Part II: Planned Parenthood

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This is Part II of a two part series on Planned Parenthood. Part I: Margaret Sanger Founding Mother of Planned Parenthood Federation of America-1921

I suspect, no I know, that my commentary will be controversial to many. No matter how I tackle this will not be sufficient to satisfy both sides of the fence therefore I have made the choice to write as I personally believe.

Let me state upfront that I am for a woman’s right to choose. I am for her right to choose contraception that she personally feels is best for her. I am totally in support for any woman to be in charge of her health decisions.

What Planned Parenthood does

The contents of the list above may contain some duplication and as well  not be complete.

If interested the Planned Parenthood Annual Report for both 2010-2011 and 2011-2012

My take

I personally have no objections to the services provided above. I can understand why some have an objection to abortion.  Even when you exclude abortion, sex ed for educators, morning after services and grants afforded by government to fund Planned Parenthood I simply can not follow the logic against this organization. Womens health matters period.

 A map of the United States which shows which have restricted public funding as well states who directly fund and states under court order to provide reproductive services.  See.  Under the Hyde Amendment Medicare Funding can be used for family planning type services restrictions do apply with regard to abortion. The entire wad of federal dollars flowing to the states, to me, is complicated to understand i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, Title X, block grants, DHHS, etc. The states under court order to provide abortion’s  seems to be related to the state’s own constitution. Waivers for federal funding use can be issued and states like CA can use some federal dollars to supplement their own public funding. States who have very restrictive laws for public funding of abortions their constitution is not under the gun of the DOJ are off the hook for providing abortion across the board. The exception seems to be Medicare funding with the Hyde Amendment in play.

In an article on this blog the Critical Thinker wrote a commentary titled Kermit Gosnell, The Media a Blackout of His Mass Murder Trail & Abortion Slaughterhouse. My friend wrote a passionate commentary from a deep place in his heart and mind.  I think the Gosnell story is a tragic one. Failure to inspect and monitor his clinics is nothing short of wretched betrayal  by the Pennsylvania state authorities and the Women’s Medical Fund (WMF).  See also an article titled Former PA. Gov. on Not Investigating Gosnell’s Clinic: ‘I Guarantee You It Wasn’t Because of Political Pressure’.

In the case that Gosnell provided any service where he received reimbursement from Medicare dollars even though states manage the funds I think the federal government should not be let off the hook. Gosnell seemed however to receive most of his dollars in cash transactions. This alone should have been a red flag.

Gosnell had clinics in Delaware and Louisiana as well.  Apparently failures to inspect and monitor his clinics can be shared by PA, DE and LA. Gosnell is evil and using evil he made millions. What is more striking in this saga is that Pennsylvania, Delaware and Louisiana provided no public funding for abortions at the time nor did these states fall under a court order to to provide Medicare funded abortions and only with the restrictions imposed by the Hyde Amendment . See Map. Gosnell provided abortions on the cheap  meaning his rate was low for his service, Planned Parenthood offers in clinic abortions in PA and my research has led to no connection with Gosnell although many have tried to make the connection . Planned Parenthood abortion costs range from $395 – $520 and are performed in house, again operating under state laws and restrictions of the Hyde Amendment . Gosnell charged as little as $50.

The WMF of PA  is part of a larger organization Network Funding  the organization  does direct funding although under Medicare my assumption is that they can be reimbursed for family planning and contraception distribution. WMF does not offer in house abortions. I must be clear that that I am not certain that WMF recommended Gosnell but some evidence points that they may have knew. See an article in The Atlantic. The grand jury proceeding of Gosnell does not make any, notta, connection to WMF or Planned  Parenthood. See PA Grand Jury report.

The missteps by PA, DE and LA and others allowed Gosnell to operate unchecked. In my opinion Gosnell is considered to be nothing short of a “back room’ abortionist.  This is an example I think where the lack of access to safe abortion occurs.

On February 14, 2013 the city of Philadelphia, PA Board of Health sent a resolution to President Obama, U.S. Congress, PA Governor Corbett and the PA General Assembly calling for the reinstatement of health insurance coverage for abortion. See Resolution.

The Hyde Amendment, is included in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and when the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was introduced to ACA it was later pulled by them when Obama enacted  Executive Order 13535.

The Supreme Court in its decision to uphold the ACA sealed the right to family planning and providing comprehensive contraception services along with education and health exams. However that decision does not overstep states rights concerning public state funding of abortions.

This is a  pretty good history of Events on Reproductive Rights.

I would be less than honest to not cover the controversy regarding black and hispanic (women of color) being targeted for more abortions. In my opinion those who are against abortion exploit this fact. The percentages of abortion among women of color are higher than white women. This issue would take volumes to write and concrete research to support. It is a complex issue. Susan Cohen of the Guttmacher Institute reflects my understanding see also her report: Abortion and Women of Color: The Bigger Picture.

See  U.S. Census Numbers as of 2006.  By viewings these numbers you can see that women of color percentage remain higher than white women but the percentages for all race’s show a decline, I think a very positive trend. For a more indepth look at various statistics that relate from the Census you can see the reports here.

I think it is important to consider womens reproductive rights and the status of women in societies.

I make the above statement because I believe there is a true connection. In a piece I found at Mt Holyoke College Reproductive Rights vs Women’s Status in Islamic Countries An Unexpected Contradiction I disagree with their hypothesis in its entirety to the extent that when women’s status is thought to be less than men’s we simply can not dismiss the disparity,  dynamics that is at play within the family structure and society at large. Nor can we ignore how young women and girls are viewed, controlled and punished.

