We’re Hurting Too

By David Bender

As a clinic volunteer for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, and the co-founder of the Advocates for Choice group on the Beloit College campus, I feel I have the right to an opinion on the matter of abortion. I’ve seen first-hand the struggle that women go through when choosing to have an abortion, and it is no easy choice. But there is no post-abortion trauma syndrome to which the author of the commentary refers to in terms of “stress, anxiety, and depression.” Any credible psychology or psychiatry journal will attest to that simple fact.

What I do want to make a response to is the fact that this “all-out war on women” is not just about women. The millions of men that enter the doors of Planned Parenthood clinics all over the United States are going to be affected by the federal government’s attempt to eliminate Title X family planning funding for Planned Parenthood. I am not only a Planned Parenthood volunteer, but a patient too, and the care I’ve received there can be found elsewhere, but there is so much more than just that care. There is the passion that the doctors, employees, and volunteers have that make any Planned Parenthood clinic a safe place to discuss human issues that held by some to be the most personal types of issues there are. Title X funding, which is the funding that is now at risk of being cut due to a bill now in the hands of the Senate, has nothing to do with abortion funding, and I do think people are starting to realize that. Title X addresses not just women, but “all persons desiring such services” (Public Law 91-572, §2). In fact, nowhere in the legal text is there mention of gender. Men may not be able to bear children, but we do require preventative medicine and education about human sexuality that will allow us to make proper choice in regards to their own actions, and the fertility of both their partner and themselves.

In regards to the so-called “documented evidence” of corruption within Planned Parenthood, I hesitate to even bring attention to it, as the evidence is highly edited, and is simply there to create controversy. I do not want to feed into it.

I’ll end this with a quote from the open letter to Congress signed by millions of Americans and me: “Know that we stand together today against this outrageous assault, and together we will not lose.” If you stand with Planned Parenthood too, you can sign this letter at: istandwithplannedparenthood.org.



2 thoughts on “We’re Hurting Too

  1. Straw man alert! The author here is trying to distract you from the strength of the original argument by bringing up something that does not even exist! Even if I concede the premise that the original author mentioned post abortion trauma syndrome (which she did not), there is the difficult matter of the scientific data. And although I appreciate this author’s anecdotal evidence, I choose to side with the “credible psychiatry journal.”

    *Suicide -or attemped suicide- rate among women receiving abortion in Finland three times (34.3% to 11.3%) higher than female population at-large.
    British Medical Journal, 313:1431, Gissler, et al., 1996

    *Study of women who had abortions showed that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 31% regretted their decision.
    British Journal of OB and GYN, 87:1115, Aston, 1980

    *California women who had abortions were 160% more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment then women who delivered their babies. (emphasis mine)
    Canadian Medical Association Journal 168:1253, Reardon, et al., 2003

    *Women having abortions were significantly more likely to require admission to a psychiatric hospital. Especially vulnerable were teenagers, separated or divorced women, and women who have had a prior abortion.
    Dissertation Abstracts International, Public Health 2621-B, R. Somers, (1979)

    The second paragraph speaks to the author’s opinion on using public money support a private, non-profit organization. Such entities should be able to stand on their own merits. If the people of the United States were really that firmly behind abortion, then they would support Planned Parenthood financially, the same way they financially support private schools, businesses, churches, and the thousands of other rescue missions, children’s hospitals, adoption programs, and charities in the United States. Along those same lines, I suspect the author would not be as supportive of the “passion” of, say, Focus on the Family’s employees and volunteers, if that organization were to receive public funding.

    Thirdly, it’s incredibly pretentious to dismiss all the alleged corruption at Planned Parenthood as doctored sensationalism. Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, was most certainly a racist who saw her organization as a means to a “cleaner race” (Sanger, Margaret. Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12). I am not painting every employee or supporter with that brush, but clearly that value system lives on in 21st century Planned Parenthood. As recently as 2008 a donations manager agreed to accept money specifically designated to murder black children. It’s true, you can read about it here. The clinic’s response was that this particular employee was acting alone and made a serious mistake. Possibly. But the racist ideology behind Planned Parenthood, and the indisputable fact that in this particular state 3 out every 4 Planned Parenthood facilities are in minority neighborhoods, would seem to indicate otherwise.

    I am against abortion and public funding for Planned Parenthood, but I agree with the author in this regard: this is not a women’s issue, this is a society issue. We have to placer higher value on human life. We have to build healthier communities where a woman feels so loved and valued, and is assured her child will be loved and valued, so she would not even consider an abortion. This is not an issue we can solve with a Congress-to-constituency declaration, it needs to be solved with person-to-person, heart-to-heart demonstration.

    Posted by Kyle Adams | March 7, 2011, 6:20 pm
  2. I’m glad you care so much about women – enough that you’re willing to volunteer your time to help them. However, being a male, you must not understand what it’s like to have the life of another human forcefully removed from your body. Not only have I seen first hand the intense depression my friends have gone through personally, now studies are showing that women who have abortions are also more likely to develop breast cancer. If you don’t believe me, google it. That data is readily available to the public, and I encourage you, for the sake of the women you care about so much, to look into it further.

    Also, let’s not cite the 2% of individuals who come for an abortion because of rape or incest. That has already been proven to be so small a number, it’s almost laughable.

    Posted by Katherine | March 8, 2011, 7:23 pm

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