Smart Girls Who Do Stupid Things


What’s Wrong With The Discussion About Defunding Planned Parenthood

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I have a couple issues with the language people that I agree with (LIBERALS) are using to talk about the (potential and likely) defunding of Planned Parenthood by Congress.

1. Emphasizing that abortion services count for only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services

To those opponents of funding Planned Parenthood, it doesn’t matter that organization performs relatively few abortions in proportion to their other services. Republicans might be harping on and exaggerating the number, but they’re doing this for dramatic effect. To them, the number could be .5 percent, or 90 percent, as one of our lovely senator’s claimed. It doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that abortion is an option at all that is the sticking point, whether they’re framing it like that or not.

Additionally, getting upset that defunding Planned Parenthood over one, tiny little thing like abortion because it would damage lots of other services like birth control is fair, but not helpful. Abortion isn’t the issue; it’s the tip of the iceberg. These people aren’t going to go halfsies with you on a PB&J; they want all or nothing, and they’re not going to stop until they can refuse women the right to purchase Plan B, or birth control, or anything that lets women take control of their own bodies. Abortion is just one small thing in a list a mile long of things Conservatives will try to take away from women and men to make their lives that much more difficult under the guise of being holding up “morals” and having a “conscience.”

2. Framing this issue as a “War Against Women”

I don’t disagree with the stance; Republicans are attacking women, who, let’s remember, count for over 50 percent of our population and are half the reason that we all exist in the first place. But framing this issue as a war against only women is isolating members of that other half. This is a war against everyone, men included, and a fundamental fight to the death about the way we should be allowed to live our lives. Painting Planned Parenthood as an organization that just benefits women (or, alternatively, only helps men on the macro scale) is not only inaccurate, it does a disservice to the millions of men who should also be up in arms about this issue because they are people too.

None of this changes where I stand. But history has shown us, time and again, that the way we frame our arguments during contentious times has long and lasting effects on the potential for broad-sweeping change in thought. And it doesn’t change what you should be doing this weekend: Writing letters, signing petitions, donating to Planned Parenthood, and generally girding your loins for what looks to be the hardest of fights.

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