] health. I don’t think it would be the same for men, right?”
Planned Parenthood has also served as a resource for college students who don’t feel comfortable going to their family doctor for certain services or don’t have the sufficient funds, or insurance, to receive care elsewhere. With the organization already facing funding challenges by Congress and the White House its future is unsure. Students find it reassuring to know they can get similar care at the Student Health and Psychological Services center on campus.
In regards to women’s health, they offer gynecological exams, family planning and contraception, pap smears and pregnancy testing. There are also STD screenings and treatment available for the whole campus community.
Most of these services are already covered by student health fees, and are completely confidential.