Posts Tagged ‘unwed mothers’
No matter how flawed humanity is, I remain a huge fan. I see our quirky individualism as part of The Divine tapestry. Because of this, I respect the opinions & morality of people whose views may oppose my own, and though I have standards by which I try to live, I don’t like to impose my standard on others with different values or beliefs. This declaration is necessary, because today’s topic requires me to tread lightly. In the news is the issue of whether or not the government should cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
It must be acknowledged that talking about Planned Parenthood, is talking about sexual & reproductive issues. If you are faithful reader of de blog, you may have guessed I’m not uptight about sex, nevertheless, because anything related to sex is colored by our morality, it can be a highly sensitive issue to others.
NEWS FLASH: People have sex!
They have since the beginning of time, they will continue until the end of time. Planned Parenthood serves some of those people, but unfortunately, within their client base are a large number of people who would be better off not having sex. That‘s not a moral judgment, it’s an observation.
A long time ago, in a lesser zip code of Oakland, CA, I worked at a home for unwed mothers. I’ve seen girls as young as 11 struggling with the decision of whether or not to become mothers. I’ve seen pregnancies that were tragic from their conception. I’ve seen the stereotypical unwed black teen, but I’ve also seen girls from respected families hiding until their pregnancy was brought to term. I’ve seen girls pregnant by family members. My earliest roots were Catholic, but after seeing hard reality, I became convinced of the need for alternatives to pregnancy.
Before Planned Parenthood, teens had unprotected sex in the back of the barn, the backseat of a vehicle, or any other place they could find. Back in the day, an unwed mother was sent away until the baby was born. The baby was put up for adoption or sometimes raised by its grandparents.
Teens still have sex behind barns and in backseats. Even with readily available birth control, girls still get pregnant. We no longer send those girls away, and many of their babies are mostly raised by grandparents. That’s not the worst thing, as anyone who has been a parent, is better suited to raising a child, than someone who still is one. Though Planned Parenthood has made birth control and abortions readily available, they haven’t succeeded in significantly changing the outcome of the situation.
What has changed is society’s attitude toward unwed mothers. Americans may not be crazy about the regularity of young girls getting pregnant, before they are ready to be parents. We don’t rejoice for teens who inadvertently trade the carefree years of their youth, for the unrelenting responsibility of parenthood, but it would seem that even those who aren’t ready to become grandparents are reluctant to have their grandchildren aborted. Whether pro-choice or pro-life, most of us are pro-family when the issue comes home.
In the rhetoric of why we mustn’t cut funding to Planned Parenthood, is the projection it will result in something like a half million more abortions a year. These projections are estimates, substantiated only by speculation, but one must wonder why the nation’s largest promoter and provider of abortions is opposed to seeing more of them. After all, weren’t a woman’s right to choose and population control the foundation of Planned Parenthood’s doctrine? Perhaps it has more to do with market share, than the welfare of women. Abortion is a very lucrative business, Planned Parenthood, a federally subsidized “non-profit” agency made more than $100 million in profits last year.
Another argument, against cutting funding is Planned Parenthood provides many services besides birth control and abortion, services for males, such as screening for testicular cancer and testing for STD‘s. I’d like to see the statistics, because I’ve been to Planned Parenthood, the waiting rooms are mostly full of young women. When guys are there, they are usually holding the hand of a girl who looks frightened. Their waiting rooms are not full of guys lining up for testicular cancer screen tests. Guys do go there for STD testing, usually only after a girlfriend has told them it might be prudent.
Perhaps the biggest loss if Planned Parenthood’s funding is decreased would be the easy accessibility to birth control. If this is our priority, it would be more economically efficient to subsidize contraceptives, than agencies which supply them. Those who oppose funding cuts say this would increase the number of unwanted pregnancies among members of the lower socio-economic classes and within minority populations, because traditionally Planned Parenthood has served these populations. That might seem noble, but to those familiar with Planned Parenthood’s roots, it reeks of racism.
Early leader of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger believed that babies born to minorities should be slowly eliminated to decrease the blight of racial impurity on America. Are the children of poor minority mothers less valid than those born to others? She believed in population control and a form of eugenics–which favored the distillation and purification of race. She believed Hitler had it right. She was involved with the shameful chapter in American history, known as The Negro Project. Sanger and her cohorts, thought they knew best which births most needed control.
Though Planned Parenthood has tried to distance itself from it’s hideous racist roots, the agency still targets minorities and the impoverished. Defenders of the agency, say that cutting funding will hurt women. Which women? There is nothing noble or benevolent about an agency which makes the greatest share of its income from those who can least afford it.
No matter our views on sex, birth control or abortion, we have the freedom to choose. We each choose what we believe is right for us. Even without being subsidized, there will always be clinics that provide birth control, testing for STD’s, reproductive health services and abortions. We know about Planned Parenthood because it’s the largest abortion provider in the United States, but there are many others. Cutting funding to this agency will not eliminate it.
As I see it, this planet has nothing worthwhile without the people of all kinds who populate it. Babies were meant to be born–even those that don’t come with a silver spoon in their mouths. Race and economics aside, every child deserves a future, because greatness is not born of race, wealth or status. We will never know what genius, creativity or social contributions we missed because of those who went unborn. Perhaps, the economic genius, who would have had the brilliance to solve some of our current economic issues, went unborn. If Americans continue to attempt funding everything because of high ideals, while disregarding the reality of economics, none of our children will face a bright future. It is time to cut funding not just to Planned Parenthood, but to every program that no longer makes sense.