Tag Archives: abortion

Planned Parenthood is Not Evil and You Are Not Saving Anyone.

Mr. Matthew Derosia has issues. He’s been committed nine times since 2004, which amounts to more than twice a year. So, Red, why are we talking about some guy you’ve never heard of you ask? Because last Thursday, Matthew Derosia took his mother’s boyfriend’s SUV and rammed it into the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul Minnesota.

Fortunately, no one was injured, because Matthew decided to destroy private property at 7:42am before business hours. Damage appears to be minimal, and the clinic was not closed down.

Matthew’s statement is particularly disturbing, stating that Jesus told him to “stop the murders.” One has to wonder…what would’ve happened had he actually committed his crime when there were people at the clinic? If he had run down a pedestrian or actually harmed someone inside the clinic? Why is it okay then? Why do living, breathing people take precedence over potential people?

Enough. Planned Parenthood is not evil. In fact, I’m fairly sure that most people don’t even know what Planned Parenthood does beyond abortions. How about a few facts from a nurse who actually worked for PP?

  1. Abortions account for precisely 3% of Planned Parenthood’s business. The vast majority of their business comes from office visits and contraceptives.
  2. They also provide assistance for low/no cost mammograms for low income women, pediatric services for the children of low income parents, pre-natal services for women who decide to have their babies, annual pap smears, sterilization services for men and women, counseling for teens, and, of course, contraceptives.
  3. They contribute more to their local communities than nearly any other medical non profit organization.
  4. They provide MUCH needed sex education to teens and schools. I was an educator for PP for a year…some of the things that are accepted by teens as fact are plain scary.

Planned Parenthood is not the enemy. The people who work there are, in my experience, some of the most empathetic, community spirited people I have ever met. They are dedicated to the cause of women’s health, and the truly believe in what they’re doing. It’s sad that the people who work so hard to put them out of business aren’t even aware of half of the services provided in those clinics, or that the people who are helped are usually low income with nowhere else to go.

Additionally, many anti-choice women make use of Planned Parenthood’s services. Not for education or contraceptives, sadly, but for the very thing they picket and protest against: abortion. In the spring of 2000, Joyce Arthur collected anecdotes from doctors, nurses and health workers at PP as well as pro-life women about women who obtain abortions even though they protest at clinics and identify as pro-life. It’s eye opening.

Abortion is an incredibly polarizing subject. What people forget when they argue that subject is that it’s also a very difficult, painful choice for the women who make it. It doesn’t need to be turned into a shameful, guilt ridden one as well because someone doesn’t approve. The people at PP are doing a difficult job providing services to men, women and children who need them. They don’t need “saving,” and their patients deserve dignity and understanding. They’re not a cause, they’re people. Actions like those of Matthew Derosia just further remove the realization of that fact.

Joe Scarborough’s Domestic Terrorist Glass House

 

Joe Scarborough, for those of you who do not know, is the anchor of MSNBC’s morning television show “Morning Joe.” He is a former US Congressman, having represented the 1st district of the state of Florida in the House of Representatives, a fact he makes sure to insert into his program at least once a day (usually along the lines of “well, y’know, ‘Mika [MSNBC’s answer to Alan Colmes], when I was in office back in 1998, here’s how we did it…”).

Mr. Scarborough has gone a long way to furthering the concept that not only are Barack Obama and William Ayers any more than casual acquaintances who served together on a committee, but that William Ayers is STILL a terrorist (even though he performed one act, has paid his debt to society, and now tries to right that wrong by serving his community) and that Obama’s campaign “started in his living room.” And implying that Barack Obama, by that association, must be okay with terrorists. Mr. Scarborough, of all people, should know precisely why such misrepresentations are damaging to a career, and why members of the press should be called on those misrepresentations.

Just for fun, let’s use actual events from Mr. Scarborough’s life using the same spin he placed on the relationship between Sen. Obama and William Ayers.  Unlike Joe, I’ll actually follow up the sensationalism with facts and try to show why objectivity is necessary in reporting. Ready? Here we go:

I’ve recently received information that Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” has ties to domestic terrorists and religious extremists. Apparently, Mr. Scarborough helped Michael Griffin, a man who shot and killed a doctor at his clinic in full view of many innocent patients, to obtain an expensive attorney, then shielded Mr. Griffin’s family and downplayed the issue to the press. Of course, we don’t have all the details, so we probably shouldn’t be discussing this in depth, but doesn’t it speak to Mr. Scarborough’s character that he’s willing to protect a homicidal maniac who believes God told him to shoot doctors? Mr. Griffin is unrepentant about his crime.

While we’re on the subject of Mr. Scarborough’s character; what does it say that he left office just a few short months after being elected? That he essentially abandoned his constituency, pursued a divorce, divested himself of all the responsible positions he held, and then, amidst rumors of infidelity, one of his interns was found dead in his office?

28 year old Lori Klausutis, an intern in the congressman’s Florida office was found dead of a massive blow to the head by visitors to the congressman’s deserted office. Apparently, she’d been dead for some time, and Mr. Scarborough himself was in Washington at the time she was found.

Isn’t that salacious? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next juicy detail? Let’s compare that tell-all, celeb gossip style story to the actual facts.

Mr. Scarborough was a young civil law attorney when he was approached by Mr. Griffin’s family. He was unable to represent Michael Griffin, who was charged with (and eventually convicted of) shooting and killing a physician who performed abortions. The story can be found here (scroll down for story). Mr. Scarborough had a reputation for pro-life causes, and helped the family find an attorney for Michael and spoke with the press on their behalf pro bono (Most lawyers are required to do a certain number of pro bono hours).

