Tag Archives: women’s health

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.

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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.