I was having a conversation about why Planned Parenthood should/should not be defunded and when I couldn’t get anywhere I finally asked “what do you imagine the inside of Planned Parenthood offices look like?” When they asked what I meant, I asked if they saw a fully functioning medical facility or if they thought is was one big conveyor belt system with women strapped down receiving abortions around the clock like some mad science fiction version of a Looney Tunes nightmare and they replied:
“Well, isn’t that what they do?”
Then I asked if they knew that Planned Parenthood provided health care, cancer screenings, and yearly medical care for women, men, and the lgbtqqia+ community and was met with a blank stare. I realized that I was having a conversation with someone who did not fully understand the expansive healthcare options provided by Planned Parenthood.
I also realized that many people are entering this discussion of defunding PP from this place of being taught to react to catch phrases and slogans instead of responding from an informed perspective of the reality of exactly what PP offers to its patients. But instead of seeking information, it is easier or, more to the point, more comfortable for people to respond in terms of the morality of abortion rather than the idea that healthcare issues and pregnancy prevention education as well as other needed medical attention should be paramount to us as a way to remain healthy and in control of our own lives.
And by that, I mean that we all have the right to demand fair, balanced and affordable healthcare for our bodies; whether the need is for cancer, STD or HIV screening, birth control options or abortions. All, I might add, legal, healthy options for anyone’s day-to-day healthcare.
Unfortunately, abortion has been vilified and used as a buzzword by so many with political aspirations. It is used to incite and divide and start a conversation that derails the real needs of healthcare especially to those who can’t afford other insurance coverage.
If you ask someone what is the first word that pops into their mind when they hear Planned Parenthood most say: abortion.