“Dignity and respect is what the self-titled sidewalk counselors (purported Christians) deny the women they harass every morning at the DC metro area clinic where I volunteer. They make immediate assumptions about women approaching the building. They make immediate assumptions about those of us working there. They have little hesitation about bursting into violent, condemning rhetoric. “
The holidays are upon us! Going home or getting together with relatives for the holidays is always a stressful time, but if your family members are the type who regularly protest outside the local Planned Parenthood, you know that this holiday is going to be a doozy.
“Luckily, we have some tips for surviving those awkward conversations. So read on, and bring some diplomacy and understanding to the table along with that pumpkin pie.”
The Obama administration has issued regulations requiring insurance coverage for birth control with no co-pays, but anti-women’s health groups and their allies in Congress have been fighting tooth and nail to take that coverage away.
Since the abortion tag is filled with people who are desperately misinformed today, I thought I’d put together a handy dandy fact sheet to clear some things up:
Fact #1: Regardless of whether abortion is legal or not, the same amount of people seek to terminate their pregnancies. The only variable is the mortality rate of those carrying the fetus. Source [bottom right, ‘Abortion Law’].
So, how do we keep abortion legal while simultaneously lowering the need for it? Perhaps abstinence-only education in schools?
Fact #2: Abstinence-only education has been proven, time and time again, to be ineffective. Source.
But comprehensive sex education will only encourage kids to have sex! Who says it’s any more effective than abstinence-only education in preventing pregnancies (and, by extension, abortions)?
Fact #3: Comprehensive sex education reduces a plethora of unintended consequences of sex, most notably HIV, STIs, and pregnancy. Furthermore, it does not result in more sexual partners or earlier engaging in sexual activity. Source [page 8].
Bottom line: whether or not you think abortion is murder, being pro-choice is the only logical position if (a) you hope to keep pregnant people safe, and (b) wish to reduce the number of people in need of abortions in the long run.
was pretty awesome. Fort Myers is a pretty conservative town with a growing number of young people and liberals, and we felt we needed to be heard. The anti-choice sign holders outside the Planned Parenthood in Fort Myers have never been counter-protested, and we felt it necessary to defend an important organization and our rights.
Madison and I had four signs, “Pro Choice. My Choice” “My Mind, My Body, My Choice” “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” and a sign with an arrow pointing to the anti-choicers that says “Ignorance” to counter their sign that says “Babies are being killed here today”
90% of reactions to our signs were positive, with waves and smiles. One woman yelled, “You made my day!” and another pulled over and handed us “money for lunch” and thanked us. The best thing was a man who saw the two of us holding our four signs, and asked if he could hold one with us. He hung out with us for most of the day and said, “They better keep their noses out of my daughter’s womb!”
FOX 4 News showed up and filmed us. They interviewed both sides, and talked to Madison. She sounded very educated and polite. The other side said they thought we were being paid by Planned Parenthood to stand out there. One woman from their side came and asked me why I thought babies should be killed, and prayed for me. I was polite, it was hard, but she did not want to hear my argument anyway. The main organizer of their side said to me as they left, “We’ve been here every Thursday for a year. See you next Thursday.” Challenge accepted.
If you want to join our efforts, we meet at the corner of Winkler and College in Fort Myers at 9:30AM on Thursdays. We have signs for people to hold, but you can make your own too!
“I’m 32 years old. I’m politically conservative. I’m married. I have an above-average income and quality health insurance. As such, I probably wouldn’t be cast for a Planned Parenthood commercial, and the organization was never exactly on my list of top-five health-care providers. That is, until two years ago.”—Must-Read: Searching for Help | 5280 (via standupforwomen)
The staff was amazing, and it was a great experience. In a busy office they make you a priority, and take the time to listen as well as educate. I can not thank or appreciate enough how helpful and amazing the my Patient Educator or my Clinician were.
An Indiana mother recently accompanied her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to one of Indiana’s Planned Parenthood clinics, but they unwittingly walked into a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” run by an anti-abortion group, one that shared a parking lot with the real Planned Parenthood clinic and was designed expressly to lure Planned Parenthood patients and deceive them.
