Sorry to borrow/appropriate “keep hope alive” but I am writing today because I feel that it is urgent and important to support Planned Parenthood during this very weird moment in their history. Their work actually does keep hope alive for the people I work with and know.
As you may know, there’s a scandal there because of some secretly recorded video tapes that effect stem cell research and may be technically illegal. There has been an injunction that prohibits more of these videos from being released and some members of the government want to do an inquiry or defund Planned Parenthood because of it.
I neither know enough to make a case one way or another, nor care to enter an abortion debate. Let whatever inquiries happen, I’m fine with that.
Where I draw the line is defunding all the rest of what Planned Parenthood does, a great deal of which is intangible good.
Planned Parenthood serves at least two different functions. The first thing it does is provide gynecological medical services for women. By that, I don’t mean code words for abortions. Yes, I believe that they do those or co-ordination for them or something along those lines. But more than that, they provide contraceptives which make the lives that already exist worth living.
I understand that there are people who believe that women should “keep their legs closed” until marriage and who believe in “abstinence” as a moral choice/imperative, but –as a man who respects women — that’s not my decision to make. If a woman wants to experience her sexuality in some way, that’s her decision.
Even if you buy into that arguement, it is an incredibly dangerous world out there for my clients– rape, incest, domestic violence, drunken or drugged sex are all part of their lives: To know that they can prevent unwanted pregnancy before (or even if) they get pregnant, means thdat they have to worry less about it. It needn’t destroy their lives or their goals. They have choices about what happens to them. If they have choices, they can make plans. If they have plans, they have hope. If they have choices, it means that someone thinks they have a brain and can be trusted to use. That is what Planned Parenthood’s existence does.
Regardless of the outcome of any investigation or scandal, Planned Parenthood’s future can’t be left swinging in the wind. Support it for all of the good things it does. Support its existence for all that it means.
Closing it over this scandal would be like closing down Home Depot because there’s a possible problem with a hammer in aisle 11.
For all that it does for women and men, give to Planned Par for and, yes, keep hope alive.