Planned Parenthood Saves Lives
Defund Planned Parenthood to save lives?
That’s what folks — perpetually intent on promoting unplanned parenthood — claim. Because 3% of the services PP provided last year were abortion-related (but not government-funded). And some folks trust hoaxes staged to make PP look bad.
Yet the anti-PP folks don’t really care about saving lives.
Pro-lifers Against Saving Lives
The “destroy Planned Parenthood” zealots also vote against:
- Sex ed, one of the most effective ways to prevent abortion
- Prenatal care, which enhances the chance of live births for poor women
- Food stamps that keep children, the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor from starving (about 3/4 of food stamp recipients)
- Obamacare and Medicaid expansions that save lives
- HPV vaccinations that prevent cancer
- Alleviating pollutants and stoping climate change — which threaten life
- An abortion allowance if a mother’s life is at risk
That’s right. Mike Huckabee says a 10-year-old rape victim should have been forced to carry the pregnancy to term. Even though giving birth would have likely killed her.
Defunding Planned Parenthood would take lives
Plus, defunding Planned Parenthood would cut:
- Cancer screenings
- HIV screenings
- Birth-control, which is the most effective way to prevent abortion
A couple years after one Indiana county shut down its PP clinic, the governor declared a “public health emergency” from the spike in H.I.V. cases.
In fact, Planned Parenthood mostly provides contraception, mammograms, pap smears and inoculations for poor adults and children.
So if Republicans ever successfully shut down Planned Parenthood, more people will die.
Meanwhile, antiabortion laws don’t stop abortion so much as make it go underground, endangering women’s lives.
The real agenda
They don’t really care about life. So what’s the real agenda?
The anti-Planned Parenthood contingent are really all about trying to set back women’s rights and women’s empowerment.
When women can’t control their reproduction, they’re more likely to bear many children, making financial independence difficult. That leaves them more disempowered and dependent on men.
And maybe anti-choicers just revels in the notion of making women feel disempowered over their own bodies and lives, too.
Posted on September 30, 2015, in feminism, reproductive rights, sexism, women and tagged #standwithpp, control women, feminism, GOP, Planned Parenthood, reproductive rights, sexism, stand with planned parenthood, women. Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.
Planned Parenthood why is it such a sticky subject for some folks? What reproductive rights mean to me is simply the right to exercise the privilege get educated on our own bodies and reproductive choices. This starts with educating both women and men, and planned PP does this for families in need of all care.
As a health care professional I’ve had to deal with situations where there have been conflicts of my moral upbringing. I had the opportunity to work for Planned Parenthood for some time. I grew up in a catholic house hold were sex was not really talked about therefore abortions were a big no no. Shortly after working there I realized that misconception of PP. It had known to be the clinic for “teen abortions” was wrong completely false. During my experience working there families went to PP for several reasons mainly Family and Primary care services, Cancer screenings, HIV screenings, Birth-control, and most importantly education on the most effective way to prevent abortions, although abortions were a very small part of the services being offered 3% as the article mentions.
Women or couples who rendered contraception services were married, some were married but unhappy, some women were in college, some women already had children and could not afford to care for another child. I understand others views of pro- life, but I can also understand the concept having a choice of whether or not to bringing a life into world would be the right choice for an individual no matter what the reason be. During many of the termination procedures women would look up to me and ask me to please not to judge them and then would tell me the reason they were there. Most of them were having their procedure done because of financial instability and “could not afford to raise a child and give them the life they deserve”. As well as rape victims who ended up pregnant.
Now what gets me thinking of the effect if these services were not available to the public women, men and families how this would defiantly be impacted and have a domino effect on our society?
Without these clinics could there be an increase in STI’s? Could women will be forced to give birth children which could lead to child abandonment? Taking away reproductive rights leads to government dependency it will force families to keep having children they can’t afford to raise, and increase the percentile in poverty. So why not continue to educate the population on Family and Primary care services, Cancer screenings, HIV screenings, Birth-control, and most importantly education on safe sex and the most effective way to prevent abortions instead of preforming them. We need clinics like PP I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have worked there and made a difference in people lives.
You make some really good points. Thank you.
I read this and all I think is “thank fuck I won that global lottery of being born in a country with universal health care” people actuallly vote against pre-natal care? Fuck me, I am glad I was born in Oz.
America has a lot going for it, but when it comes to healthcare your system is maddness. Pay tax, get health care, it can be that simple, like every other western country.
When it comes to healthcare, climate change, rule by the wealthy interests instead of the people (and those first two are related to this one), not to mention gender equality as handled by our Congress, Not to mention our Congress — esp GOP side, The US has gone MAD!