The group took down the girl’s confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their “other office” (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby). When she arrived for her appointment, not only did the Planned Parenthood staff have no record of her, but the police were there. The “crisis pregnancy center” had called them, claiming that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will.
The “crisis pregnancy center” staff then proceeded to wage a campaign of intimidation and harassment over the following days, showing up at the girl’s home and calling her father’s workplace. Planned Parenthood’s clinic director reports that the girl was “scared to death to leave her house.” They even went to her school and urged classmates to pressure her not to have an abortion.
The anti-choice movement is setting up these “crisis pregnancy centers” across the country. Some of them have neutral-sounding names and run ads that falsely promise the full range of reproductive health services, but they dispense anti-choice propaganda and intimidation instead. And according to a recent article in The New York Times, there are currently more of these centers in the U.S. than there are actual abortion providers. What’s more, these centers have received $60 million in government grants. They’re being funded by our tax dollars.
[Emphasis mine. Hear that folks? We are funding terrorists with our tax dollars. The fact that this is legal is absolutely mind-blowing. And when we dare complain, they cry about how they’re being persecuted and censored unfairly, and we’re infringing on their freedom of speech. No, just no. This should not be fucking allowed.]
I have been working with Planned Parenthood for a little over four years now. I started as a teen volunteer with the education branch, peer-educating teens in my county on STIs, Birth Control, Dating Violence, and Teen Parenting. Throughout my work with the Teen Council, I became interested in the political branch of Planned Parenthood. I started volunteering with the Public Affairs department, tabling at events and calling voters to let them know about pro-choice legislation/candidates. Through this simple work I was nominated to fly to Washington D.C. to lobby with Planned Parenthood and attend a public policy conference. Even then, I continued my work as a devoted activist and eventually worked my way up to my current internship with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.
No matter what I am doing with Planned Parenthood, whether its going in for an exam or working with other volunteers to ensure the voice of women is heard in our capitals, they never waiver in their positive, helpful ways. Every single person I have met through Planned Parenthood has been wonderful. The staff and volunteers are knowledgeable, inclusive, fun, and all around awesome. Without their support, I would have never realized my love for all things politics. Without their welcoming attitude, I would have felt forever secluded from reproductive rights as a lesbian. Without their passion for women, I would have never experienced the amazing things that I have in the last four years.
To any person who opposes Planned Parenthood and what they do for women, I have one thing and one thing only to say to you: Bring it.
So... what does that mean, then? Obviously it's a fantastic thing... but I think I read somewhere that there's a chance that by trying to pass it (and the fact that it failed) it would strengthen Roe vs. Wade? Or... something like that....
Basically, what many states seem to be trying to do is to pass laws that would cause Roe vs. Wade to be challenged on a supreme court level. Some are actually counting on the fact that they will make it to the supreme court so that Roe vs. Wade might be overturned. As for strengthing Roe, the fact that the amendment failed doesn’t really change anything, but it does at least show that an amendment banning abortion does NOT have the majority’s support.
If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood, I would have never had reproductive health care. Thanks to this amazing and generous organization, I have been able to receive my annual woman’s check up every year since I was 13 and they have provided me with the necessary tools to protect myself ever since I have been sexually active FOR FREE.
The “pro-life” movement has this idea that all Planned Parenthood provides is abortions. Sigh. If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood the rate at which women actually receive abortions would be exponentially higher. This is an organization that wants to PREVENT pregnancy and PROVIDE prenatal care. Just because they offer abortion services does NOT mean they accept it as a form of birth control. It is an option. As it should be.
"There will be some things that’ll have to be worked out at a later date," Greg Sanders, a spokesperson for the "Yes on 26" campaign, told HuffPost. "As you well know, there will be more than likely a stay of who knows how many months to come up with common sense legislation, but plain and simple this seeks to establish human life in the womb.”
