I am talking about their effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
I am also talking about all these misrepresentative videos the "pro-lifers" have been putting out.
This is all wrong-headed and dangerous.
And I'll tell you why.
This whole thing about selling baby parts for profit and the controversy over fetal experimentation is nothing new. And I'm not saying we shouldn't be disturbed by at least some of what we heard in those videos.
But, there is a danger. A very real danger.
Let me tell you a story:
Years ago, when conservatives were talking about the selling of baby parts and fetal experimentation, I had an acquaintance who was pregnant. She started to miscarry. She bled pretty badly. But -- she wouldn't go into the hospital. Why? BECAUSE SHE WAS AFRAID THEY WOULD EXPERIMENT ON THE BABY AFTER SHE MISCARRIED. That's right. And this was an intelligent woman. She was very conservative, though, and was wont to listen to all the conservative propaganda about this issue. And by the time she finally did go into the hospital, she came very close to HAVING TO HAVE A HYSTERECTOMY, because the medical personnel feared that they wouldn't be able to get the bleeding under control in time to save her. She actually endangered her own life and her reproductive health because she was misled by all of this "pro-life" propaganda.
And this makes me angry. So. Very. Angry. It is wrong to use misleading scare tactics to win people over to your side -- even if you passionately believe your side is in the right.
Hear that Republicans??? You are putting people's lives in danger -- including the lives of the unborn, because women might be afraid to seek care when they need it. I mean, what if my acquaintance's baby could have been saved if she had sought help in a more timely way? It's probably unlikely anything could have been done, but we'll never know, will we? Why? Because of people like you, Republicans. This lady did go on to have more children -- children she was almost not able to have because of conservative fear-mongering. So, that would have been on you, conservative fear-mongers.
(If you are getting the idea that I am totally pissed, you would be right. My apologies.)
And let me tell you one other story. This is a personal story that I have never told anybody, because I was ashamed. Now, right up front, this is not my abortion story. This is my almost, could-have-been abortion story. And I hope you will all still speak to me afterwards.
Years ago, when I was still in college, I was in a very bad place in my life. I had broken up with my fiance -- and it was awful. I was not getting along with my parents, AT ALL. I felt all alone. And I messed around with a guy one night, because I was lonely and heartbroken and not feeling very self-protective. We didn't have sex, but we came pretty close. And then my period was late. And I panicked. I prayed and prayed that I wasn't pregnant, because I didn't feel like there was anyone I could go to. I wouldn't have gone to my parents, because things were horrid between us. And there was no way that I wanted this guy to end up being the father of my child. And his family was pretty dysfunctional, as well. All my close friends were Christian. None of them would have supported me in getting an abortion. And I don't blame them. I certainly didn't believe in abortion. But, when I look at it honestly, I probably either would have had an abortion (and felt like absolute crap about it) or committed suicide. And I'm not exaggerating about that. Suicide would have been a very real danger to me, at that point. Now -- thankfully -- I wasn't pregnant. But, as I have watched the "abortion wars" over the years, I have often thought about myself in this situation. And I guess I am glad Planned Parenthood would have been there. Yes -- the baby would have been lost, but I wouldn't have been. And I think there is value in that. There is potential hope in that. For you Christians reading this, I'd say, "My baby would have been in God's hands. And I would have had the chance to heal -- and repent." For you non-Christians reading this, the repentance part might sound silly, and I respect that. But, it wouldn't have been silly to me.
There are many abortion providers. There will always be abortion providers. But, at least Planned Parenthood is a non-profit. I bet a lot of the providers aren't. Abortion services are also a small part of their total activities. And -- if you look at their website -- the information is quite accurate. If you really don't want to get pregnant or a sexually transmitted disease, all you have to do is look at the information and follow it. I actually had a young woman who worked for a pro-life pregnancy center tell me that she used to refer to the Planned Parenthood website, because the information was very complete and very accurate.
Of course, I'm sure that there are Planned Parenthood affiliates that operate in a less than ideal manner. But, let me tell you one more story:
I heard a woman from Texas speak once. She had run an abortion clinic. I think she actually owned it. And I don't believe it was affiliated with Planned Parenthood. She said that they used to purposely give young women the least effective birth control pill because they knew a lot of them would get pregnant and come back for abortions, which her particular clinic actually profited from. At least, with Planned Parenthood, they list -- quite accurately -- the effectiveness rates of the various methods of birth control, so you know what you're getting.
Now, at this point, I don't know if I have any friends left. But, that's okay. I have never lived my life for the purpose of seeking people's approval. I hope, though, that conservative people will at least look at these issues in a way that is more even-handed and less accusatory. It breaks my heart to see what much of the "pro-life" movement has become.