It’s completely shocking that conservatives are trying to defund Planned Parenthood by making the argument it will only save lives, but like you stated, it does the complete opposite of that. When I first heard of Planned Parenthood, like many, I thought it only provided information about sex and contraceptives, but as I learned more about what they really stand for, I understood that they were more than that. If there is one that that Planned Parenthood does is save the lives of many many women and probably men too. I think many people are blinded to all the medical care they provide because of some of the care they provide. Abortions are the argument as to why it shouldn’t be around anymore, but all these conservative men don’t understand that they can’t tell, let alone have an opinion on what a women should or shouldn’t do with their own body. Its completely disgusting that women are looked down upon because they want to terminate a pregnancy. No one should ever have an opinion towards a women who had an abortion because they do not know the reason as to why they did so. Planned Parenthood symbolizes a safe zone for many women because it is a judgement free environment that gives support and advice.
The people who want to shutdown Planned Parenthood either have a problem with women or they have a screw loose or they are just really ignorant when it comes to reality.
I really enjoyed reading this blog posting because I grew up going to Catholic private middle school and high school. I consider myself Catholic and I am religious and attend church often. Although my religion does not believe in premarital sex and is very against abortions, I agree with points and views made in this article. Planned Parenthood saves lives. Planned Parenthood is much more than an abortion clinic, it provides people with a variety of healthcare services. Whether it is HIV/STD testing, birth control, cancer screenings and much more, Planned Parenthood helps so many people everyday. I cannot see how anyone could view Planned Parenthood as a negative organization with all the help that they provide. Although I am Catholic, I am also pro choice because I cannot see how bringing a child into this life without the help and necessities to raise them is the right choice.
Thanks for your thoughts. Plus, making abortion illegal leads desperate women and girls to try to do it themselves or go to illegal abortion providers. And then a lot of them die. So making abortion illegal doesn’t actually create a pro-life situation.
The amount of backlash Planned Parenthood receives from conservatives is uncalled for, yet it’s hard to expect anything less. The GOP has waged a war to completely strip women of their rights, starting with the defunding of planned parenthood. The republican party cover’s up their plans by claiming that the fight is religious and not political, winning landmark cases such as Hobby Lobby v. Burwell. As Justice Ginsburg formally wrote in her dissent, “The exemption sought by Hobby Lobby and Conestoga would…deny legions of women who do not hold their employers’ beliefs access to contraceptive coverage”. Kagan, and Sotomayor joined in the dissent, showing that clearly in regards to women’s rights, the wrong decision has been made. Men have time and time again made decisions, wrong decisions, regarding women’s rights. It would be a complete disappointment if again, men of our government dictate women’s health and a women’s ability to control her own body.
A couple of years ago I saw myself in a very difficult situation and for the first time used the services at Planned Parenthood. I was 18, just out of high school, had moved out from home and was pregnant. I was attending community college and was working part time in a minimum paying job. I went to apply to medi-cal and was denied because my parents still had to sign for me since I was still not 19, something that I still don’t understand. Since I had left home in not such great situation, my parents refused to sign for me to get medi-cal. A coworker referred me to P.P. and they were amazing. They offered prenatal care and referred me to free parenting classes, food programs and even counseling classes. After my baby was born they continued offering me women health care. I have since then been an avid supporter and have recommended young girls to go there. They don’t only offer abortion services as many ignorant people believe; they offer many services from STD test, and treatment for both men and women, to birth control, prenatal care and women healthcare. Not all locations do abortions. I think it is wrong for people to want to close these places for one service offered, it would be like trying to close down a school for teaching our children The Pledge of Allegiance were it states that we are “one nation under God” or refusing to use U.S. currency because the phrase “In God We Trust” appears on it. It is wrong for people to make us feel like criminals for using these clinics, unfortunately not all of us are privileged enough to have healthcare and it is comforting to know that there is always a place where we can go to when we need help.
Thanks so much for sharing your experience.
I know as a society, some may feel they possess control over people unknown to them. “Telling” someone what is acceptable and unacceptable to do with their body, is nobody’s place; “telling” is different than advising, suggesting or informing. It is out of bounds for another human being to truly believe they have the right, to dictate terms on someone else’s body. Those who are against women having a choice (which seems absolutely insane, why on earth would a women not a have a choice, as to what happens with her body), lack compassion, understanding, yet use religion as a means to degrade and bombard women about their personal choices. I could not imagine another human being, “telling” me what is and is not going to happen with my body- the mere thought of someone honestly exhibiting that behavior, is truly sickening. As an organization, Planned Parenthood offers more than abortions. If you cared about the people using the program and its services, you would do the research and find all the organization has done to help women in need. One of the biggest parts of being a human being, is showing compassion and being sympathetic to peoples situation- no matter the person.
True. Thank you.
