Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why I Love Planned Parenthood

I have been to Planned Parenthood four times. Not for abortions, not to harass the baby-killers, but for my annual gynecological exams. Not the highlight of my year, but we women all need them to screen for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and other lady needs. What is so demonic about your annual doctor visit?

The reason I chose to go to Planned Parenthood is because I couldn't afford to go anywhere else. That's right - Planned Parenthood offers the non-insured and the unemployed  and the poor affordable healthcare. I have a wonderful gynecologist here in San Antonio with a nice office near downtown, but a doctor's visit there would cost me at least $400 without medical insurance. If Planned Parenthood was not around, I wouldn't get to have my annual check up at all.

I am appalled by the efforts of individuals and organizations (um, Komen) that have tried to brand the clinic as a baby killing factory. It isn't. In fact, the waiting rooms are usually full of women of child-bearing age and their children. This is because it's a clinic that serves women's medical needs. When funding stops for a Planned Parenthood, the prices to see the doctor go up - which leads to less women getting exams and more cancer that could have been detected early.

There is, however, one scary thing about Planned Parenthood. I haven't experienced this here in San Antonio, but in another Texas city. The threat of bombs going off. That's right, like what happens in Afghanistan. The Christian Fundamentalists somehow justify murder and constantly threaten the lives of patients, doctors, and other medical staff. Also, this is the only doctor's appointment you'll ever go to where it is common to be harassed by total strangers on the street before walking into the building. At a regular doctor's office this would be considered tortious interference and it would stop, but since they offer a service that is legal in this country but also still controversial the harassment is considered free speech.

I personally am so thankful there is an organization like Planned Parenthood. But the torture of this establishment has to end. Abortion isn't the issue, access to affordable healthcare is and PP provides that.