There, I said it.
Do I care what anyone really thinks about me making that statement?
No I do not.
A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, I was a young married twenty-something. And I had no health insurance. I could not afford it. My husband and I could not afford it, nor could we qualify for Medi-Cal because we were employed and made too much money.
Ah, the good old pre-Obamacare days! Good times those were! Here’s where I remind my young adult children how fortunate they are to continue to enjoy your parents’ healthcare coverage. Don’t believe me? Ask your sister Hollie about that.
But I digress…
As a young woman, in the land of San Jose, I enjoyed some of the services that my local Planned Parenthood clinic provided…annual Pap smears and pelvic exams, access to birth control (for when I absolutely did not want to get pregnant), a prescription for antibiotics for an infected ingrown toenail and prenatal care…yes. prenatal care. So that I could be pregnant and stay pregnant for approximately 9 months and deliver a healthy, wonderful, perfect baby.
Thank you, Planned Parenthood. Because of you I had access to affordable, excellent prenatal care, education and support that was provided to me twenty nine years ago when I needed it the most. I looked forward to my regular prenatal visits. I loved listening to my baby’s heartbeat…such a magical sound that was! I appreciated the clinicians’ patience with what I believed to be stupid questions about my changing body and what was going on with the baby growing inside of me. The numbers on the scale and the lectures about my love for Oreos? Not so much. I also did not care much for the Pro-Life protesters calling out to me…no, yelling and screaming at me. I would cover my growing belly protectively as they would call me a murderer when I entered your clinic every month for my regular prenatal visits. I would recognize the same familiar, angry faces. Did they not recognize me…the young lady who obviously was KEEPING her baby?! Did they honestly believe that calling me a murderer as they shook their graphic, bloody posters at me from the moment I got out of my car and walked across the parking lot to the office and back again was going to compell me to join their side and stand with them?
Did they really?
Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) flashed a chart on the screens showing that since 2010, the number of abortions at Planned Parenthood has surpassed the number of its “cancer screenings and prevention services.” But no such shift occurred. The fine print on the chart showed that the number of abortions (327,000 in 2013) never came close to reaching the number of cancer screenings (935,573 in 2013) at any point. Yes, but the bogus graph didn’t seem to matter to Chaffetz, who drew Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards attention to the crossing lines showing abortions overtaking screenings.
Richards said the chart “absolutely does not reflect what’s happening.”
“I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports,” the chairman said.
In fact, the chart said the source was the antiabortion group Americans United for Life — which Richards pointed out to Chaffetz.
“Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that,” the chairman said.
You do that, sir.
The truth? Planned Parenthood gets money for women’s birth control, STD screenings and the like, not abortions — which Richards calmly reminded her inquisitors. As today’s hearing continued it was clear that the committee’s contention wasn’t against Planned Parenthood and how they spent their money but rather about allowing women in this country . . . to make other decisions about their pregnancies.
To Mr. Chaffetz, and the rest of your ilk, I would ask if those more than 300,000 abortions were stopped and resulted in 300,000 new babies born would you then be willing to support and fund those babies and their mothers, you know, through Medicaid and welfare?
I stand with Planned Parenthood because I believe that ALL women deserve access to quality women’s healthcare and most certainly without shame, without fear, without intimidation…regardless of what health care they seek.