I am an Independent that leans more towards the republican side, at least most of the time. Planned Parenthood is not one of those arguments that I agree on. This organization has lead our society in a new direction, making it easier for women to get the help they need. I do not believe that rape victims should have to carry a child from that incident and forced to have it. I do not believe anyone not old enough to care for themselves should be forced to have a baby that they cannot raise. On the other hand there are some reasons I do not believe in abortion, but that is not my say and it should never been anyone else’s say then the person who is pregnant. Not only has Planned Parenthood given people a safe place for abortion it has also prevented a lot of unwanted pregnancies and stopped sexually transmitted diseases. I do not find any reasons to close this clinic, if a women wants to have an abortion many will go to great lengths to have one and it will be a major set back in our society. A lot more negatives will come out of closing it then keeping it open. I believe closing it will be a huge mistake.
I think it is completely ridiculous that they would want to shut down Planned Parenthood. Whether they agree with abortions or not there are many other wonderful things that Planned Parenthood helps with. I could only imagine the rapid increase in sexually transmitted disease that would occur if they were to shut it down. I feel as if Planned Parenthood has a bad reputation because they will do abortions, which is sad. As for abortions I don’t think anyone has the right to tell another person what they can or cant do to their body. And if they do decide to close PP then they are going to be dealing with a lot more other problems, such as deaths. A woman who wants an abortion is going to find a way one way or another and that’s very scary because she is putting her life in danger.
Coming from a city where I started my Freshmen year of High School and the majority of the girls were pregnant I couldn’t agree more with the stupidity of cutting off Planned Parenthood. I’ve actually been to a Planned Parenthood when a close friend of mine had to get an Abortion and that saved her from, dropping out of school, disappointment of her parents, and a lot of pressure to grow up when she still had yet to experience anything in life. The people were very nice and nonjudgmental and they did everything they could to help her feel comfortable and know that they would be able to help. They reassured her constantly that it was her body and her decision, they offered birth control options, STD testing just so she could be informed and aware of what was going on. We shouldn’t cut a program that is so beneficial to many young girls around the country, we should give them options and security to know that there is a way to be in control of the decisions you make.
You make some good points. Thanks for sharing.
I feel as though i don’t know weather i agree with young women or women in general being able to terminate their babies simply because they feel as though they are not ready to take that responsibility or they are just not willing to do anything . But i also don’t know if being able to have abortions is the right thing because its not the babies fault after all. I feel as if people are grown and responsible enough to b e having sex they should be able olive with some of the consequences that come with those choices.
Main problem is that:
1) healthcare for women will be cut, abortion funding — 3%, and none federally funded — won’t be much affected
2) You can’t force girls and women to not abort — desperate girls and women do it illegally, and die at higher rates.
I am a strong believer in pro-choice. I think that if a woman gets pregnant, she should be able to have options. A baby can severely alter a woman’s life. She goes through nine months or working while pregnant, then takes however many months off to take care of the child. Sure this theoretical woman could go back to work, but the guilt of being a neglectful mother could sway her motivation. I do however think that planned parenthood could use a little more organization. They have been known to tell patients that they are more ill than they are; causing the patient to pay for treatments they do not need. There are pros and cons to each side, and until someone can come up with a better solution, planned parenthood should stay right where it is.
Thanks for your thoughts.
I agree with this article 100% because I believe that Planned Parenthood is very beneficial to our society. Without Planned Parenthood, I believe society will be taking a step backwards and taking away women’s rights along with programs that benefit women, children, and overall, families. I think the problem is that most people do not realize that Planned Parenthood does many other things than just abortions, which are listed in this article and because of this and the way that it was founded, people dislike the company. However, they state that only 3% of the services preformed last year were abortion-related and this, to me, seems like a very low number that should not work people up. It also states that this 3% of abortion-related services were not government funded, which means people should not get upset because their tax dollars are not going to this service. Overall, I concur to what this article is saying and agree that Planned Parenthood should continue as it has been before we took away funding.
The only thing that will happen if they block funding to Planned Parenthood is that a lot of women are going to need help getting birth control and safe medical procedures. Federal funding doesn’t even pay for the abortions performed, so it would be detrimental to everyone to stop funding. Women need a place where their health is taken seriously, and Planned Parenthood is that place. Plus, the only thing banning abortions does is increase the amount of unsafe abortions. If the pro-lifers were really “pro-life”, they would understand that this is a necessary program for educational and procedural purposes.
I absolutely agree with you! Planned parenthood is such a necessity. I live in a smaller town that’s mostly known for its agriculture and our Planned parenthood was shut down, not sure why, but it was more than convenient having it in town. I had never thought about the anti-planned parenthood party as trying to “set women empowerment back,” but now it’s all dawning on me and really does make sense. It’s another situation where outsiders want to have control over the women’s body, its like they feel entitled to it. I’m really pro-my body, I believe all women should have control to their own body. This also includes whether they participate in sexual interactions, no one should force themselves on a woman. Thank you for the post!
