Monday, June 16, 2008

Raging Soap Box Alert

If you don't like it when I rant, go read a quieter, gentler blog today. I've got something to say.


On our 5 o'clock news today, there was a story about how some folks just north of us in Cincinnati are getting their various underwear in a bunch and protesting the relocation of a Planned Parenthood.

Mind you, this PP isn't new to the west side; it's just being relocated.

The beef for the residents is that the new location is very close to one area high school and closer to 3 others than it used to be.

Despite this Planned Parenthood's many public statements that the site does not perform abortions, the good folks of the community are picketing and protesting and getting their faces on TV by wearing pro-life shirts and carrying posters that say, "Abortion is Murder", and so on.

Did I mention that this site does NOT perform abortions, just basic gynecological services to women who do not have health insurance and/or have low incomes?

One guy that they interviewed said he was aware that the site didn't perform abortions, but that he was protesting because he doesn't believe in the message the center relays.

The message that on ounce of prevention equals about 8 pounds of cure 9 months later, or that all women should get examined by a doctor once a year to get screenings?

No, he says Planned Parenthood promotes premarital sex. which he as a father wants to discourage in his kids. He says that the location will make Planned Parenthood's services more readily accessible to the kids of Western Hills High School.

Heaven forbid! We wouldn't want already sexually active teenage girls being able to easily access free birth control and STD screenings!

And you know what, buddy? As far as your own daughters and premarital sex go, discourage away! I plan to do the same.

But here's the thing (and prepare to be shocked, sheltered west-siders): most people have sex before they're married.

I know, I know. Human sexuality is horrible, isn't it?

You can, and should, teach your kids to wait. Sex at too early an age and with the wrong type of guy or girl is neither physically or emotionally healthy. But you should also be realistic. Our kids aren't going to do everything we or their church says. They are going to explore their sexuality. They will fall in love or lust. And in this day and age when many young people aren't getting married until they're well into their 20s and 30s, is it realistic to believe that no premarital sex is the ultimate goal?

In a word, no.

Here's what really gets my goat: 90% of Planned Parenthood patrons are adults. Adults who can't afford to get the same services many of these upright women of the community get quietly in the privacy of their gynecologist's office.

So for this guy who thinks their "message" of premarital sex to our children is so evil...are you just an ignorant tool, or do you hate women?

As a responsible adult in a committed, monogamous relationship, I visited clinics like Planned Parenthood both as a single undergrad and a happily married graduate student. I was over 18 and struggling to pay for college. These clinics allowed me and many of my friends (a couple of whom were not even having sex) to get our yearly checkups and birth control pills for free. One of my friends wanted the pill not for contraception but to ease the pain from her periods. Some women do that, you know; seek the pill for medical rather than contraceptive purposes. The ease of these clinics did not encourage me to have sex (when I made that decision, I was over 18 and mature enough to deal with the potential consequences) but they made me a healthier woman by providing the annual exam and screenings all women should get. And they also gave me the tools and education I needed to not get pregnant until I was ready for a child.

If you think there is something wrong with that, with providing the means for fewer unplanned, unwanted pregnancies...then you need to get your head out of the effing sand and look around.

I work in education. I see children who were (and are) not wanted. Whose parents shouldn't be allowed to take care a of goldfish, let alone a human being.

I see teenage girls fighting an uphill battle to graduate from high school while being a mom at the tender age of 16.

It's not pretty.

I also know women who didn't have health insurance who put off their yearly pap smears for one year too many and died of cervical cancer.

The Planned Parenthood protesters talk about their values and their community's values and how PP doesn't represent these values.

If you don't value health and education...what kind of person are you?

I, for one, value the health of women and girls. I value this more than I value the close-minded belief that all women will practice abstinence until their patient and saintly Prince Charming puts a ring on their finger. Some women do wait; I think that's beautiful and noble.

It's also rarer than some people in my community like to think.


Anonymous said...

Aaack! Is there room on that soapbox for the gal who can't remember the Blogger password? Beautifully stated, and I couldn't agree more. And I'll bet a Ben Franklin that the guy talking to the media shouldn't have been wearing a white dress on his wedding day!

Robert K. said...

Appropos of your posting, this article:
Teen ‘pregnancy pact’ has 17 girls expecting

Library Lady said...

"One of the fathers is a '24-year-old homeless man.'"