Can we all stop pretending that Planned Parenthood is the end all, be all hero of Women’s Healthcare? Please. Women are more than their baby making parts. And that is what “reproductive” means: babymaking. We are more complex than just trying to NOT have babies after doing the biological thing that makes babies. We are more than our STDs and we are more than our supposed “need” for abortion. We don’t need any of it. I know it’s not a popular thing to say, but nobody has ever died from not having sex. A need means that without it we die. We do not die from lack of sex. We may want to die when we don’t have sex, but that is different. Food is a need, if we don’t eat, we die. Water is a need, if we don’t drink water, we die. Get my drift? Birth control, STD testing and abortion are not needs, they are wants. We want them because we want to have sex, which biologically makes babies, without having babies. (Everybody does, even the NFP king and queen who are totally opposed to birth control have moments where they want to have sex and NOT have a baby. It’s not just something that “those people” deal with.)If that is what you want, then own it but please quit trying to make it a need because it isn’t one.
Can you imagine if men’s healthcare was only focused on their genitals? If they were told that their healthcare all boiled down to STD testing, condoms, viagra and a referral to a prostate exam? “That’s it guys! That’s your healthcare!” That would never fly. Ever. No matter how much men want to have sex, it’s not the end all, be all of healthcare for them, they would know it, we would know it, everyone would know it. But when it comes to women? Everyone believes the lie that all we need is birth control, STD testing, abortion and referrals to mammograms.
We are more than our sex drive , genitals and reproductive systems. We have heart problems, diabetes problems, hormone problems, etc. etc. etc. I am a Hispanic woman with no insurance. I am not avoiding pregnancy, am having sex with my husband and have no need for regular STD testing like I did when I was sleeping around, so what can Planned Parenthood do for me? Nothing. They are not advocates for Women’s Health, they are advocates for SOME Women’s right to avoid pregnancy, motherhood and STDs. That’s it. And when they say “low income” they mean a certain class of women. Not your professional “successful” woman, but your “low income woman”. There is a reason why they think it is so important to give this certain class of women birth control, STD testing and abortions. Think about it, that is what they think that poor women need because poor women sleep around and should not have children and they are too irresponsible to know that, so someone has to “help” them figure it out. In other words, poor women are stupid. It’s not about health at all, it’s about making sure a certain lower class of people have a certain higher class “educating” them about how they can’t take care of their children and how many children is the responsible number to have. They don’t help women who choose to have their babies. There is no prenatal care, no material support for expected mothers, no help finding jobs or going back to school, no help filling out food stamp applications, no help getting into drug rehab if needed, no help getting therapy…. none of that. Only birth control, STD testing and abortion. Don’t have babies, stop spreading disease and if you get pregnant then your baby is better off dead. That’s all they offer.
I was a Planned Parenthood patient for many years. I was sleeping with a guy who would take me in monthly to get STD testing because he was an asshole like that and I had the kind of low self-esteem that allowed me to accept that kind of treatment. They would test me for free, but they wouldn’t give me yearly exams for free because my tubes were tied. I still owe them money. I was a single mother, on food stamps, didn’t have insurance of any kind and the Planned Parenthood that I went to didn’t give me free yearly exams, they charged me.
I don’t think that the people who work at Planned Parenthood are evil, I condemn acts of violence against them and I don’t like the Center for Medical Progress videos. I won’t even link them here. I also don’t think that yelling at pro-choicers that they are diabolical is going to help anything. But what I do think it’s time for is truth. Real flat out truth. Not word masking that hides truth, but blunt and to the point truth.
Another truth is that Planned Parenthood’s CEO is a wealthy woman who thinks that a certain class of women needs her help. As a Hispanic woman, I know enough history to know that this has never been a good situation for the “lower class” in the equation.
And the final truth is that we can’t keep talking about fetuses as if they are not human. We all know they are. We all go to the baby showers, not fetus showers. We all see the videos of babies moving in the womb and we “ooohhh and awwww”. We all see the sonogram picture of babies and see that they have heads, faces, hands and feet. We are not stupid or blind. We don’t think that the birth canal sprinkles magic dust on a fetus and POOF! it’s a human being. We know that if our mothers had aborted us, we would not be here because our life would have ended at that point. We know all of these things which means that we know what abortion is. We just excuse it because we don’t see it the way we see the headlines of a newborn being killed or a 9 month old being put in an oven. But the end result is the same, a child, a human being’s life has ended. If we want to be a country that supports than, then own it, stop acting like it’s something else.
Women, listen to me, we are more than our baby making parts. There is more to our healthcare than birth control, STD testing and abortion. Don’t sell yourself short just because Planned Parenthood seems to be on your side. If they were on our side, they would fight for us to have access to heart doctors, primary care doctors, thyroid doctors and ObGyn doctors, but they don’t, they just fight for our right to an abortionist. That is the only doctor that they offer anyone. Think about it. That is not women’s healthcare.