February 6, 2012


This past week I've ranted and raved about the Komen fiasco. It all seemed so clear to me that the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was an unwise and politically motivated move. Bad for women and in the end bad for Komen.

All my hot air was unnecessary. All I had to do was wait for Helen. I'm reprinting the entire thing here, but click on this link to leave this brilliant lady a comment. I truly do hope that Broken Andy, the person leaving the anti Planned Parenthood comment on my earlier post reads this. 

Margaret, do you remember how angry we were the day we finally realized that women’s legs are not harder to shave than men’s faces, but rather razors made for women can’t hold a candle to those made for men? And the women’s razors are more expensive to boot. I’d like to meet the asshats at Gillette and give them a piece of my mind. Did they really think we wouldn’t mind just because they made the razors pink?

And speaking of pink, this whole mess with Komen should be a wake-up call to women everywhere. Komen knew damn well that this had nothing to do with mammograms and everything to do with politics. They just thought we wouldn’t notice because the ribbons were pink. They knew what they were getting when they hired Karen Handel. She ran for office in Georgia with a campaign promise to close down Planned Parenthood. Exactly what women’s health clinics did they think we women were using for years before we started racing for a cure? Did they think that the millions of us who had gone to Planned Parenthood before we had health insurance (and even after) weren’t aware of the services we were provided? Trust me. When you go to a place and have a doctor poke around your hoo-ha, you pay attention.

Nancy Brinker, shame on you. You honestly thought your fellow women were so stupid that we would think your reason for defunding Planned Parenthood was somehow different than the never-ending cry for defunding that comes from the far right every election cycle? Well I am here to tell you that it is bad enough when it comes from the male-dominated, testosterone-filled legislatures. But when it comes from a supposedly apolitical women’s health organization, it’s unforgivable. Your original intent when you started this organization was noble and I commend you. But honey, you have lost your way. So much so that you were willing to put tens of thousands of women in harm’s way because the Republican party wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

I, for one, am tired of pink razors. And I know I speak for millions of women when I say that from now on if you push us, we will push back. From this point forward, when someone says that you fight like a girl, they had better watch out. We girls know how to fight when our backs are against the wall. No longer is it acceptable that we are half the population but only 16% of the Senate, 16% of the House of Representatives and 16% of the Governors. Margaret, did you know that the proportion of women in America’s Congress is about half the average for national legislative bodies throughout the world? Well honey, you and I are not dead yet, and we sure as hell aren’t leaving this world anytime soon if the women’s movement to date has only gotten us this far.

In the past Margaret and I have stood up for Planned Parenthood. But that is no longer good enough. Today, tomorrow and every day that we have left on this planet, we won’t just stand up for them, we will stand up for women everywhere. We will vote for them. We will advocate for them. We will fight for them. And we will start right here. Right now. My grandson tells us that people from all over the nation and even from other countries read this web page blog of ours. Well, I can’t imagine why, but if you are going to read it, then you should use your head for something other than a hat rack and learn a thing or two about the real Planned Parenthood.

Yes. They provide abortion services. Deal with it because they also do so much more and we remember the world before them. It wasn’t pretty.

I called a Board Member for Planned Parenthood in my community and we had a good talk. I found out that even I didn’t know the whole story. And after you read this, I challenge you to do what she asked me to do: inform the uninformed and educate the misinformed.

Planned Parenthood provides healthcare – pap smears, breast and pelvic exams, colposcopies, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and birth control for both women and men – most without access to any other health care services. About 97% of their services are for this basic healthcare. If you want to talk about abortion services then you should at least know the truth. Providing that service for women who are faced with that daunting decision accounts for less than 3% of what Planned Parenthood does nationally. Less than three percent. They also provide prenatal care, vasectomies and adoption referrals. One Planned Parenthood clinic does more in a day to prevent abortions than the entire Pro-Life movement does in a year. We might not agree on abortion, but we should at least be able to agree that they should be safe, legal and rare.

If you want to talk about Planned Parenthood then talk about the thousands of uninsured women for whom the doctor or nurse at Planned Parenthood is the only health professional they will see this year. Tell them about the divorced 40-year-old woman who, for the first time, finds herself without health insurance and how she turned to Planned Parenthood to ensure that she is able to maintain her health and wellness. Planned Parenthood has never been just about sex and birth control. It has always been about ensuring women are healthy enough to care for the children they one day may bring into this world. And yes, it is also about making sure they are informed in their decisions not to bring children into this world.

Tell your Tea Party friends what good fiscal sense Planned Parenthood education and prevention programs make – that for every dollar spent providing family-planning services, $4 are saved in Medicaid costs. Remind them that more than one-third of the individuals who seek help from Planned Parenthood make less than $50 a week. That’s right – $50 a week.

If you are going to talk about Planned Parenthood, then at least have the courage to speak the truth. We knew the Komen decision was politically motivated because we know that far right politicians are the ones who continue to spread untruths and misinformation about Planned Parenthood.

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich all stand ready to restrict a woman’s access to birth control and her right to make her own childbearing decisions. They will cater to the far right and happily deny essential health care to millions of women. The Republican field is united in its determination to overturn Roe v. Wade; to appoint Supreme Court justices supportive of that goal; and to end government funding of any kind to Planned Parenthood for family planning services, cancer screenings and other vital health services provided to low-income women. By the way, Planned Parenthood does not receive government funding for abortions. Although for the life of me, I can’t imagine why not.

Mr. Gingrich has called for punishing judges who make abortion rulings not to his liking. Mitt Romney supported the “personhood” initiative in Mississippi that would have given human fertilized eggs the legal rights and protections that apply to people, and outlawed abortion as well as some of the most widely used forms of contraception and in vitro fertilization. For goodness sakes Rick Santorum, the candidate who won the first primary this year, doesn’t even believe in birth control at all.

If you really, honestly want to reduce abortions in this country, the last thing you want to do is vote for a Republican. If you want to reduce abortions start in your own home by educating your children. Teach your sons to respect women and arm your daughters with information about birth control. If you are so outraged by abortions that your only criteria for a presidential candidate is that he be obsessed with my uterus, then arm your daughters with all the information she needs to protect herself from all those sons who were raised by politicians in Texas and Virginia. And if you really care, make a donation to Planned Parenthood or this other organization called Annie’s List. My grandson says that if you “click” on the underlined words in the previous sentence it will take you to a place you can make a donation on the internet. It couldn’t be any easier than that.

This November, I say we show them what it really means to Fight Like A Girl. Somebody call Gloria Steinem because we’ve got some more balls to bust. I mean it. Really.