People. What the fuck. I’m having trouble articulating here. I’m an inchoate mass of seething rage. I really should just stay away from the news–it only ends in wrath. But maybe wrath is what we need. More people need to be as pissed off as I am right now, so that we can do something about this bullshit. And when I say “we,” of course, I mean everyone who gives a shit about sexual education, screening, and healthcare for men and women and trans people and everyone else. So, most of us. As, you know, a species.
It’s not so much that I’m pissed specifically at Komen for the Cure, which has withdrawn the funding it used to put toward breast cancer screenings for women at Planned Parenthood. I mean, yes, I’m really peeved at them for widening the gap that conservatives have been hysterically trying to open between “ok” healthcare for women (the stuff that married women of high moral standing and conservative Christian values need access to, like breast cancer treatment because breast cancer isn’t their fault) and “dirty” healthcare for women with looser loins (STI screenings, access to effective birth control, PAP smears, and… dare I say it… sometimes abortions, which, of course, are the kinds of things needed by women who make the conscious decision to be “slutty” and who therefore deserve some kind of shaming or punishment, or something?). That is stupid, and I’m sick of hearing about abortion funding as if it’s something that’s negotiable or even half of what this whole debate should be about, which is providing people with access to healthcare they need in what is supposed to be the freest country in the world.
What is really, really pissing me off here is the creeping notion that certain proponents of Medievalism and backwards asshattery are spreading. The idea is that people, and particularly women, don’t know what they want or need. Planned Parenthood has been in operation for decades and has become the nation’s largest provider of sexual health services because people need it. People need it, and they go to it, and they use it. A lot. Every single person I know has either gone to a Planned Parenthood for screening or treatment, or knows someone who has. I got all my sexual healthcare from Planned Parenthood for the first six years of my adult life, -and to this day prefer the treatment I received there to any private practitioner’s ministrations I’ve received since. I felt welcome there, un-judged, and supported. Millions of others have felt the same. We went there, and we go there, because we know what we need and Planned Parenthood is one of the few places where we can be sure to find it. We want and need to have some of control over our bodies, our sexual health, our futures, our lives, and yes, even the lives of our children. We do not deserve to be thrown to the wolves just because someone out there doesn’t agree with our lives, and being infected with an STI, needing birth control to help us feel safe in pursuing our careers, being raped and needing access to Plan B… these things are not our fault any more than breast cancer is the fault of the millions of women who get it. There isn’t fault here. There is human nature and the omnipresence of sex as a driving force in our health, welfare, and lives. We need to be able to control it, and we have the ability to control it. We need access to this ability. This is, in a country like ours, one of our fundamental rights, as the Supreme Court has ruled.
And yet there is this group of people who read select parts of the Bible like it’s our legal code who want to tell us that we shouldn’t have it because it doesn’t fit in with what they consider moral–because 3% of the budget of Planned Parenthood goes to abortions. As if Planned Parenthood were devoting all its energies to butchering babies in back alleys, or as if it were running around on the streets promoting abortion as a cure-all for life’s problems. As if we, the confused, look at Planned Parenthood and think, “Ah, sweet, sweet abortions! There’s no such thing as the consequence of a bad decision, because I can get an abortion. Happy day!”
Holy crap. As if abortion is the kind of thing that people take lightly. As if it is a banner under which every human ill can be pasted. But Planned Parenthood, and its mission to provide adequate sexual healthcare to the masses of underserved Americans (those masses, let’s be clear, have been getting bigger in recent years as healthcare costs skyrocket and unemployment grows), is there specifically to prevent these kinds of things from happening. By educating people about contraception and sexual health, by providing people with information and material help, it certainly prevents more abortions than it provides. It absolutely does. Along with the spread of STIs, the perpetuation of false infromation about sexual health, and the innumerable other ills that will come from the hushing-up of sex education and the shutting down of healthcare.
And I am sick to death of some deluded camp of weird, Puritanical, repressed, confused, and angry telling me otherwise. I am literally nauseous that there are women out there, like Handel at Komen for the Cure, who are ready and willing to take up the flag of these morons in the name of some fringe idea of moral rectitude that makes no sense in the real world. I want to pull out my hair when I see photos of women with sandwich-board signs picketing abortion clinics as if they were the living, breathing embodiments of The Madonna and the rest of us, just by being involved in getting treatment for sexual health concerns, are confused about our needs. I know what I need.
This is not about abortion, or even about Planned Parenthood, or even about hypocrisy, it is about freedom and choice and my fucking right to do what I want to take care of myself. So who are you and why do you care if I take birth control or not? Who do you think you are that you can try to preach to me about the choices I make? And why the fuck do you think you can take those choices away from me?
I… have to go. Do something else. I am too angry this morning to make any good points. Thank god for blogs, or I’d be sitting here at my desk with steam coming out of my ears. This way, it comes out my fingers.