“An attack on masculinity” is what one conservative called pink-painted toenails on a young boy in a recent J. Crew ad, but what about the recent and much more serious attacks by government on feminine issues?
In January, Congress attempted to limit the definition of rape and exclude certain sexual attacks from being defined as such— for example, if the victim was drugged first then she wasn’t really raped. It followed that classy move by nearly closing down the federal government over a disagreement about .o1 percent of the budget that went to Planned Parenthood.
Addressing the needs of teenagers, women and men to have safe access to facts about sexuality, pregnancy, STDs and contraceptives, as well lifesaving cancer screenings, Planned Parenthood’s 800 health centers across the nation provide medical care in addition to assisting women seeking to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
For females, getting pregnant is not only a life-altering event. It can be life-threatening.
Which is why everyone who doesn’t like abortion, or single-parent homes, or the cycle of poverty, or rape victims forced to rear the product of a trauma should rally behind the giant bulk of the services Planned Parenthood does provide. And, yes, it does give information about the safe and legal option of terminating pregnancy.
Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona claimed abortions accounted for “well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does,” which is at the very least a blatant lie as the actual figure is 3 percent. His fallacious argument is a callous and dangerous attempt to attack an organization that provides lifesaving health care.
In response to the Senate's rejection of H. Con. Res. 36, the proposal to bar the organization from receiving federal funds to provide preventive health care, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards released a statement saying: “This extreme proposal was rightly rejected by Democrats and Republicans. In addition, members of Congress who support abortion rights, as well as those who oppose abortion rights, voted against this proposal, which would have denied women family planning and would have resulted in an increase in unintended pregnancy."
Richards, who will be named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the May 2 issue of Time magazine, went on to say more.
“Even though the House Republican leadership insisted on forcing an up or down vote in the House and Senate on this extreme proposal today, all their political maneuvering accomplished was to show that the House leadership is willing to sacrifice women’s health to advance a narrow ideological agenda. . . .
"Any member of Congress who voted for this extreme proposal just cast a vote against women’s access to lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control.
“More than 90 percent of the health care Planned Parenthood provides— and 100 percent of the care it provides through federal programs—is preventive. We do not want one woman to be diagnosed with advanced cancer that our health centers could have detected early through screening, and we’re appalled that a fringe element of Congress would continue to put its narrow political agenda ahead of women’s health and safety.”
Only you can decide what’s right for you; that is Planned Parenthood’s message to its clients. But if you don’t have any knowledge, you more likely to make a bad decision.
The fact is, a lot of girls don’t have a choice in sexual intercourse—at least 1 in 4 women are raped sometime in their lifetime in America, and those are just the reported statistics. In other countries where abortion remains illegal, the hazards to health are very real.
In 2009, the case of 9-year-old Rosita from Brazil drew a lot of attention. She was repeatedly raped for years by her stepfather and subsequently became pregnant at the age of 9. And very controversially, she was granted the right to an abortion due to the very real risk her small body would not survive delivering the twins she was carrying.
What was shocking were not only the laws in her country regarding the rapist, who could receive a maximum of only 15 years for the sexual abuse of two minors (he also targeted the 9-year-old's handicapped sister), but that the Catholic Church excommunicated the girl, her mother and her doctors. The stepfather was not excommunicated. And soon afterward, Brazil made abortion illegal even in cases to save the mother’s life.
“Life must always be protected,” Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Catholic Church’s Congregation for Bishops and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, said in regard to Rosita’s case.
But what about the lives of girls and women at risk from sexual attacks? Why aren’t their lost lives grounds for excommunication?
Laws often don’t grant justice for the victims who are victimized again by their lack of resources and lack of control over their own situation.
Throughout human history, a lot of women and girls have died from botched abortions, just as they have died from having sex with partners who cheated and infected them with STDs, or from giving birth. Indeed, the shame of birth out of wedlock was strong enough to drive individuals to take their own lives.
Nobody wants an abortion, and some people don't want to have a baby. If the reason is because the child will clash with the feng shui of their home, that person should be institutionalized. Some people may not use abortion responsibly and they may not have responsible sex. This is why education and safe accesss to health care are of grave importance.
That’s where Planned Parenthood comes in with information about every option: abstinence, adoption, abortion and everything safe and legal in between.
The problem isn’t that irresponsible women are getting pregnant and having abortions; it’s that pregnancies aren’t being prevented enough. The longer a woman waits to have a baby, the more education she tends to receive, which leads her to a higher standard of living. Younger and less educated mothers are more likely candidates for welfare and so are their children.
If I was forced to have a child I didn’t want, perhaps I would end up embracing it, the new life transforming me into a better person. But parenthood doesn’t necessarily magically make someone a good parent. That is evident from the prolific amount of child abuse that exists. Also prolific is the amount of abuse against women, sexual and otherwise.
The biggest abuse of all is denying women the ability to educate themselves, to take their destinies out of their hands. With every new congressional attack, girls and women continue to be in danger of hard-won rights being lost.
With education comes informed decision-making. It’s called Planned Parenthood not as a euphemism to appease conservatives or to hide its true baby-killing agenda, but because that’s exactly what it does. It not only prevents unwanted pregnancies, it prevents abortion.
What do you think about the services Planned Parenthood provides? Share your opinion in the comments box.
The closest Planned Parenthood office to Pacific Palisades is located at 1316 3rd Street Promenade #201, Santa Monica, 90401 and can be reached at 800-576-5544. For more locations or information, click here
These other organizations are also dedicated to educating and helping women: