The latest Republican plot to completely federally defund Planned Parenthood is stupid shocking enough when we consider the fact that, by law, no federal funds at Planned Parenthood are used to fund abortions. However, conservatives still want to wage a war against Planned Parenthood, most likely because they do offer safe access to abortion, as well as a full range of other reproductive healthcare services, so they are swaying the debate in a different direction. Yep, now the war against Planned Parenthood brings into question the morality of providing access to medically accurate sex education, particularly for young women. Huh?
Oh, that's right, sex education = sex promotion. Give me a frickin' break ...
Over the weekend, I tuned into Latino USA on NPR to hear Silvia Henriquez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health and Alfonso Aguilar, Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles debate the proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood. Aguilar was on a conservative rampage against what he deemed the "promiscuous" teachings of Planned Parenthood. He believes that Planned Parenthood, by merely existing, is stripping the rights of parents to teach their children about sex in a way that meshes with their family and religious values.
Is he insane? Does he know Planned Parenthood doesn't go door to door? That they don't set up tables on high school campuses? Has he stopped to consider that if a young teenage girl takes the time to find an office and makes her way across town and is standing in line at Planned Parenthood seeking information, her parent's home-based sex education class probably has already failed her. Is turning these young women away or not being there for them in the first place really the "right" and "moral" thing to do in this day and age.
Aguilar's not the only one on this bandwagon to ban sex and birth control education outside the home and church. Alternet points out a few other conservative politicians taking this point of view:
- Rep. Steve King rails against Planned Parenthood they are “invested in promiscuity.”
- Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity argues that abortion is wrong because teenage girls shouldn't be making out in the back seats of cars in the first place.
- Gov. Scott Walker tries to eliminate contraception coverage (but not erectile dysfunction medication) on the grounds of “morality."
Um, what country are these guys living in because I sure thought this was the United States where every person is entitled to an education, sex education or otherwise. Knowledge is power, no? But somehow these men want to keep young women from that power.
Well, unfortunately, this is only going to make matters worse -- because keeping young women "stupid" about sex isn't helping anyone. The more we put young women in charge of their bodies and their sexuality, the smarter choices they can make. Cutting sex education and access to birth control is simply going to lead to more unwanted pregnancies and up the abortion rates. And abortion services aside, cutting off trusted access to the pap smears, breast exams, contraception, and STD testing and treatment Planned Parenthood provides is a really bad idea for everyone.
How dare conservatives propose to take away the women of our nation's right to these services, based on the perspective of their own moral high ground. How dare they propose to take away our rights and deem it for our own good. I'll decide what's for my own good, thank you very much. And when my kids are teenagers, if my own brand of in-home sex education somehow fails my kids, I'll be happy to know they'll have access to trained professionals at Planned Parenthood, rather than just their peers and the freaks on MTV.
Fellas, please stop. Go home and run your own families in whatever way you see fit, and leave Planned Parenthood to do its important and necessary work for women across the country.
Do you think we should federally defund Planned Parenthood even though no federal funding goes toward abortion services. Why or why not?
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