Without Planned Parenthood, You Can Kiss Your Sex Life Goodbye


Happy birthday, Susan B. Anthony! Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is voting whether or not to eliminate Planned Parenthood funding provided under the Title X family planning program. So much for women's rights! And so much for many women's healthy, happy sex lives that currently are owed to Planned Parenthood.

From a statement by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards:

Unbelievably, the House Leadership has set its sights on abolishing a program that provides lifesaving and preventive care to millions of women and saves taxpayers money by helping women plan their families. This is an extreme proposal, and the new leaders of the House are pushing it forward at great risk to women and at their own political peril.

Republicans say it's about abortion, priding themselves on pulling the rug out from under Planned Parenthood, because it's an "abortion business." They're riling up voters to think their tax dollars are going to some random irresponsible woman's abortion. But that is COMPLETELY misleading. Government dollars aren't allowed to be used toward abortion. Congress already prohibits that, except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Planned Parenthood is providing its patients so much more. In fact, if House Republicans have their way and Planned Parenthood goes under, 1.85 million women will be left with nowhere to get family-planning help (e.g. birth control, like condoms!) and medical care (like pap smears) at the clinics each year. Less access to these services is a direct assault on these women's ability to practice safe sex, or even fulfilling sex.

How many times have you skipped having sex because you forgot or there was a problem getting your birth control prescription filled? Have you ever had to put off sex with your hubby because you had a nasty infection or some wacky symptom you needed a gyno to check out first? Ever experienced painful sex or bleeding after sex? Or been on a birth control pill that was making you sick -- either mentally or physically -- but needed a doctor to prescribe you something else or insert a non-hormonal IUD? I've heard friends (single, married, straight, bi, gay, etc.) complain of ALL of these things, and in most cases, they needed family-planning help or medical care. It shouldn't be impossible, difficult, or ILLEGAL for them to find affordable access to either!

Plus, obviously we can't have happy, healthy, fireworks-causing sex if we're not healthy overall. Six in 10 women who access care from a family planning health center consider it to be their main source of health care ... their lifeline to being WELL! Because our health care system is totally screwed up, many women (young and old alike) rely on Planned Parenthood's Title X family planning program funding for basic primary and preventive health care, like ... breast exams and instruction on breast self-examination, Pap tests for early detection of cervical cancer or precancerous conditions, testing for high blood pressure, screening and appropriate treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV screening, counseling, referrals to specialized health care cancer screenings, contraception, STI testing and treatment, and annual exams.

But, who cares? House Republicans certainly don't. They'd be THRILLED to see Title X eliminated and would probably just shrug when, as a result, more women get sick and suffer from an increased risk of undetected cancer. How about more unintended pregnancies? There will be those, too, but hey, "Personal Responsibility comes first!" Even if affordable birth control is stripped away. I guess they should just become nuns?

So, I'm sorry to have to be the one to break it to you, but it looks like some of us are just going to have to say "sayonara!" to G-spot orgasms. Put sexual intimacy with our lovers on the back burner.

If Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and his thugs get their way in the House, a lot of women's sex lives will really take a hit. In a time when most of us could use all the endorphins we can get, what a damn shame.

Image via Beth Kanter/Flickr

sex, sex ed, sexuality


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Madel... MadelynMc

I agree that this is an outrage, but your focus on just the sex (even if it was meant to be lighthearted) detracts from the argument and just gives the other side more fuel for the fire. The most concerning part about the proposed loss of funding is what you touched on in the latter part of your post - the fact that a whole hell of a lot of women rely on Planned Parenthood for their breast exams, pap smears, blood pressure checks, and many other women's health services (that are completely unrelated to birth control and abortions, even though I still think those are important). How do we expect legislators to empathize with these women when our argument centers around sex instead of health and we call them "thugs?"

I'm so tired of the name-calling political team sports. Let's just give it up already.

starr... starrsitter

People who are serious about reducing the number of abortions, rather than controlling and shaming women who dare to have sex that isn't religiously sanctioned, would do well to support programs that help enable women to control their reproductive health. The recent actions of some members of Congress show which is their real priority.

starr... starrsitter

Also, if you've got a hanky ready and you'd like a good cry (or maybe it's the hormones...), search the #thanksppfa hashtag on Twitter.  Some great (and short) stories of women whose lives were not just made better through access to contraceptives and sexual health information, but potentially saved from cancer and other conditions that PP helped identify and treat.

sofia... sofia0587

I am so upset that they would want to stop funding planned parenthood, they have been wonderful in providing me with regular womens health services when I had no insurance!

nonmember avatar HollyQ

I am pretty sure that under the new health care legislation, insurance companies will be required to cover preventative care like blood pressure checks, mammograms, pap smears, etc. Since the point of the health care legislation is to make healthcare affordable for everyone and allow everyone access to doctors, it would make sense that PP wouldn't be as critical as before the legislation passed.

nonmember avatar Anon

Excuse me? (Sigh.) Just when I was getting ready to give you guys the benefit of the doubt that you actually just care about women's health and responsibly preventing conception. ... So now women can't be happy or fulfilled without going to Planned Parenthood? You put your actual name on this article? ... Responsible health services are available from your GP and I'm sure Medicaid provides them too. Besides, the biggest predictor of cervical cancer (the ONLY reason to have a pap test) is having promiscuous sex while young. Hmm! Birth control causes health issues. Hmm! Do me a favor and keep me the heck away from PP! ... PS I've never been to PP, never used bc, never had an STD, unplanned pregnancy, or cancer scare, never paid an uninsured penny for "women's health care," and I think I have a pretty good life.

irock... irocksocks

the goverment needs to stay out of doctors offices

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Wait ---- don't you know the big bad-ass health care reform is going to make Planned Parenthood obsolete anyway?   EVERYONE gets "free" healthcare, right?  So why all the fuss over funding cuts to PP?  The 1.85 million women who currently use PP as their general provider will greater access to all the same services.

These funding cuts are necessary, and EVERYTHING needs to be on the table.  The rediculous health bill, along with all the 'stimulus spending', is what's making these cuts necessary in the first place - it 2 years of administration hadn't been solely focused on the health care bill and spending, these cuts might not be necessary.  But if you're going to bitch about cuts, at least pick something that isn't entirely redundant, such as funding PP AND Obamacare.

starl... starlight1968

Don't cha just love how the MEN rule the world??  I am really haitng DC now...one big azz BOYS CLUB. 

No, let's not bother helping the little people or the women...

And as for the new health thingy well first off it's got to even START, second people STILL won't be able to afford it FREE MY PATOOTIE!,  And, to many states are fighting it sooo we STILL NEED PP!!

Madel... MadelynMc

Um, Anon I hate to tell you, but "promiscuous" sex isn't the only way to get cervical cancer. It's not even the ONLY way to get HPV, which can turn into cervical cancer. Plain, old regular sex can get you that. You can even get it without penetration. By age 50, about 80% of American women will have had at LEAST one type of HPV in their life (most without knowing it). How's that for promiscuous? Do your research before you start calling names.

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