Marianne Is Here Because Sex Ed Matters

Volunteering at the PPAZ office

I believe in Planned Parenthood. I believe in reproductive freedom, the right to choose, medically accurate sexuality education for all people, access to all reproductive medical care options and, especially, freedom from harassment for women who make that choice.

I am here for Planned Parenthood because I remember my high school years. I grew up in Santa Monica, California and I was educated in the Catholic school system. The best part was this was the early to mid-’70s. There was still kind of a ‘hangover’ from the late ’60s to early ’70s with ‘free love’, ‘summer of love’ and Woodstock. The ‘hangover’ was evident in our high school. The school administration was unabashedly liberal. They actually believed that ‘sex ed’ should be more than just some put-upon phys ed instructor, usually the football coach, trying to maintain order amongst a group of giggling teenagers and passing on some hard-won information about reproduction, sexual intercourse, birth and STDs.

The administration set up a balance of courses that the students passed through at each grade level. Freshman usually started with just the regular catechism courses. These taught the church’s position with regard to birth control and the role of sexual intercourse inside and outside marriage. This was required; after all, we were a Catholic high school. Continue reading

Serena Is Here Because She Cares

Volunteering at Tucson Pride

Volunteering at Tucson Pride

Several years ago I attended a speech by actress Kathleen Turner, who was a national spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Federation of America at the time.  Turner told the college audience about how she had relied on Planned Parenthood’s health care services when she was a student, and she encouraged all of us to take advantage of the services offered there, too.  But, she told us, when we were in a position to give back to Planned Parenthood, we had an obligation to do so.

I volunteer at Planned Parenthood to fulfill that obligation. For more than ten years, I have depended on Planned Parenthood to provide affordable health care. When I haven’t been able to afford a Pap smear, I have been able to count on Planned Parenthood to help me out. When I needed information about pro-choice ballot issues or electoral candidates, I turned to Planned Parenthood to give me reliable information. No matter what, I know that I can count on Planned Parenthood to be there for me. Which is why I have made up my mind to be there for them. Continue reading

Pro-Choice Friday News Rundown

  • Catholic bishop excoriates Arizona’s St. Joseph’s hospital for terminating a woman’s pregnancy in order to save her life. Apparently the term “pro-life” only covers the life of a fetus and not the life of a woman. Good to know! (AZ Central)
  • Anti-choice hypocrisy must be contagious in the state of Arizona. Gov. Jan Brewer: “Pro-life” when it comes to fetuses, but clearly “Anti-life” when it comes to her constituents who need life-saving organ transplants (Huff Po)
  • Teen parents talk legal, financial consequences of sex (USA Today)
  • Another state decides not to trust women: New Alaska abortion notification law takes effect (Reuters)
  • Oral contraceptives exonerated! It turns out, the pill is not responsible for the majority of the estrogen in our drinking water (Web MD)
  • Opponents of a woman’s right to choose are serving up a big helping of threatening, anti-choice rhetoric with a side of butterflies, cute puppies, smiling moons, hearts, and child-like alphabet letters. Sort of like a big unappetizing bowl of Anti-choice Lucky Charms! (Jezebel)

Stacey Is Here Because She Trusts Women

Looking back, I don’t think I ever made a formal, conscious decision to be pro-choice. For me, there’s never been any hand-wringing or laborious thinking about the issue of choice. I have always, always felt that the choice whether to, or when to, become a mother was the basic, fundamental right of every woman alive.

I never really envisioned myself as an “activist” either, but for me the urge to volunteer and advocate for Planned Parenthood came on strong and suddenly.

I was surfing the net one afternoon and came across this video:

I’d honestly never seen anything like it. As a former patient at a Planned Parenthood center in the Midwest, I couldn’t recall ever seeing protesters on my routine preventive care visits. Not even one.

Watching the video, I couldn’t fathom what possessed these people to stand outside of a center, where women seek out private medical care, screaming hateful, often deceptive messages.

I thought they were sick, mean, and crazy to even conceive of doing such a thing.

I hadn’t been a patient at Planned Parenthood since college, but I could only imagine how utterly horrible it would have been to have hateful propaganda screamed at me by strangers while heading into a contraception visit or annual Pap smear. Continue reading

Pro-Choice Friday News Rundown

  • Study on self-induced abortion in the U.S. finds that many of the women who attempt to self-abort are young teens. Lack of funds is cited as the main reason they didn’t go to a clinic instead (Ibis Reproductive Health)
  • New CDC report finds boys get less sex education than girls (Sociological Images)
  • Alaska Catholics Make Up “Abortion Gift Certificates” Scandal (Care 2 Protect Women’s Rights)
  • African-American women at higher risk of pregnancy-related death (The Grio)
  • States Restrict Health Insurance Coverage of Abortion (Guttmacher)
  • Because innovative birth control methods have been hogged up by humans for too long, there is now a canine version of “The Pill” (ABC 7)
  • Despite how wrongfully they’re demonized, late term abortions are critically necessary procedures for many women (RH Reality Check)

Pro-Choice Friday News Rundown

  • Women seeking birth control subjected to unnecessary pelvic exams (MSNBC)
  • ACLU Cites Walgreens For Refusing Emergency Contraception to Men (Time)
  • Dr. Carhart to Face Firestorm in Maryland, More Stalking (Ms. Magazine)
  • If there’s one thing riles up the anti-choice crowd, it’s giving women new ways to prevent pregnancy (RH Reality Check)
  • Personhood amendment proposed to wreak havoc in Florida (FL Independent)
  • The next two years are definitely NOT going to be a picnic for choice: Boehner Hardens Anti-Choice Agenda in Next Congress (Women’s eNews)
  • Pope OK’s Condom Use- But Only if You’re a Gigolo (RH Reality Check)
  • Sarah Palin’s Alaska Riddled with Gonorrhea (Huff Po)