Mr. Scarborough was elected to four terms in the House of Representatives. However, some months after his third re-election, he divorced his wife and retired from his seat, saying he wanted to spend more time with his children. The timing was considered dubious, as a clerk in his Florida Office, Lori Klausutis, 28, was found dead, and there had been rumors of infidelity. The matter was not considered sufficiently resolved by many, as there were questions about the head trauma Lori suffered which was (according to the coroner) caused by a coronary event, ending in her accidental death. Mr. Scarborough’s attitude toward the incident when speaking of it on Don Imus’ radio program sparked further internet furor.

There you have it. Two stories. The first (were it about any Democrat you’d care to name) would have Mr. Scarborough and any Republican howling for blood. The second was at least an attempt at objective reporting; something far too many at Fox News and Mr. Scarborough himself scoff off as “liberal media.”

Here’s what Mr. Scarborough, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their slavish followers just don’t get: a story reported without bias (or with as little as possible) is necessary in journalism. The entire premise is to report the FACTS and allow people to make up their own minds. But for some reason, people want to be led. Joe Scarborough and reporters like him with their constant stream of innuendo and misinformation have killed journalistic integrity. Journalism is not about opinion. It’s about reporting the facts of the day’s events. And if Mr. Scarborough expects to consistently report his biased views as facts, perhaps he should be reminded of just what the press can do with a little skewed information.

Bristol’s Decision or: Republicans stumble over the word “Choice”

So naturally, as an avowed Commie Socialist atheist liberal pig dog, I watch the Daily Show as often as I can. Well. Ordinarily I tivo it and watch it at some point over the weekend when I’m not running the kids around or cleaning the house or plotting the downfall of civilization as we know it by daring to vote Democrat. Last night, though, since I was up talking to the television during the RNC, I stayed up the extra half hour to watch Jon Stewart.

Ordinarily, I am not a big Samantha Bee fan; she ends up annoying me. But her last few segments have had me rolling, and I’m hoping the writers can keep coming up with the biting satire they’ve been writing for her lately.  Last night in particular had me grinning from ear to ear. On the convention floor, Samantha was interviewing attendees, asking them what they thought about the whole Bristol issue. Many of them said that, while it was an unfortunate incident, it was “a decision made privately, by the family.” I began to smile as Samantha asked each one “Hmmm….decision….she made her own DECISION… y’know…there’s another word…for decision…option? No…that’s not it….what IS that word…?” And hemmed over it more as each conventioneer got obviously more and more uncomfortable about the big hypocritical elephant in the living room. Finally one said “Um…choice?” “YES!” Samantha yelled. “That’s it. Choice. It was her choice.” The young lady then said (and I swear I laughed harder at this line than any Jon Stewart delivered) “well…yeah, but… y’know…’freedom of choice’ isn’t exactly the same thing as ‘pro choice.’ ” And she was SERIOUS!

(Clip here)

I was absolutely floored. Here’s this entire delegation who understands and supports the idea that getting married and having that baby is not only a private, family matter, but Bristol’s choice, and hers alone. And THEN had the balls to say it isn’t the same thing as being pro-choice. There I sat, my ghast totally flabbered. The darling man (who was raised in Texas and understands these things far better than a simple California girl like me) smiled at me rather gently and said “honey…they really do think ‘pro choice’ is a euphemism for ‘pro abortion’.”

I goggled at him. I blustered. What twaddle! NO ONE is pro-abortion! I’ve worked at Planned Parenthood; that’s not the motto! When we say “pro choice,” we really do MEAN….it’s your choice! Totally up to you! Bristol wants to have her baby. That’s great! SHE made that choice. Had she decided to keep it quiet, not tell anyone and given it up for adoption? ALSO great, and also totally up to her. Had she not told anyone, had an abortion, and gone on with her life? Guess what. That’s her choice, too.

The fact that people at the RNC supported that, on camera and on the record, should be screamed from the rooftops. The fact that it was the Daily Show and not a “hard news” program just means people were relaxed enough to say what they actually meant.  Republicans DO support a woman’s right to choose. Giving women that choice does not automatically follow that the choice they make will be the one with which their values disagree.

The White House’s New Definition of (female) Contraceptives

I was all set for a Bush lame duck presidency. After all, I figured, it isn’t as if he’s done a whole lot in the past 8 years other than go to war and procrastinate. He’ll likely take a few more vacations in Crawford, do a world tour, attempt to cure the woes in the middle east….that kind of thing. But no. Once again, we are treated to the kind of stupid that usually requires years of chemically treating one’s brain to attain.

In a bitch slap to all women, the White House has defined (female) contraceptives as “abortion,” and stated that any and all community clinics who refuse to abide by this trogloditic rule will lose DHHS funding. Further, pharmacists who oppose contraception for religious reasons will be within legal rights to refuse to dispense birth control to women.

Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and my boss stated:

“Women’s ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology,”

I adore Cecile’s understatement. Not only will this affect women’s ability to determine their reproductive rights, it will severely limit community clinics to provide other services. Whether anti-choice activists wish to acknowledge it or not, abortion is a mere 2% of Planned Parenthood’s business. They also provide much needed low cost healthcare to children, such as the federal VFC (vaccines for children) program and CHDP (children’s health and disability program). Because of the high cost of health care, most physicians do not accept these programs, and it is left to community clinics such as PP to make sure these low income families receive the care they need. So the bill will essentially make it more difficult for the poor to access quality care.

It is doubtful that a Democratic congress would consider passing such a shortsighted, brutal law, but I urge you all to contact your congress critter immediately to ask them to vote no. Make no mistake: this is a stab at our rights as women and thinking, self aware human beings. We will not go back to a time in which we passively allowed others to decide our lives and fates.