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.