You’re welcome. And I had never realized how intent these folks were on controlling women, More than saving lives, until I noticed the pattern. Before that, I had thought that feminists were kind of crazy thinking that the issue was more about controlling women.
i personally also disagree with anyone who looks down upon the services offered by planned parenthood. I believe everyone (regardless of gender) reserves the right to utilize these services as their is no physical harm being done to society and therefore, is entitled to that persons right to live freely. I understand abortion is a very arguable topic with regard to the circumstances that may apply. However, speaking on terms of a general relationship between a couple, that is business that should ultimately be mutually decided between both the male and female spouse. Also, planned parenthood is one of its very own few kind of facilities that actually reaches out to children to educate themselves about their decisions and consequences with regards to sex talk regardless of income. please note, now a days our current public school systems barely have enough income to remain stable, yet those against PP expect these courses to suddenly be demanded to be taught in every public school system to ensure our youth is being “educated”? more like disregarding our reserved right to independently claim our own education. Sure more students ears would be required to hear this information but are most children going to pay attention to these courses provided information when it may not apply to half of them of that age in that classroom at that very particular time being in their lives ? i beg to differ with evidence that children also have other prioritizes going on in their lives with consideration to their other school work,sports,and preparing for college and what not. That being said, the services this facility offers provides opportunity to those children who derive from a low income family and encourages them to stay up to date with their health without ever having to worry about affecting their parents budget whatsoever. to sum it up, this is a very important facility to communities world wide and it really does save lives with regards to low income families and terminating this place is equivalent to literally turning our back on our communities.
The scrutiny surrounding Planned Parenthood definitely has me very frustrated and angry with the direction we are headed in in regards to woman and their control of their own body. The video that sparked the outrage involving Planned Parenthood is said to be completely edited, making it seem that PP is corrupt and without morals. And it came at a perfect time, when we are entering into our next Presidential debate and all republicans are fuming over the video, Fiorina claiming that PP had an actual fetus on a table ready to cut it up. It’s all so ridiculous and these extreme tales are putting so many at risk. In one article it was said that around 12,000 women ranging from many ages, and mainly impoverished women are at risk of death with the defunding of PP. Those numbers make it not only seem like a further oppression of women, but tool against the lives of the poor. And while that may seem extremely far fetched and dramatic, the fact remains that the defunding of PP will result in numerous deaths of impoverished young women.
That’s true. Thanks for your thoughts.
To be honest I didn’t know that planned parenthood did all of these things to help others. The only thing you hear about planned parenthood is its the place to get abortions and birth control. People only see the negative things about this place and not the positive side of how it can help women and men. If I want to go on birth control I should because it’s my body and no one elses.
I personally think Planned Parenthood is wonderful. In so many ways it truly does give women independence and the knowledge they need to carry out a healthy lifestyle. While I am pro-abortion, I can understand where people come from on the regard they feel uncomfortable stopping potential life… That being said, I do agree banning abortion is really a means to limit woman in their sexuality and future. I think it should be a fundamental right that woman should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies and not have anyone tell them otherwise but something even more compelling to me is the effect of planned pregnancies. In the documentary Freakonomics there was a part that said once abortions were legal the amount of crime went down as well. Therefore, not only do woman have more liberties but the children they have are loved fully and able to cared for in the way they deserve. I don’t mean to be harsh but I think people with anti-abortion stances should do a bit more research before they vote. There are a lot of repercussions that occur with preventing the right to an abortion.
The Planned Parenthood videos depicting discussions about a criminal conspiracy to make money from aborted fetuses and their limbs caused a media outbreak this summer. I think that a lot of this uproar is rooted from lack of knowledge and ignorance about the origin of the video’s and the intent of their creation. I think your post illuminates significant points about abortion, stating only 3% of PP’s services are abortion-related. And by defunding this organization would cut the other benefits women utilize across the nation. Your argument with “peterdjames” provides great perspective of both sides of this discussion, but at the end of the day women should have the right to decide what they do and do not do to their own bodies. And should be given full access to these necessities. “Pro-life” supporters have a sort perceptual blindness or inattentional blindness due to their focus on the fetus, and therefore disregard the state of the woman holding it, whether that be emotional, physical and/or financial. They don’t seem to see past the baby being born, and what type of life it will face. Only that the baby physically come out of the mother’s womb. I don’t understand how men in government can sit there and try to take these rights away from women, when they are in no way being affected in the way that women are by this movement. Doesn’t make sense to me.
It would help if they have thought the issue through more. And if they weren’t so obsessed with controlling women.
