It's late, and I am tired.
Tired from a day of reading recaps of another mass shooting. Tired of reading reports of Planned Parenthood's defunding. Tired of everything.
Sometimes, I censor myself when posting a blog or a social media comment. There are people in my life who may disagree with my views, or business colleagues who may have a second thought about meeting with me when they know where I stand on some issues.
But here are the facts. I'm not dancing around them to please or protect people any longer.
I support Planned Parenthood.
In my 20's, I relied on PP for affordable women's healthcare and birth control. I was able, without insurance, to go to one of their offices get a yearly gynocological exam, and leave with birth control pills at a reasonable price. Though I didn't always remember to take them.
At age 23, I had an abortion. I had an affair with a married man, got pregnant, and terminating the pregnancy was the right choice at the time. In hindsight, it was STILL the right choice. I sometimes think (though not often) of how old that child would be now, how my life would be different, and I always- ALWAYS- come back with the same resolution: terminating that pregnancy was the right thing for me at the time. The life I have now would not have been possible if I'd made a different choice.
When I knew I was pregnant and didn't want to be, I went to the PP in my college town, and was yelled at by pro-lifers on my way in to the clinic. At the time, I fancied myself an "alternative" girl, wearing a black leather biker's jacket, wise cracking, and generally being a badass. I shouted back at the protesters, and felt like I was providing a great service when, inside the clinic, I rallied the other women together who were in my same predicament, and boosted their confidence and gave them strength.
Though Planned Parenthood would not perform my abortion.
Turns out, college girls are terrible at timing and responsibility, and my pregnancy was a week past the PP cut off date. I was referred to another clinic in Atlanta to perform the procedure. My good friend Mary and I went to Atlanta for a weekend, and I was beautifully cared for by the women of the Feminist Women's Health Center. At this writing, I am happy to see their doors are still open, and they are still helping women take control of their lives.
My point is this: Planned Parenthood is just that. PLANNED. PARENTHOOD. For both men and women. Planning your family. Family planning. Birth control. Education. Physical Exams. Cancer screenings. STD testing. All of it. If they were solely about terminating pregnancies, they'd have a different name. Something yucky sounding, I'm sure.
But their name is PLANNED PARENTHOOD.
And don't our children deserve to enter into a world where they are wanted and planned for?
I think so.