A year & a half ago, I attended an interfaith memorial service for Dr. George Tiller, the reproductive services provider who was murdered by an anti-choice activist in June 2009 while he attended church. It was there that I realized just how much the issue of choice matters to me. I am pro-choice; I have never believed in anything less than a woman's right to choose what is best for her own body & her own child. I came home from the service & wrote this post about my passion for this issue.
Today, my stomach turned when I learned that the House of Representatives voted to cut funding to family planning service providers - namely, the ever-controversial Planned Parenthood. What you may not know - because, for the most part, the media glosses over it - is that it is currently illegal for family planning service providers like Planned Parenthood to use federal funds to provide abortions - so they don't. Instead, they use these federal funds to provide vital family planning services, including contraceptive services, STD & HIV/AIDS screenings, cancer screenings, pregnancy testing & prenatal care. Tax dollars don't fund abortions - they fund services intended to both prevent unwanted pregnancies & ensure the birth of healthy children.
Today, the House of Representatives made the fight about something it isn't. Disregarding the facts, they proceeded with a vote that would strip Planned Parenthood & organizations like of all its government funding, thereby leaving approximately 5 million women nationwide without the access they depend on to crucial family planning services. Of course, because these organizations disproportionately service low-income women, it's low-income women who will suffer the most under these cuts.
Today, I made a $50 donation to Planned Parenthood. My eloquent friend Lexa gave more, writing, "I just donated to Planned Parenthood because: my body is not a pawn, I believe all women should be able to access reproductive health services, giving $100 makes me feel not quite as helpless, Rep. Pence needs to know how I feel about his political grandstanding, and because, for me, it is the morally right thing to do."