February 20, 2011

The Planned Parenthood Vendetta

submitted by Amara Charles Back

Just had an unusually intimate moment at Trader Joe’s where a 60 something woman was waving her hands during a passionate conversation in the aisle about Planned Parenthood. “People are standing up for freedom all over the place, and here we are discussing Roe vs Wade which I stood up for 30 years ago.”

Whatever you think about the pro choice or pro-life issue you must admire the conservative strategy. Since gruesome images of dead babies is such a media turn off, to achieve the ultimate goal of making abortions illegal again, a better way was needed and found: attack Planned Parenthood.

It is a brilliant strategy. First, set up small-scale armature looking sting videos against PP employees. Make sure they are produced and presented by women. Publicize the horrors of Planned Parenthood. Avoid abortion and choice issues altogether: make the videos about child prostitution, which no one can disagree with. Keep hammering the fact PP provides abortions while providing TV stations with videos designed to vilify PP. While the public is questioning PP, make public speeches in Congress against abortion (back to stories of dead babies). Finally, during budget slash and burn sessions, cut all federal funding for abortions (even though federal law already prohibits this), and in the process disable sexual education not in accordance with conservative belief.

What a stunning strategy.  Unfortunately, it’s working.

Kudos to the Jackie Speier who publically admitted- oh my- having an abortion. She couldn’t stomach all the pompous speeches denouncing the horrors of frivilous procedures killing babies. I love her tone of voice. Listen to her whole speech on the floor:


“I really planned to speak about something else but the gentleman from New Jersey just put my stomach in knots because I’m one of those women he spoke about just now,” Speier said. “I had a procedure at 17 weeks pregnant with a child who moved from the vagina into the cervix. And that procedure that you just described is a procedure that I endured.”

“I lost the baby,” she continued. “And for you to stand on this floor and suggest that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought, is preposterous.”

Speier called the proposal to defund Planned Parenthood a vendetta and said, “Planned Parenthood has a right to operate. Planned Parenthood has a right to provide services for family planning. Planned Parenthood has a right to offer abortions,” she argued. “Last time I checked, abortions were legal in this country.”

On the surface, anti choice conservatives they say want to save babies. Underneath, their agendas restrict women’s ability to get medical assistance. Anyone who can’t pay better not get pregnant or have medical problems during pregnancy. Plus, anyone who does not wish to give birth for whatever reasons should simply abstain from sex in the first place. And, in case you want any sexual education about condoms, or family planning or HIV you should pay for this too. All this costly sexual education offered by Planned Parenthood (the only family planning center available for most people) however is just an unnecessary public expense.  If you simply get married and have legal sex, what need is there for sexual education?

Last post I wondered what issue might make me meet in the streets to sleep next to strangers. This might be one of them.

Conservatives further defend their position by saying they don’t believe in abortion and thus shouldn’t have to pay for them through taxes. Again, besides the fact that PP does NOT use federal funds to perform abortions, does this mean anyone who has a religious belief that conflicts with the law has the right to disobey the law?

My 6 words for Intimacy Today: Rage Can Be Pure Fire Loving Life

In beauty, Amara

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Another thought provoking post from Amara. I am one of many women that has had an abortion. I was only 14 at the time. It wasn’t actually my desire or choice to have one. My parents felt this was the best alternative and were looking out for my future and, most likely, their reputation in the community. These decisions are not so cut and dry. They are very personal ones, often made with mixed emotions AND ones to be made by the people involved, not by the government. Wasn’t this country created to allow for the pursuit of individual and religious freedom?

amara says

Thanks Leela, I totally agree. These decisions are totally personal and never easy to make at any age. I cannot imagine how you felt at 14. I don’t think anyone should be made to feel bad for having an abortion and I believe families should have the right to choose according to their beliefs. Can you imagine after you got pregnant that it was neither yours, nor your parent’s decision but a government official, saying sorry you must give birth?

At the time I was consumed with grief, I felt like I was killing my baby AND I remain PRO CHOICE. It’s an interesting paradox. Had I really been given the choice at the time, I personally think I would have had my baby. At 14, when my parents made the decision on my behalf, I was devastated. At 48, I’m grateful for their decision and their right to make it.

amara says

Yes, it is a paradox. With freedom to choose we can be foolish or wise. Wisdom is knowing how to make things right in your life and knowing why. I am glad you forgave your parents for doing the best they could.

BearHeart says

Brilliant speech — thank you for posting it, Amara!

As a man I support a woman’s right to make choices about her own body for one very simple reason: I have no frame of reference on the subject except through the women in my life.

What right have I, or any man, to take any position on this at all? It must remain up to each and every woman to make these choices for herself, hopefully with loving and compassionate support from the men and women in her life.

amara says

Beautifully said BearHeart. However, I wonder about this: ‘What right have I, or any man, to take any position on this at all?’

I believe you can and should (and do) have a very heartfelt position on this.

Last time I checked, it took a seed and an egg to produce a child. While a woman experiences the process of birth more physically, no child can be created without sperm. So I believe many men have the most intimate connection with birth and children and therefore all these issues. For me, it’s not only the case that women should have choice about their bodies’- that men cannot know this and therefore should have no say and no responsibility. Birth is a co-creation. I think both the man and the woman involved in any birth decisions are equally accountable for their choices, whatever they may be.

shyena says

Why is the whole issue about what women should do? Isnt it a Co-Creation? Why cant men take responsibility( Have there tubes Tied) everytime a Man wants to ejaculate inside a women its his responsibility as well! Lets all work together on this its all our choice….

Amara says

Thanks Helen,
It was wonderful to see you and share this lovely time together. Keep warm through the winter, and hopefully we shall meet again in spring! Love Amara

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