Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pro Women's Health

What does it mean when I say I'm pro-choice?

It doesn't mean I'm "pro-abortion" as John McCain liked to call it in the days of the 2008 presidential campaign. It means I think abortion should be legal and an option.

I wonder all the time why the subtlety is so hard for people to recognize.

I am attempting to refrain from showing just how angry I am right now about this whole issue. Which is not just one issue--it's a plethora ranging from lack of actual sex education to lack of accessible contraception to abortions.

Abortion is a last resort, and it shouldn't even have to be as prevalent of a problem (at least according to the right-wingers that say it is) if we recognized that there are so many ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies, and actually informed people about them. Not only that, but make it accessible.

I can't deal with all these people that act like it is the absolute end of the world that an embryo is aborted, yet would not have spent the money to take care of that child had it been carried to term.

If you won't adopt, if you don't support comprehensive sex education, if you won't pay for social programs for children, especially poor ones, if you just stand there and judge the people with so many kids trailing behind them... Shut up about abortion.

You don't get a say. It's not your life, it's not your body, it's not your choice.

I hate to disrespect people's religious views, but this is just something I do not agree at all with the church on. There's this huge disconnect with reality, and I can't understand it. Yeah, the church is often behind the times, but we need to look around us and stop pretending abstinence only sex education is actually working. I feel as if the church thinks as long as they stick with it, maybe it'll stick at some point.

And it hasn't. But you know what works? Comprehensive sex education. People are going to have sex. Get over it. Let's stop pretending that it doesn't happen unless someone gets pregnant or gets an STI. Because hey, it's a little too late by then. If we taught people, especially as teens, how to protect themselves and be safe about it, then maybe there would be less unplanned pregnancies. And then maybe, just maybe, there would be less abortions?


This is why I support organizations like Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood exists to provide resources on sexual and reproductive health. They provide sex education to people who have questions (especially since we as school systems and society are failing in that area) and low-cost or free contraception. They also provide cervical and breast cancer screenings. And yes, they do also provide abortion services. A mere 3% of their total services.

I just struggle a lot with the idea that making abortion illegal or practically impossible to get or afford is the answer. To me, there is very obviously a bigger problem at the root here, and somehow, society is still in denial that maybe we're going about this the wrong way.

A recent victory is that the US Dept. of Health & Human Services has mandated that preventative care for women, including birth control and IUDs, as well as cancer screenings and GYN appts, be paid for by insurance companies. Without a co-pay. This shows me that maybe women's health is actually starting to be taken seriously.

But then those "most dangerous place is in the womb" billboards pop up everywhere, and I know we've still got a long way to go before we really start becoming part of the solution instead of exacerbating the problem.

I'm pro comprehensive sex education. I'm pro contraception. I'm pro choice. I'm pro Planned Parenthood.

Most of all, I'm pro women's health.

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