To The Daily Sun,
In 1916 Margaret Sanger of New York and a few other ladies set out to distribute birth control, birth control advice and birth control information. You can guess how well that blew over! But, their campaign led to a major role in the laws governing birth control and sex education in the United States, and Planned Parenthood was born.
Ms. Sanger believed that abortion would not be needed if every woman had basic access to birth control. (Please note the key words in that sentence). She also publicly condemned abortion for those same simple basic facts. I agree that abortions should never be used simply as a means of birth control.
Planned Parenthood is a worldwide organization whose services are not just about abortions. They also provide birth control, long-acting reversible contraception, emergency contraception, clinical cancer screening, pregnancy testing, pregnancy options, testing and treatment for STD, sex education, vasectomies, LGBT services, breast exams, flu vaccines, prostate cancer screenings, cholesterol testing, diabetes screenings, high blood pressure screenings, UTI screenings and treatment, treatments for infections, erectile dysfunction help, mental health care, tetanus vaccines, thyroid screenings, counseling, smoking cessation support, and abortions. As you can see, they provide services to both men and women.
They are well known for providing services to minorities and the poor. Four out of five of their clients have incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. In New Hampshire, that means an income of less than $24,000 per year for a two-person family.
Mr. Mitchell, that is less than $12 per hour of income for a single person working full-time. We are talking about people who can barely make ends meet and yet you want to take away a plethora of services that can help to keep them safe.
In addition, a lot of training programs are provided annually to over 40,000 professionals who work with kids, teens, and young adults. Those being trained include teachers, addiction counselors, group home staff, nurses, physicians, prison staff, rehabilitation counselors, religious leaders, and social workers. People who work in the community to minimize the need for those services you want to defund, Mr. Mitchell.
In 1970 Planned Parenthood started to receive federal funding, thanks to President Nixon. They also have numerous private and corporate donors. They receive just one-third of their money in government grants and contracts. Since 1976, federal law has restricted them from using that funding (except in extreme cases) to perform an abortion. The client pays out-of-pocket for an abortion outside of those few instances.
Many states also provide funding to Planned Parenthood and in fact, New Hampshire and 42 other states also forbid their funding from being used for subsidized abortions. Now I know many pro-lifers wish to believe that is a lie and those "videos" are gospel, but I don't put a lot of my faith in the media at all. Believe what you want, as I will do.
That being said, the reports going around now state that a lot of women (a 900 percent increase) are now getting their birth control taken care of before Mr. Trump and Congress take away that ability. So, in a sense pro-lifers have won on that account because if a woman is properly protected, there is no need for an abortion. Correct?
But luckily, here in New Hampshire the courts have protected the perimeter around a center so that a woman can go there for a breast exam without being harassed by anti-abortion protesters, because not everyone goes there for an abortion, Mr. Mitchell.
It is, as it should be, a woman's right to choose. Not yours, mine, Trump's, the government, or anyone else. If that right is taken away, abortions will still happen. They will simply continue to be performed but at a terrible cost. Watch a movie called, "If These Walls Could Talk," and please, maybe then you can see your solution is not so simple and will have dire effects. It is a choice no man will ever have to make. It is a choice many women wish never to have to make. Please, do not judge or label these women.
Choose choice, and make the best choice for yourself, your life, and your future. All life is precious, Mr. Mitchell.
Denise C. Burke
- Category: Letters
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