Mississippians, we’re counting on you to VOTE NO on Proposition 26. No legislation should seek to “establish” ANYTHING inside ANYONE’S bodies. Prop 26 reduces a woman’s / person’s body to their reproductive organs, and worse, polices what can and cannot occur in said organs. If passed it would also call into question the legality of the use of birth control and the overall worth of the health of the person who is pregnant. This article paints the picture of the confusion, frustration, and legitimate fear surrounding this outrageous piece of proposed legislation.
40 Days for Life is a national campaign to set up 24-hour vigils outside of abortion clinics. The group claims “victories” when they bully or guilt women out of receiving abortion and other reproductive services. Their presence creates a climate of shame and harassment outside of clinics and health care centers. In Seattle and the surrounding area, the group has targeted several Planned Parenthood locations.
We have a different message: health care is a right and everyone should have access to comprehensive, bully-free health care!
Come stand with your clinic. The patients and staff of Planned Parenthood deserve to be defended. The clinics provide important services that patients need.
I just reblogged a list on someone’s personal pro-choice philosophy, which has already garnered a number of positive responses.
Nessfraserloves correctly pointed out that not all of the items on the list were choices - I assume the points addressing sexuality and gender identity. However, there are some things to consider about the other choices on the list.
We know choice doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Socioeconomic status, relationship status, religion, race, gender identity, sexuality, ability and past experiences all play a part in our reproductive futures, and to say that, for example, a home birth with a full birthing team is just as viable a choice for one person as it is another would be to ignore these factors.
Being pro-choice means supporting and fighting for access to affordable reproductive care for everybody. Too often the pro-choice movement has left behind those who are not white, well-off, able-bodied, and straight. We let injustices occur under our noses - the sterilization of people of color, the refusal to treat people who do not fit neatly into the gender binary, and those who are virtually forced to give up their babies for adoption because they cannot afford to care for them, much as they may want to.
Being pro-choice also means working to improve the conditions that play a role in our reproductive futures - affordable education, support for parents and children of all incomes, sexualities, gender identities, and abilities, safe places for abuse survivors, education on sex, sexuality and birth control, affordable housing, affordable health care, a better foster care system, and the destigmatization of reproductive experiences like abortion, adoption, infertility, surrogacy, and voluntary sterilization.
The Herald Sun’s Susie O’Brien argued today that if the Lord Mayor is going to move along Occupy Melbourne protesters because they’ve ‘made their point’, he should also move along the protesters who’ve been harassing women outside the Fertility Control Clinic on Wellington Parade. The difference between the two groups is that Occupy Melbourne protesters were in City Square for a few days. The anti-choice protesters have been picketing the clinic for 20 years.
There’s the usual anti-choice bullshit you’d expect in the comments section of an abortion article, so I went and left the following:
I couldn’t agree more Susie. Having been the recipient of abusive comments from readers regarding abortion, I can only empathise with the weariness you must be feeling about blogging today. The majority DO agree with you though.
There’s nothing peaceful about intervening with a woman’s right to choose by attempting to shame her into changing her mind. Women aren’t docile creatures. While it’s true there are some who are pressured into having abortions - and that is a terrible thing - there is also an overwhelming majority who’ve thought long and hard about the decision they’re about to make. Many of them will feel little more than relief afterward.
Those people who stand outside abortion clinics picketing would serve society much better if they took all that free time and donated it to caring for the children who are ALREADY born. Join a Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Go and do some fundraising for children’s charities. Stop trying to equate a potential human being - something that is little more than a tiny bundle of cells, with no self-determination, no history and no conscious understanding of the world - with the fully formed life and self determination of a woman. They are not the same thing.
I support your stance Susie, just as I support the right of ALL women in the world to determine the circumstances under which they bring a child into the world.
It’s hard work being a columnist and having to deal with abuse from wingnuts about things like abortion, particularly when the rhetoric relies so heavily on both shaming women and reducing them to infantile idiots being easily manipulated by a Big Bad System. Take five minutes to go and leave her a positive comment of support. From someone who knows all too well, it can make a really big difference knowing that you’re not alone out there.