The practice of the barbaric Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or also referred to as Female Genital Cutting (FGC) considered a Cultural Law, meaning not codified for example in Sharia Law or the Quran, is a perfect example to me that supports my contention that the status of women and girls in societies cannot be dismissed as a big piece of the equation.

Progressives in their attempt not to state explicitly and assert that the practice is not only unacceptable but barbaric and one that is less than subhuman  instead they ‘beat around the bush’ choosing to be politically correct. Their stance aids the practice of FGM to continue. The UN, Amnesty International our State Department including the President and Congress is complicit of not calling a “spade a spade’.

“You cannot prevent or address violence against women without recognizing survivors’ reproductive health needs,” said Latanya Mapp Fret and I agree fully with her statement.

Note: I will provide a definition for FGM and as well video links at the end of this commentary. FGM and FGC has nothing, zero, to do with Planned Parenthood.

We all could argue on the issue of abortion until the ‘cows come home’. I can not argue with anyone that would hold that family planning or access to contraception and exams that promote better health for women is wrong nor unnecessary.  I would simply think of them as a member of a lost tribe of neanderthals and dismiss anything they would have to say.

Actually a discussion about abortion is as loaded as talking about politics, religion and the Bible.

It should be obvious that access to family planning, safe contraceptive products and sex education is one solution to driving down abortions.

No laws passed against abortion in the past or future will end abortion.  First laws in the United States begin to appear in the 1820’s.

Laws to completely ban abortions will only fuel the establishment of clinics like Gosnell’s. And I assure you they would flourish. The illegal back room abortionist and in desperation self induced home abortions will occur.  This, at least, to me is not a desirable outcome. Punishing a woman after the fact does not save the aborted fetus. Women will out of desperation, what they see in their negative circumstance, make the choice to abort when they see no other option available. Counseling on options is a good thing.

One can try and make the argument that there is always adoption. While in some cases it would be an option that many women would choose this choice is not one that fits nicely in all cases, its a more complex issue. Again counseling with regards to options is critical.

Education Counseling

Parents can choose to educate their own children regarding sexuality and sex matters. They  NEED NOT choose to allow the state to do this for them. Parents are free to look over all Planned Parenthood tools for aiding parents and disregard if they find them to be contradictory to their own beliefs. Its called parents taking personal responsibility.

Further reading that I found interesting was:

Reproductive health in Iran: pragmatic achievements, unmet needs, and ethical challenges in a theocratic system. (REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND THE STATE)(Report), Article from: Studies in Family Planning | December 1, 2007 | Mehryar, Amir H.; Ahmad-Nia, Shirin; Kazemipour, Shahla | Copyright

Definition of FGM

You are probably asking how does this relate to Planned Parenthood? It doesn’t.

This is an issue of great personal importance to me. I plan to write a separate piece devoted to this subject and will remove this topic at that time. FGM is practiced in twenty-eight countries. Most are on the continent of Africa. The United States supports the governments of these countries. Egypt is one of the worst of these countries where this Cultural Law is practiced.

The Definition of FGM

FGM Nigeria_2

FGM being performed in Nigeria

“Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is the practice of cutting away parts of the external female genitalia. It is usually called female circumcision by those who practice it. The three broad categories of FGM are: clitoridectomy, excision and infibulation. The mildest form of FGM, clitoridectomy, is the removal of all or part of the clitoris. Excision includes the removal of the clitoris and the cutting of the labia minora. The most extreme form of FGM is infibulation, the removal of the clitoris, labia minora, and the stitching together of the labia majora. Infibulation leaves just a small opening in the vagina for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid, and requires binding together of the legs until stitches adhere. Often the removal of the stitches is part of a wedding night ritual. The U.N. agency, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that FGM is “normally performed by traditional practitioners with crude instruments, such as knives, razor blades and broken glass, usually without anaesthetics.”

I think reasonable adults could agree there is a big difference between male circumcision and FGM. I also think an adult with a brain would see that this is violence against young women and girls.

I include links to video’s regarding FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation performed in Nigeria (Graphic)

Female Genital Mutilation – UK

Female genital mutilation on the rise in the United States

Amnesty International USA video

do not speak

Shhh! Don’t speak of mutilation of girls.

Female Genital Cutting

If you watched these video’s I am sure you would agree this is nothing short of violence against young women and girls.

The  video produced by Amnesty International USA the message is not calling a spade a spade. They use circumcision instead of mutilation or brutal barbaric practice.  Amnesty Intl has lost any credibility that I might have had. See this article at The Clarion Project I think this article will be self explanatory. Progressive thinking I simply just do not comprehend their thinking.

In spite of U.S. law (see below) against FGM  it is performed by Islamist  in the states. Those who may be thwarted by our laws or cultural values and being hell bent to inflict this barbaric procedure on their daughters they often travel back to their country of origin to have the less than subhuman practice carried out.

So called Christian conclaves in the twenty-eight countries under Cultural Law also practice this violence against their daughters. FGM is a deep seeded practice that goes back to the times of the Pharaohs in Egypt.

US Law

The law known as Girls Protection Act was introduced in 2010, 2012 and again in 2013. It finally passed as an amendment to the 2013 NDAA.

The federal law makes the practice of FGC on anyone younger than 18 years of age illegal within this country. It is a felony punishable by fines or up to a 5-year prison term. Lame in my opinion but it is a step in the right direction.

The Act is chocked full of a sundry of  issue.

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