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Planned Parenthood is oddly considered a "controversial" organization. The GOP holds them up as an example of evil because women can obtain an abortion through their doctors. The big problem with that view is that Planned Parenthood offers so much more than abortions.

Planned Parenthood provides low cost reporductive health to women all across our country. I know this for a fact because when I was pregnant with Andy, I didn't have health insurance and couldn't afford regular OB/GYN appointments. I saw a midwife at my local Planned Parenthood most of the way through my pregnancy and it was at no cost to me. Even monitoring, testing and ultrasounds.

Additionally, it's not just about babies! Planned Parenthood provides screening and care for STDs and other health issues like cancers. Many women, including many Planned Parenthood clients, rely on their reproductive health care provider as their primary source of health care. Through this relationship, women have access to a broad range of reproductive health care services that promote and protect their general health and well-being.

Planned Parenthood provides low cost birth control. All women deserve access to preventive family planning services that can help them decide when to have children. Because of a technical error made by Congress in 2005, the cost of birth control in many health centers and college campuses is rising as much as 900 percent over what it was a short time ago. Women who were paying $5 to $10 per month are now paying $40 to $50 for the same prescription. For the college students and low-income women affected by this cost hike, that's no small matter. When women have access to affordable birth control, the rate of abortions drops. So why is it that the Republicans was abstinance-only sex ed and limited knowledge of (and access to) birth control.

So on to the political stuff...

Sarah Palin opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. As she said in a gubernatorial debate nearly two years ago, even if her own daughter were a rape victim, she - not the daughter, interestingly, but she - would ''choose life.''

In 2000, then-Governor Tony Knowles signed a bill in Alaska that ensured law enforcement around the state would pay for the processing of "Rape Kits" - forensics evidence collected in rape cases. Knowles noted, correctly, that we don't charge robbery victims the cost of dusting for prints, so why would be charge rape victims the cost of gathering evidence to apprehend their assailant?

Except one little town objected, and had previously refused to foot the bill to solve rape cases - Wasilla, under Mayor Sarah Palin.  Reported the local paper, The Frontiersman, at the time:
While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

How can any woman think that voting for the McCain/Palin ticket is a good thing for the advancement of equal rights?

On to McCain, these are FACTS:

McCain supports overturning Roe v. Wade. In February 2007, the Associated Press quoted McCain as saying, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."  In May 2007, during an appearance on Meet the Press, Sen. McCain reiterated his support for overturning Roe v. Wade, saying, "I have stated time after time after time that Roe v. Wade was a bad decision, that I support a woman — the, the rights of the unborn." He went on to say, "My position has been consistently in my voting record, pro-life, and I continue to maintain that position and voting record."

McCain opposed spending $100 million to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies
. In 2005, McCain voted NO to allocate $100 million to expand access to preventive health care services that reduce the numbers of unintended and teen pregnancies and reduce the number of abortions.

McCain opposed legislation requiring that abstinence-only programs be medically accurate and scientifically based. McCain voted NO on legislation that would help reduce the number of teen pregnancies by providing funding for programs to teach comprehensive, medically accurate sexuality education and other programs to prevent unintended teen pregnancies.

McCain opposed Title X, the nation's family planning program. In 1990, McCain voted NO on legislation to extend the Title X federal family planning program, which provides low-income and uninsured women and families with health care services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screening to birth control.
McCain opposed requiring insurance coverage of prescription birth control. In 2003, McCain voted NO on legislation to improve the availability of contraceptives for women and to require insurance coverage of prescription birth control.
McCain opposes comprehensive sex education. In an interview aboard the "Straight Talk Express," McCain struggled to answer questions about comprehensive sex education and HIV prevention.  He also stated that he thought he supported "the president's policy" on sex education. 

McCain supports the "global gag rule." In 2005, McCain voted NO on legislation to overturn the "global gag rule," which bars non-U.S. nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if the organization (using its own, non-U.S. funds) provides abortion services or information or advocates for pro-choice laws and policies in its own country.

So here's how you can help a fantastic organization that helps women every day and also annoy a political candidate along the way. 

Make a donation to Planned Parenthood in the name of Sarah Palin or John McCain. 

For every donation made in their names, Planned Parenthood sends them a card thanking them. 

Seven years ago, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times came up with the idea.  Right after Bush was sworn in for the second time, he immediately revoked as many pro-choice policies and appointments as he could.  The writer, Patt Morisson called for donations to be made in his name and envisioned a scene out of "Miracle on 34th Street,'' sacks and sacks of thank-you cards from Planned Parenthood, delivered to Bush in the Oval Office.

 It worked. Ultimately, more than a million dollars, was generated for Planned Parenthood in Bush's name. George Bush became one of the biggest money-generators in Planned Parenthood's history.

So let's let Sarah and John know that the women in this country aren't stupid and that we can see through their rhetoric and "verbiage" about equality.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
This is a great idea!

I went to PP for exams and birth control when I was working at the Opera here, because even though I had health insurance, at $400 a week pre-tax I did not have enough money to go to a doctor anyway (copays and such).

Heh, maybe they could use my donation to get some non-latex exam gloves. I remember going there one time after FINALLY being granted an hour off work and telling them I was allergic to latex. They said I could deal with it or come back next month when they got more non-latex gloves.

Good times!
Sep. 18th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
great piece.
Sep. 19th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
Sep. 20th, 2008 06:58 am (UTC)
You do know that MANY cities/states charge for rape kits right? Just checking...
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )