So as you all know there has been a lot of talk in Congress regarding the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Republicans and conservative Christians are so excited and ready to party like it’s 1999. But in reality if Planned Parenthood is defunded, we will literally go back to 1969(aka anytime before Roe vs. Wade was enacted).
Here in Texas, we don’t really have to worry about going back in time because we already have through the systemic shut down of family wellness clinics and said “abortion-providers”. Planned Parenthood educates men and women about sexual health along with parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides condoms and other forms of birth control for people who are considering having sex. Planned Parenthood is also a resource for people who are having sex but are interested in having healthy sex(aka STI testing, well women testing, various health screenings). All of these services are available for anyone who needs them. This is especially vital for the poorest people in the country. Because poor people are not able to just go to their family doctor because unless they have children(and have medical benefits for their children), they do not have a family doctor.
You cannot just roll up to the ER every time you have an issue or think you have an issue that may or may not be life threatening(but you will when it gets to be the worst of the worst pain that you have ever felt in your life, when you *surprise* have an STI and no health insurance). So, Planned Parenthood and your local health department serve as a go to before you have to take that next step to the ER.
What Republicans and conservative Christians do not like to talk about is the fact that the reason why they can put themselves in the role of shutting down Planned Parenthood is because their precious daughters, wives, mistresses, and prostitutes that they have on retainer have the means to go to their private doctor and get their early term abortions. Most of the people in this country getting abortions are not the people that the media has led you to believe are getting abortions.
People of color are as much against abortion as the next group of people and as a result, do not have it on their top ten list of things to accomplish before they die. Most of the time poor people who are getting abortions are going that route as a result of rape(which even happens to girls younger than 14 and requires parental consent and notification), or unplanned in a one night stand or monogamous relationship where the guy determines that he does not want the child and gives the woman the funds to have the procedure done. In many of these situations, the women and girls who find themselves in this predicament, are not in the care of supportive households. They face shunning and shaming if they present to their families that they are pregnant. Because how do you tell your Mother that you are pregnant(as a ten year old) by her boyfriend? You don’t really get to have those kind of conversations in a Hallmark card manner. There will be no cookies and milk for that conversation.
One reason why poor and at-risk women and girls have to have abortions is because even though there may be one or two pregnancy care centers in a city, the church is not helping unmarried pregnant women the way Paul discusses helping the widows and the poor in the New Testament. The church is not sitting down their rocks(as Jesus told the Pharisees to do in the case of the woman caught in adultery), but continuing their condemnation of these women and girls as if it is their God given right.
The majority of Christian and Republican women in the country are not waiting to have sex until they are married because many are being raped before they even have the choice. Many are abused before they are even given the option. These horrific acts occur within the church and no one talks about it.
Here is what Planned Parenthood has done for me: It provided me with well woman exams that included breast exams. It provided me with birth control at a price that I could afford(until I couldn’t afford it anymore). It provided me with sexual health discussions after I had episodes of violent sex that left me bruised and hurting. It provided me with HIV testing when I wasn’t able to get to my nearest HIV testing location. It provided me with condoms so that when I did make the choice to have sex with someone, I didn’t have an excuse for us not being protected. It provided me with a safe, non-judgmental place to share my thoughts and concerns about real issues that I needed to work through. Many of these services do not have a price tag on them because knowledge and sexual health are priceless.
What has Planned Parenthood done for you?