Lately, my social site has been a alive with my friends who are upset with the proposed cuts in Planned Parenthood funding and want to march and protest the proposed measures----Yes, I am going there. The taboo of all topics. My friends and family are ready to protest and go all out because they don't want to go back to the 1900's...today I am going to argue that just maybe their belief in Plan Parenthood maybe doing that.
For argument sake we will take termination out of the equation for now, the federal funding isn't supposed to go for abortion anyhow:
Now I am going to show how old I am-- When I first got married, birth control was not covered (at least our plan) most of preventive women's medical/reproductive issues were not considered in basic civilian and military health coverage. Planned Parenthood (PP) was a place where people could go to get test and birth control for free or at a reduced cost. Back then as it is some places today, one would have to go to the inner-city or a older strip mall to get "the pill" or a pocket of rubbers.
Lucky for me and my generation, things changed in women's health care, birth-control and preventive care. Today in our city we have a lovely women's clinic with state of the art equipment and staff. My insurance covers most of the services and medication and thus I feel very lucky.
So why do I feel that Planned Parenthood is a step-back in time and not a step forward?
ONE CASE IN POINT
A few years back, my daughter went to Planned Parenthood for birth control. ( I have always told my children if they can't be responsible in their contraceptive practices, they aren't responsible to have sex). The college school nurse suggested Planned Parenthood (Why? when she could have went to one of the best women's clinic in the state? My daughter admitted to me that she went there because she didn't have money and didn't think her insurance would cover her exams and "pills") They gave her an exam and gave her birth control pills (these pills were donated and had the other patients info under my daughters label). A few months later she had other unrelated issues and I took her to our family doctor. My daughter showed her the pills and the doctor pointed out not only were the pills originally prescribed to another patients BUT they were outdated. My daughter threw away the pack she had and started taking another pack from the PP clinic., Yet, Planned Parenthood charged my daughter's insurance (well, ours) for the full amount--- and charging just as much as the Women's Clinic. Again a few months later, my daughter is sitting down with me telling that she is pregnant. WOW, I was shocked. She is at a lost because after going to PP for a pregnancy test, she was giving her "choices". She couldn't bare the thought of having them terminating the pregnancy. So her choice was carrying the baby full-term. They quickly dismissed her and she went else where for services. Since her first visits, she had graduated school and she was no longer on our insurance--and had no other insurance. She let them know about this and so they sent her a bill for $55 for the pregnancy test. We later found out by her OB/GYN that because my daughter was on heavy antibiotics, and/or some of her pills were expired this was the cause for the pills to fail and her becoming pregnant---plus may I add, lack of patient education and misinformation on my daughters behalf. Long story short I have a wonderful grandson, that makes me smile every time I see him, and my daughter found out she is a wonderful mother and makes beautiful children.
I don't live under a rock and know this doesn't happen to everyone and I don't base my opinion on just this one episode, but it one closest to my heart, so I shared it.
Why is it that women's health/reproductive care clinics (remember federal funding isn't to be used for abortions) have to be one organization and the organization is PP? Aren't we revamping the health-care? If so is this the only place that people would be able to get these services? Don't we deserve better? Shouldn't these services be integrated in the main stream? PP has some big donors (i.e. Buffet, Warren, Turner) and the federal government fund 1/3 of the it's annual budget of 380 million. With the new healthcare reform won't more lower income patient be able to pay for services with their new health insurance? (they do take insurance, right?) It is my understanding that the federal funding or federal insurance won't pay for most abortions, so what would change? What am I missing here? The whole uproar sounds like a PR stunt for donation to PP.
The issue we should address is after all this time women's health care issues (and some men's health care according to PP's website) PP still is the leader of these services----WHY? WHY is PP still the sacred cow of reproductive health?
It reminds me of the days of separate but equal. So if I don't buy the line that PP is the only good source for women reproductive health for low income patients or otherwise? as some advocates would have you believe, They would accuse me of wanting to chain women to the stoves and birthing babies one right after another on the kitchen floor (Yes, I am somewhat of a Monty Python fan) I argue, we (woman) are being asked to sit in the back of the bus. Yes, I know there will be some out there who will argue that PP saved their lives, couldn't have done it without them...etc. I will not take that away from you; although I debate that if I only had Goodwill to shop for clothes, and no one offered me a better choice, wouldn't you blame me for wanting better than that? Yes, I got a great coat that kept me warm but I would want one that fit and didn't have used tissues in the pockets for the same price?
So advocates of PP march on, I am glad that you think you are helping women-kind, just please, don't judge me for my thoughts, that PP has people marching in the wrong directions.