Planned parenthood is great , I believe it is a great resource. It helps teen and young adults get the knowledge they need to know about pregnancy and STD’s. Also gives them the opportunity to ask questions that they might be afraid to ask at home. It would be a horrible thing if we got that taken away from us women, because it is affordable and comforting to see other women your age older or younger getting help also.
It really upsets me that these people are trying to shut down such a helpful organization to a lot of others and myself. Honestly, I’m a bit wishy-washy between pro-life and pro-choice but I definitely lean towards pro-choice. Why bring a child in to this world if you know you can’t take of it? And I extremely dislike it when people throw the “well, they can be put up for adoption” argument. Do people even know the statistics of how many children are adopted in the U.S.? Not to mention the health risks for the mother. And then the girls are to blame when they can’t take care of their children when these types of facilities are not available to them. Sorry, just some strong opinions when it comes to this kind of stuff but yes I do agree with your blog post! Thank you for sharing, I feel like this shined light to a lot of people about how P.P. helps the community and why Republicans are so eager to shut them down.
Thanks for your thoughts. You make some good points.
Voting against Planed Parenthood is a public health hazard. After all, PP does provide an array of health screenings and preventative health protection for all. Its intent is to provide services and care to those in need. PP educates people about sex and health concerns, as well as provides contraception to prevent the spread of sti’s and pregnancy.
Obviously, Planned Parenthood is look is looking out for the good of the public. Conservative religious pro-life voters ignore the fact that abortions will still continue regardless of its legality. They exaggerate the amount of abortion related services Planned Parenthood actually does. A mere 3% is abortion related services and 97% non-abortion related services performed by PP.
The author of this post attributes the voters’ motive to oppressing women’s power and rights. While that is certainly a consequence of the anti-planned parenthood voters, another reason the PP is targeted is because of how controversial it is. The single most important part of politics is winning. Subjects where public opinion is split about are key for politicians to focus on. While it is apparent that planned parenthood is a public health promoter and crucial to many Americans, conservative politicians are adamant because they know this will bring their religious supporters to the ballot box. Politicians don’t necessarily tackle the hardest or most important issues, just the ones that will get them votes, no matter the consequences.
After all, if religious folks believe that abortion is wrong, that’s fine but why must they impose their rules to everyone? They can practice their own beliefs without turning towards the law to help them promote their religious gilded agenda on everyone. Banning planned parenthood and abortion will only make the process more dangerous for women who must have an abortion. This is a staple debate in politics because of how divided people are on the topic.
You are right that politics plays a role in this. But ask yourself why so many voters want to get rid of Planned Parenthood. Do they really care about Life or just about controlling women? Because if you look at how these voters vote, they almost always vote in ways that are anti-life (except in this one circumstance). Just like the politicians, They are also usually against food stamps for the poor, Medical care for the poor, legislation to stop climate change, Gun regulations…
I completely agree with everything said in this article. There is no way that Panned Parenthood is gonna go down without a fight. I’m guessing that the people who are in favor of passing that law and defunding PP do not know how many different people are going to be affected by this. Now, every woman would have to go to their doctor and pay more than twice as much to be screened and given prescription birth control, if that would even happen. And what about the young ones who “accidentally” have unsafe sex and things go south; she would have no other choice than to come clean with her parents be taken to the doctor to see if anything can be done. This is not right and something needs to be done.
I believe that the House of Representatives is completely blind to the fact that Planned Parenthood is much more than just a center for women to go for an abortion. They seem to always fail to mention the many other services that they offer to women as well as to men. Things such as how they provided 1 million people with health care around the world, how they gave breast exams to 487,029 women in the United States, as well as 37, 739 HPV vaccinations. Mike Huckabee is stating how” Planned Parenthood is endangering America and its citizens”, when in fact they are actually helping them. Though Planned Parenthood is treated as a “criminal” organization, I suppose that all its users are criminals as well, all the people with little to no healthcare in third world countries, all the women that are trying to know if they have breast cancer or not, and all the men and women who are diagnosed with HPV and are trying to treat it and prevent its spread, they are all “criminals” for utilizing such a “criminal” organization.
Planned parenthood is an absolute necessity…not only for the individual but also for the society…. You’ve made some valid points here…
Often we disagree. But, on this one I think you are on the money. Perhaps a bit extreme but that OK.
I too am a pro life conservative. But, I simply do not believe that fighting with Planned Parenthood is worth all of this….Bottom line is the vast majority of abortions are NOT done by Plan Parenthood and the amount of $$$$ is fairly insignificant they get from the Feds. So we conservative pro life people need to move the hell on from this.
The whole damn thing is pretty silly. Since most abortions are not done by Plan Parenthood, should we say to doctors who perform such procedure they cannot be medicare and/or medicaid participants? Do we go and tell the medical suppliers they cannot sell to abortion clinics for if they do they cannot sell to say VA hospital?
