The ongoing partisan attacks on Planned Parenthood are an assault on the health and well-being of low-income women and men.

 

They represent:

• A breach of medical ethics for those who recited the Hippocratic oath.

• A dangerous precedent for public health policy and practice.

• An example of the structural racism and discrimination that undergirds our society.

• An insult to all who care about human rights and social justice.

As director of the Duval County Health Department, I made substantial investments in the health services Planned Parenthood provides to our community — services that were then and are now not accessible through other health care systems.

Providing women health care, counseling, contraceptives, breast and cervical cancer screening and other prevention services is critically important to their health and well-being.

These services are available and extensively utilized by the very people who seek to deny them to low-income women and men.

The closure of Planned Parenthood offices in Texas has been associated with a rise in unwanted pregnancies among low-income women and increased rates of maternal mortality.

Rates of preventable cervical cancer and the deaths from this and other preventable cancers will increase in the years to come.

What more proof do those in power, who are primarily men, need to understand the impact of their decisions on women. Could there be a better definition of “misogyny”?

President Donalid Trump and his administration have promised to dismantle Planned Parenthood. This must be taken seriously by anyone who is committed to justice and equality.

Too much is at stake to be silent.

We must ask federal, state and local policymakers, public health professionals, medical associations and others in power whether they support Planned Parenthood’s provision of women’s health services. If they do not, they must be held accountable.

Stealing health care from women will not make America great again.

Jeff Goldhagen, pediatrician, Jacksonville