I have and will continue to be a huge supporter of Planned Parenthood for so many different reasons. The nonprofit provides accessible health care for all those who need it and provide a plethora of services from prenatal care, cancer screenings, abortions, sex education, contraception, and many many more services primarily centered around reproductive services. I love it because here’s an organization dedicated to reproductive health and education in a society where things like sexual intercourse, contraception, and abortion can be heavily stigmatized.
***Before anything else, I do want to say that some (if not almost all) articles I link to in this post will probably be some form of cissexist because society is shitty in that people think only women are capable of getting abortions, etc etc. So I apologize for that.
****And I’ll be talking about abortion at one point just as a warning.
The reason why I wanted to write about this is because Planned Parenthood has been getting a lot of media attention over the last couple months AND the House of Representatives just recently voted to freeze all federal funds to the organization. Both of these things are related because Planned Parenthood caught a lot of flack for a heavily edited video released several months ago that discussed how fetal tissue is sometimes used in medical research (more or less). In an uproar, the House Republicans have taken this video, used it as an excuse to freeze all funds to the organization, and have threatened a government shutdown.
The slightly good news is that the House approved bill now has to go through the Senate and on to President Obama, who has threatened to veto any bill that strips federal funding from the organization. And there are many people rallying behind Planned Parenthood, asking that the organization be supported and not attacked.
Plus, it turns out that the undercover and controversial video is exceptionally off base in so many ways. Robin Abcarian wrote about how wrong the eight minute video is for the Los Angeles Times, writing about how a three hour meeting was heavily condensed and edited down to:
…a lurid eight-minute video put out by the Center for Medical Progress. It was edited to make Nucatola [senior director of medical services], and Planned Parenthood, look like profit-mongering human-parts traffickers who could put Cruella de Vil to shame.
The thing is that Planned Parenthood does not profit off of selling fetal tissue to research companies and patients going through with an abortion have asked for this specific service to occur. And the organization released an official response about the undercover video stating exactly that and that the video is heavily edited to accuse Planned Parenthood of some evil moral wrong doing. (The morality of stem cell research is a very related issue but way too much for right now.)
Also, Planned Parenthood provides so many other services that may not be accessible to some. Gail Collins wrote an opinion piece about the fight for unplanned parenthood and talked about (among other things) when Planned Parenthood leaves town, the amount of family planning services dropped and in some places, rates of unplanned pregnancies (or even cases of HIV) began to rise!
I am 100% pro choice in the discussion around abortion because I fully believe in bodily autonomy and the right to make decisions about your life. There are so many valid reasons to get an abortion and more often than not, it seems like there are plenty of people who say they are pro life but in reality just pro birth and don’t care about what happens to the baby or parent(s) afterwards.
Finally, I just want to end this by saying to every one who has had an abortion that you are worthy and all those terrible things anti abortion activists say are so untrue. If anyone needs a ride in the Skagit or Whatcom County area of Washington State to have an abortion or the like, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I would be so willing to help you out! Also proudly-pro-choice on tumblr has been organizing a list of people from around the US who would be willing to possibly offer rides as well!!