I have looked at the activities of Planned Parenthood. They do a lot more great things than bad. Next, please.
I’m glad that every now and then we agree on something.
It seems as though most people who are “pro-life” only care about the baby until it’s born. Once born, the mother will be crippled financially and make it harder to raise the baby. Too bad the people who are “pro-life” are often people who are against welfare, food stamps, and other government help. Additionally, many people fail to realize that Planned Parenthood is not just for abortions and they provide many other services as you said in your post. I hope that one day people realize just how important Planned Parenthood is and how much this establishment can help everyone.
Thanks for your thoughts. You make some good points.
PP offers affordable birth control and I am proud to say I have been a loyal client. The anti-PP movement is all a part of their Christian/Conservative politics. They don’t want you to have sex unless you are trying to have a baby, and they don’t want you to have too many choices that might go against God or the Bible. So they dress it up like they care about the right to human life, but as soon as you are born, you can pretty much shove off for all they care.
Yeah, a lot of religious right wingers are like that. Some suspect the notion came with patriarchy: if you use sex only to procreate, And not to bond, it’s a lot easier to act in controlling ways and not loving ways. Which makes sense. Nowadays I think that people still promote the idea more out of tradition and belief that that’s what God wants, rather than to stunt love and relationships.
Id imagine you probably think the idiot in the white house is “doing a good” too huh.Yes,the racebaiter,racist,anti-semite Obama whom liberal women claim is so wonderful…the same admin who released thousands of illegal alien drug dealers,murders and rapists back in 2013! Didn’t hear any outrage over that from the fems did we? and this is coming from someone who in general despises both parties who at the end of the day are two different buckets of the same excrement but Obama is a reprobate and should of not even have been elected dog catcher let alone president.
I normally wouldn’t approve a comment like this. But it works so well as “Exhibit A” for another reader that I am making an exception here.
Thanks for telling it exactly like it is in terms of what is really going on. It’s amazing how upside down the world still is and how the efforts to control women and their bodies and their rights remain rampant.
And largely invisible. Thanks!
Really? Then why is circumcision legal ? You want the right to terminate your pregnancy but women will use a bs parental right argument to slice their sons.
If you don’t like circumcision, then you should fight for the right to choose whether to do it or not. Fine with me.
Great post.! Thank you for sharing. And I completely agree with you in your response regarding hypocrites. So many things I want to say…deep sigh. Silent applause for you instead 🙂
Hi Georgia…Planned Parenthood—Choice—Absolutely! Thanks for sharing this post with all of us! Your writing—Truth…Phil
I love planned parenthood.
Really appreciate all that they do for others and myself.
There have been people standing in protest across from our local P.P… It drives me bonkers to see these people.
I just tell myself that they don’t understand the benefit of a P.P. In a community.
With how many lives they would harm if successful , I wonder if these people even realize what they’re doing. What is going on between their ears?
Normally I really value your alternative perspective on issues since I’m a Christian male who considers himself a feminist. Your articles help me see a different side of things. But this one was a little far fetched and unfair. Most pro-lifers I know (which are most of the people in my life) don’t vote against those things you listed. They also aren’t against the other services that PP offers. They also aren’t trying to reduce women back to a time when they had no rights. You’re taking a very extremist population that doesn’t represent the majority and saying that all pro lifers are like that. We’re not. I think there should be an exception if the mothers life is at stake. I think women should be empowered. But no one no matter who they are should have the power to take an innocent life. Yes, there are hypocrites on the pro life side but there’s hypocrites on the other side as well. There’s hypocrites on every side of every issues because there are human beings on every side. But that doesn’t make all of us hypocrites. It doesn’t make our values wrong. Hypocrites don’t prove their spoken values to be wrong, they just prove that they didnt really believe them. The solution isn’t to disregard the spoken beliefs but to find a better way to actually live by them, to actually be pro life holistically in every aspect of life and for every kind of life.
You’ll be surprised to learn that at one time my beliefs were quite similar to yours. I had more exceptions: life and health of the mother, rape and incest victims. Maybe a few others but it’s hard to remember back that far. And I was pro-life in other ways too, supporting food stamps and healthcare for poor people, etc. So I know that not all “pro-lifers” want to disempower women.
Yet I was constantly angry at most “pro-lifers” and I realized it was because almost all of them also wanted to disempower women.
Everyone I personally knew who called themselves “pro-life” voted in the way I describe. And felt like a woman’s place was in the home, where she should obey her husband. (I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian religion, by the way.)
If you look at the “pro-life” states, the people predominately vote in the way that I described.
