Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Planned Parenthood: Charity of the Month

I'm sure all my regular readers are by now aware that I grew up in a faith healing cult led by my grandmother, Carol Balizet. I was born at home, never went to the pediatrician, and never received vaccinations as a child (though I'm catching up on them now.) But when I was a teenager, and sexually active, Planned Parenthood was there for me. My parents chose to deprive me of medical care, but thanks to Planned Parenthood's Teen Clinic program, I was able to get free annual PAP smears, comprehensive and confidential STD testing, and birth control. When I was 17 and had a miscarriage, they helped me deal with it, physically and emotionally. Last year I went back to get the 12-year non-hormonal IUD (because pregnancy is no fun.)

For many low-income women, Planned Parenthood may be the only access to healthcare they have, and their distribution of low-cost and free birth control has undoubtedly helped to reduce the number of children born into poverty here in the United States. They are fierce advocates of abortion rights and access, and work to combat attacks on womens reproductive rights. They fight for comprehensive sex education in schools, and also often offer sex education classes at their clinics. (I fully intend on taking Little Man to Planned Parenthood for one of these classes when he reaches puberty.) Planned Parenthood fights for global access to reproductive health and choice for women around the world.

Especially for my male readers, who may not be as familiar with the great work Planned Parenthood does, you can learn more on their Issues page. To get involved with political action in the interests of womens health and reproductive freedoms, you can go here. Currently they are working on keeping the abortion rights ban out of the universal healthcare bill. You can also donate to Planned Parenthood online or by phone.

You can sign the petition to tell Pres. Obama and others you want abortion and reproductive health needs to be covered under health reform here. If you're unable to donate your money (like me! Poverty's no fun), please consider donating your time and your physical size. Men, especially, can help by being escorts at either Planned Parenthood or other abortion facilities. This is one of the most compassionate things you can do to protect the rights and health of women, as well as pissing off the fundamentalist Christians and Catholics. :)

After all, when we don't stop those who would take away reproductive choice, this is what they do to our sex education: