What to Do About Planned Parenthood

Here is my disclaimer – I support Planned Parenthood. I have used their services. I think they should receive much more funding than they currently do.

Now that that’s out of the way, regardless of your political affiliation, the attacks against Planned Parenthood must stop. Planned Parenthood and all of the services that it provides are legal. If you think that Planned Parenthood should not exist and/or provide the services it does please explore options that are both humane and legal ways to have it shut down.

I am not arguing against civil disobedience in itself, I am arguing against the inhumane treatment of other people. We may not share the same opinion, but we do live in the same country with the same recourse to enact change. Write your representatives if they don’t vote as you think they should. Sign online petitions. Find a lobbying organization that is aligned with your beliefs and donate money to them. If your representative still does not act according to your values, you have the right and the power to vote for someone who does during the next election season.

But before you do any of the above, I implore you to first do two things: research and empathize. Think about your beliefs and why you have them. Then think about those on the opposing side. Think about their beliefs and why they have them. Visit the Planned Parenthood website, read their mission statement and testimonials. Think about all of the people who use their services and why they might do that. Even a cursory internet search (that goes beyond your go-to websites for news) will provide a broader understanding of any issue. Maybe think about root issues such as poverty, education and even universal health care.

There is more to this issue than one side saying we shouldn’t kill babies and one side saying we have the right to choose. Informing yourself about both sides might not change your opinion (but it also might, so be careful!!), but at the very least, it will make you sound smarter when you talk about it.

I cannot imagine that harassing another human as they enter a building has ever dissuaded someone from a choice they have already made. It is also a safe generalization to make that any person entering a Planned Parenthood is likely going to get a well woman exam, or pick up birth control, or get test results, or is there providing support to someone else in their own difficult time. If she is going to a Planned Parenthood clinic to get an abortion, that is something that is legal and within her rights as an American.

Unfortunately, the methods we are given to enact societal change take time. If waiting for the change you desire makes you feel you must angrily picket, debase another human with your words in the form of slurs, signs, and slogans, or even think about taking someone’s life to make your point, I encourage you to question yourself, your motives, and even your sanity.

Here are some links that can help get anyone started on their own personal quest to contact Texas State representatives. Good luck looking up who voted what on which bill though, that shit is complicated.

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