If you look at the members of Congress who vote “pro-life” they almost always vote the way I described. Senator Harry Reid is one of the few exceptions.
I also discovered that abusive men often destroyed their partners birth-control believing that if their partners got pregnant they would be more dependent, less empowered, and easier to control. And it would be harder for their partners to leave an abusive situation.
When I first heard feminists say that pro-lifers didn’t care about life, they cared about controlling women, it made no sense to me. Until I started noticing these patterns.
Or there’s the televangelist, Pat Robertson, who ran for president once and who is against abortion unless it’s in China, where you have to have it. The only way he is consistent is in controlling women – forcing them to not have abortions, or forcing them to have them.
Meanwhile, I also discovered that laws against abortion don’t stop it. Desperate women find ways to get an abortion even if it is against the law. Which means they’re more likely to die.
The countries with the greatest allowances for abortion have the lowest rates. Look to northern Europe. The countries with the greatest restrictions on abortion often have the highest rates.
That’s because people who are against abortion also tend to be against the things that best prevent abortion: sex education, birth control, and not shaming premarital sex. The latter is important because girls who feel shamed don’t use birth control because they don’t want their partners to think they are bad girls, and they don’t want to see themselves as bad girls. And they are often more desperate to get an abortion if they do get pregnant.
Also, kids who have hopes and dreams tend to put off having sex, and are more responsible when they do have it, because they don’t want pregnancies to block those hopes and dreams.
Meanwhile, parents fear sex education because they fear that their kids will be more likely to have sex outside of marriage. And yet kids whose parents talk to them wait longer, and are more responsible when they do have sex.
I just don’t believe that anyone is truly pro-life unless they are pro-life on all of the issues. Including understanding that laws against abortion don’t stop it so much as leaving more women dead. And if they aren’t also working to disempower women.
But thanks for your thoughts.
First of all thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. Like I said, I really value hearing your perspective, it always challenges me to think more deeply through what I believe.
I’m aware of your fundamentalist background, I’m also aware you were surprised to visit a bible study recently and find that they weren’t anything like the fundamentalists you grew up with. That’s my point. There are tons of bigoted, ignorant christians that are very loud and set the reputation for all of us, but we’re not all like that. Just like there are bigoted ignorant atheist liberals that set a false reputation of what liberals are like in the christian’s mind.
I know that there are examples of pro-lifers not really caring about all the issues of valuing life. But that doesn’t make the pro-life belief wrong. Just because something is abused and used improperly it doesn’t mean it’s invalid and should be thrown out. In fact, the solution is to go back to the original belief and find a way to be truer to it.
As for the studies you mention about countries with more relaxed abortion policies, those studies weren’t comparing apples-to-apples demographics. Take a look at this article: http://douthat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/what-reduces-abortion-rates/?_r=0
There are a ton of poorly done studies out there. We can’t just believe “studies show” statements. We have to look at how those studies were done. I know you know this.
I agree that the shame culture needs to go away and the availability of sex-ed and contraceptives should go up. But the solution isn’t to abandon pro-life or Christianity’s claims. The American church is unhealthy and has in large part forgotten it’s roots. It’s a culture of shame not because of it’s beliefs but because it’s not actually living out it’s proclaimed beliefs. Jesus came to forgive, to remove shame, to remove guilt, to love unconditionally, to not judge, to accept you where you are. Some of his closest friends were people who slept around and were outcasts from the religious elite of the day.
If pro-life culture is full of shame it’s because it has lost sight of what it originally stands for. If pro-lifers don’t value women independence and choice and all facets of human life then they aren’t really pro-life. The solution for those people isn’t to abandon their beliefs but to actually live them out and return to them, perhaps for the first time.
Thanks. I read that column in the New York Times a while back. But what I said is still true.
Northern European countries have hardly any laws against abortion and they have very low abortion rates. That’s because they are also good at providing sex education, contraception is easy to get, and people don’t feel shamed using it. On the other hand A strongly Catholic country like Brazil has a very high abortion rate, averaging one per woman, and that’s because contraception is not so easy to get and people feel shamed using it.
So what do you propose to do? Make abortion illegal so that a lot of girls and women end up dead? Because a lot of girls and women will end up dead or unable to have children when they are ready to have them — despite Ross’ argument in the New York Times.
And the Christian club I was talking about on campus is not at all like the red states and the red state members of Congress. They are in the progressive San Francisco Bay area. Red states and red state members of Congress are working very hard to limit women’s rights through forcing women and girls to continue pregnancies and by trying to get rid of contraception and other healthcare for women.
Do you know how helpless women feel when some people try to remove control over their own bodies? and when women have a lot of children and are dependent they are more easily controlled and abused. It all supports the patriarchy.
Why not work to do things that prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, like work for sex education, contraceptive availability, and for our society to stop shaming sexuality?
