Shout out to my partner in crime Amanda for sending me this article. Things like this make me really angry, and sometimes after a day of recovering from last night it’s nice to get riled up. This, kiddies, is gonna be a rant.
In an article you can find here, although I’m gonna paraphrase it so it’s up to you, I learned just how cracked out old white men really are. Our government wants to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood. If you’ve never been to PP, let me tell you about them. They provide basic healthcare, including diabetes screening, breast and cervical cancer screenings, PAP smears, and STD tests. Mostly, they provide for low income women, including minors. PP began in 1916, and since then they’ve been working to provide comprehensive healthcare that respects the rights of individuals. (check out their facebookpage, I’m borrowing heavily. Yay research!)
Of course, no one is really talking about all that. They are taking the brilliant reductionist approach, and talking about abortion. Which PP does do. Legally. And, it doesn’t use any of the government funds to do so, cause that shit is already prohibited. Some people think PP is a waste of the governments money, probably the same people that think universal health care makes us socialists. But these same people have no plan in place to protect the women who depend on these services. ‘Sure, but Lexi,’ you might ask, ‘why do women need their own healthcare places? Do they have special needs?’ Well, you, the answer is OF COURSE WE DO! First of all, when modern medicine was coming into being, it was being written by men. By men and for men. So women’s bodies, from the start, are marked as ‘other’. Why do you think menstruation is such a big deal? Cause men think its fucking outrageous that we can bleed for seven days and not die. If women had been the pioneers of the profession, it would just be a normal part of life. Which it is. In fact, it’s kind of awesome. God women are cool…
But I digress. Women focused/friendly healthcare is hard to find. Especially if you are broke and/or uninsured. Women have unique needs, and marginalized women have unique concerns. Birth control is a huge deal, especially when you consider that some women might have partners or husbands who oppose using it. Screenings of all kind are also important, as most diseases are treatable if caught early. To say that an organization who provides these things is a waste of money is incredibly short sighted and does not take into account the needs of ALL women.
Ok so real quick, abortion. I can’t bring myself to say that you have to believe in abortion to be a feminist. But on the other hand, a movement does have to have some perimeters or it is meaningless. So when Sarah Palin says she’s a feminist, I say well that just a crock of shit. She is a woman who is a product of a movement that she in no way supports. I mean, encouraging women to be more politically active is great. But all of her other stances are anti-woman. My personal views on abortion are not relevant, what’s relevant is that I support each woman’s right to make her own decision. To say otherwise means that you support forcing a woman to endure a dangerous, 9 month period of physical change and discomfort. It also means that women don’t matter as much as a potential man. I really really hate that abortion is such a marquee issue, but I understand that people wanna weigh in on who gets personhood. Mostly, however, its a medical procedure and it shouldn’t matter why it’s necessary and for that matter if you don’t have a uterus you shouldn’t get a say in the issue at all. Because you will never be effected by the debate the way any woman would be.
Whew. Ok that was a lot. Here’s the thing though guys, no one wants to have an abortion. It’s not fun. Its an agonizing decision and a really shitty experience. I think if we had better healthcare and eduction we could avoid the whole mess way more than we do now. But you can’t force women to be pregnant. And taking away money from an organization that does so much good is irresponsible. If you wanna wear your feminist badge, its gotta be about the needs of all women, not just those of us with a voice.