Planned Parenthood is an important health care access point, not a “hoodwink”

As future physicians who appreciate the importance of reproductive health and of our future patientsâÄô access to care, we were troubled by the deceptive assertions raised in Eric NehringâÄôs April 18 column, “Planned Parent hood-winked.” We feel some clarity is warranted.

Right here in Minnesota, Planned Parenthood makes it possible for 62,000 women and men who are struggling to make ends meet to access birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, pelvic exams, Pap smears, high blood pressure checks, diabetes and anemia screening, testing and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

Planned ParenthoodâÄôs clinics across the state support Well-Woman Care programs to encourage smoking cessation, reduce alcohol abuse, promote a healthy diet and protect against domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Moreover, they support community education programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancy and the spread of STDs.

In addition to the clinical services they provide, Planned Parenthood advocates at the Capitol, in the courts and at the ballot box on issues affecting womenâÄôs health. Planned Parenthood helps millions of women and men identify the elected officials and candidates that support their work providing life-saving and essential reproductive health care.

Planned ParenthoodâÄôs clinics are part of the fabric of our local communities and will no doubt withstand the less-than-sincere claims of the author. It is important for the readers of the Minnesota Daily to know that across the nation 1 in 5 women have relied on Planned Parenthood for care, and millions more have depended on their advocacy, vital voter education and get-out-the-vote campaigns.

This is valuable, constitutionally-protected work. As future physicians, we look forward to being a part of a healthcare system where Planned Parenthood continues to be a leader in reproductive health services and an advocate of health care access and equity.

Ingrid Anderson and Eva Pesch co-presidents

Medical Students for Choice