(it wouldn’t let me reply under your latest comment, so I’m replying here.)
It’s an extremely complex issue with complex causes. But why wouldn’t making contraception and sex-ed extremely easy to access while still illegalizing non-life threatening pregnancy abortions–why wouldn’t that work?
I’ve been in a situation myself where control of my own life was denied me and it was an incredibly difficult, excruciating experience. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But I couldn’t justify taking a life solely for the reason that it would give me my control back and let me have the life I had planned to have.
Women should have the same rights as men if not more, but no one should have the right to take a life unless that life is threatening your own physical existence (self-defense).
Most importantly, for some reason you don’t seem to get that if you make abortion illegal then many desperate women and girls will die trying to do it on their own.
Not even close to pro-life.
And fetuses and embryos are not the same as actual people.
A lot of pro-lifers want to stop stem cell research because you’re killing “people.” But if a bunch of these folks were protesting at a research lab when a fire broke out, would they choose to save the thousands of stem cells — “people” — or the two-year-old who sees the flames coming?
Or would they choose to save several embryos — smaller than children, so you could save more of them. Or would they save one child?
I have a brother-in-law who was always against abortion until his wife was pregnant and having complications. He was told he might have to make a choice between his wife and the baby. He chose his wife.
I read about one woman who was forced to give birth. She was so angry that she killed the baby later — after months of abusing it.
And then there’s this:
Markets Must Be Free; Women Must Be Constrained
As further evidence that plenty of people who are pro-life are often misogynistic and want to control women, take a look at a comment I would normally disapprove because it doesn’t fit with my comment policy requesting politeness. But it’s a good “Exhibit A” so take a look at T..J’s response to me, below. (He’s got a couple)
And finally, I repeat: For some reason you don’t seem to get that if you make abortion illegal then many desperate women and girls will die trying to do it on their own.
The focus really needs to be on preventing unplanned pregnancies in the first place. Not focusing on controlling women and their bodies and choices after-the-fact.
You’ve given me a lot to think about. Thank you. I’m not convinced but I think there’s a lot more commonality between our concerns than I originally thought. We both want the greater good, the least amount of harm to individual people. In an extremely complex topic, the solution isn’t obvious and I think that’s why there will always be disagreement. But yeah, I wish there weren’t extremist misogynistic pro-lifers that don’t actually care about individual people as well as the greater good. If they would go away the disagreements could be far more productive and we could sharpen each other rather than tear each other down.
I have issues with the hypothetical burning building you pose though. It doesn’t really force me to prove whether or not embryonic life is considered fully human and thus killing them would be murder. It’s more like the classic ethics question of 6 people on a boat in the middle of the ocean with only enough food for one person. Who should be saved? The lawyer, the mother of 8, the doctor, the plumber, the President of the United States, or the child? That only forces you to rank proportional value to society and likelihood of survival. It doesn’t make you decide which one is human and which isn’t. And unless I’m mistaken nobody thinks stem cells are people, but rather taken from aborted/miscarried people. Saving stem cells and claiming you’re saving people would be ridiculous.
Finally, you keep saying I don’t get that desperate women will die trying on their own. I get that. I do. I’m not at all dismissing that. It’s tragic and if there was a way to have everyone stay alive then it wouldn’t be such a difficult and complicated topic.
But those desperate women would have a choice. They may not like the choices but they have them. Their babies however do not have a choice at all and those babies are humans with a right to live and no one has the right to kill them.
Again, if the woman’s life is at stake that’s different (self-defense).
And why can’t the mom who was forced to give birth have given the baby to a safe drop off place? There are other options than killing your baby out of rage…. These are hardly the majority cases and hardly situations where the better choice would have been to kill the baby in utero. It’s just not the case that the only option is between kill the baby in utero or have an angry disturbed mother kill it later. “When you have exhausted all options, remember this–you haven’t.” – Thomas Edison
Actually, I want to make this clear too. Even though I believe no one has the right to take a human life at any stage, I also believe that I’m no better than anyone who has done so. I’ve seen my heart under pressure in situations where I felt like I had no options (even though I did) and I’ve seen the ugly self preserving desperation that can come out of me in those times. I’m just as capable under the wrong circumstances to be a murderer as anyone else. The only things that have kept me from that is the grace of God and fear of consequences. I believe I have been forgiven of just as much wrong if not more than those who would seek forgiveness for aborting their child.
Of course I meant that the people who are against stem cell research are against killing embryos in order to do it, so you would be saving embryos, not stem cells.
The difference between you and me is whether you are willing to make laws that will lead to the deaths women and girls in order to save embryos and fetuses or whether you are willing to have laws that will lead to the extinguishing of embryos and fetuses in order to save women and girls.