This has been brewing inside my head, inside my whole body, for a while now.
As you read this, please know that I’m trying to be as factual and objective as possible here. I have put hours upon hours of research into this post. I hope you find this informative.
Your comments are appreciated!
First and foremost, I encourage everyone who reads this to educate themselves about Planned Parenthood (PP, or PPFA) straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
This is the international organization’s website: Planned Parenthood.
Before starting to write this post, I took a lot of time to review their site. Doing this helped a lot, learning exactly what they do, and how they work every single day to help people in need. And, being naturally curious, I immediately wanted to explore deeper into their history and their work.
I enjoy history and research, so I wanted to share a bit of a historical look into PP first thing.
PP began as a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. It was established by Margaret Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell in October 1916.
From there, the Brooklyn clinic became the American Birth Control League, and then the name officially changed to the PPFA in 1942.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) began in 1952.
PP has certainly experienced its share of protests, violence, and other attacks.
On the same day as the Colorado Springs PP shooting, U.S. News and World Report published a well-informed and researched Q&A on PP and its experiences with violence:
Not all articles or interviews related to PP are negative, however.
While reading one of the more recent issues of Glamour magazine on the plane ride to my honeymoon, I discovered it was their annual “Women Of The Year” issue. They featured what turned out to be an excellent profile of Cecile Richards, the current president of the PPFA.
I say that because I originally intended to gloss over her profile, but I’m glad I didn’t. I learned so much about her and her rise to her current position. She’s been president of the PPFA since 2006.
Re-reading that profile for this post was refreshing. Re-reading it solidified my belief in Richards’ leadership, as well as my own position/opinion on PP.
As with many of my Commentary posts, I attempt to thoroughly research the subject at hand, reading as much as I can to solidly form my own opinions, and then share my knowledge with you, my readers.
I started writing this post shortly after the November 27, 2015 attack on a Colorado Springs, Colorado PP clinic. I wanted to feature some coverage of that event here.
My intent in my research was to use a variety of sources and news outlets.
- CBS News, November 27th: FBI warned of Planned Parenthood attacks months ago
- TODAY.com, November 28th : Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting eyewitness barricaded door with table to survive
- thinkprogress.org, November 29th: Republican Candidates Finally Comment On Shooting, Continue False Attacks on Planned Parenthood
In addition to the coverage of the Colorado Springs clinic attack, I wanted to go deeper and look for other recent information/coverage about PP. I was most interested in researching the controversy that has brewed throughout 2015 over supposed undercover videos, along with the calls to eliminate federal funding for PP.
Please note: Several of these links are opinions or editorials, but I included them due to their overall value.
- Powerful testimony, in 21st century form: A Former Planned Parenthood Employee Tweeted This List of Acts of Terrorism She Survived
- An op-ed from a CNN political commentator: Incendiary rhetoric can produce violent results
- Opinion: Violent anti-choice rhetoric must end, or anti-abortion violence never will
- Opinion: Abortion clinic are burning but no one seems to care
- Published in August 2015: Abortion foes can’t release undercover videos, judge rules
- One of my college professors has a long-standing blog, focusing primarily on women and feminism. This was her post that was published on September 15th: Planned Parenthood
- Published December 1st: Sanders Eviscerated Republicans Trying To Defund Planned Parenthood In Fiery Senate Speech
- For a scholarly in-depth look: The Attack on Planned Parenthood: A Historical Analysis. This was published by the UCLA Women’s Law Journal.
I hope you found these links to be informative.
My position/opinion is that PP should, basically, be left alone. The clinics should remain open. They shouldn’t be attacked. They do much more public service than I think many people realize, but the square focus has been on abortion for some time now. I wish people would take the time to understand that PP does perform abortions, but they also provide birth control, and also work very hard to educate people about reproductive health.
However, I realize that abortion has been a hot topic for decades in both the United States and around the world. There have been calls for changes, but unfortunately, the controversy will likely never end. Everyone is absolutely entitled to their own opinions and positions, but I wish innocent people didn’t have to be injured, or killed.
I have extensively researched both the pro-life and pro-choice movements, and tried to understand and educate myself on the history of abortion in both the United States and around the world.
Personally, I believe that a woman has a right to choose. This is especially true if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, or if the pregnancy is endangering the mother’s health in any way.
I’m glad that abortion is legal in the United States, along with a handful of other countries in this world.
Many women around the world simply do not have this freedom.
- International status of abortion law
- UN 2013 report on abortion law
- Blue – Legal on request.
- Green – Illegal with exceptions for maternal life, mental health, health, rape, fetal defects, and/or socioeconomic factors.
- Yellow – Illegal with exceptions for maternal life, mental health, health, rape, and/or fetal defects.
- Brown – Illegal with exceptions for maternal life, mental health, health, and/or rape.
- Orange – Illegal with exceptions for maternal life, mental health, and/or health.
- Red – Illegal with no exceptions.
- Dark Grey/Black – Varies.
- Light Grey – No information.
Thanks for reading.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