Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why I Stand With Planned Parenthood

If that title offends you, stop reading. Just wait for dog posts and ignore this sadly politicized issue.

Abortion is legal in the United States.

It is a medical procedure that terminates unwanted or unhealthy pregnancies.

Until every infant in this country is wanted, is seen as desired, abortion must remain a legal option.

When I was in high school, one of my 16-yr-old classmates made a conscious decision to become pregnant. She wanted a baby. Her family supported her. This child is 11-yrs-old now and lives with a loving family that wanted him. It would not have mattered if she was by herself, didn't have a job, was a drug addict or lived in her car - there was no law that would deny her the right to have a baby. Whether she could support the child or not was moot. She had sovereignty over her body.

When I was in college, my dear friend shared about her abortion. It happened when she was fifteen. Her boyfriend had suggested he just "pull out" and prevent an unwanted pregnancy. It did not. She was unable to care for a child. Her family was unable to care for a child. She did drugs and knew her infant would have been impacted.

Also, when I was in college, the girlfriend of one of my closest friends got pregnant. She surmises she missed one or more days of her birth control pill. They did not use condoms but thought the pill was protection enough. She came from a strong Christian family who felt abortion was an abomination. She would not get their support for the pregnancy OR for the abortion, so she never told them.  She married her boyfriend. They are happy now.

To be honest, I could not imagine the latter two women as mothers. They did not WANT motherhood at that point in their lives. And while no one would bat an eyelash at them choosing pregnancy, whether they were prepared for it or not, choosing NOT to have an infant is unusually divisive.

Planned Parenthood isn't just an abortion service provider. They provide education and screening and condoms. They receive no federal funding for their abortion services. Your federal tax dollars do not fund abortions. They fund wars. And sometimes highways. Your tax dollars could be funding reproductive health screening, but not if the Republican run House gets it way. They just voted to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding. Republicans are afraid of condoms and HIV screening. Mostly, they seem afraid that allowing a woman to decide what is best for her body shattering. She might decide to have an abortion. Or keep the baby. Or give the infant up for adoption. The possibilities are ENDLESS. But Republicans want to force all women to give birth.

Forcing me to do something that is wrong for my body and mind and for any child?

That is why I stand with Planned Parenthood. It is why I stand with all women who have made the decision to abort. It is why I stand with all women who have made the decision to give birth. I want all women to have the right to choose what is best given her current circumstances. It may surprise you, but it might be best - as sad and tragic and awful to consider - for the fetus or child-to-be as well. It may not, but last time I checked, a fetus cannot vote or think or made decisions. I can. And dammit, I want all of my options available to me, to every woman.

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