February 3, 2012

Now, About Planned Parenthood and the Bishops …

by Ellen Shaffer and Judy Norsigian

This week, we all learned a lot about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and Planned Parenthood, and breast cancer. Now that Komen has caved (sort of; Planned Parenthood’s response), we might start to learn what it will take to mobilize an outcry to really stop the attacks on women’s health.

As Komen was committing a huge PR failure, it became clear via Facebook, Twitter and a new Tumblr site, Planned Parenthood Saved Me, that many women value and rely on Planned Parenthood for breast cancer exams and other preventive health services. A slam-dunk week for Planned Parenthood.

We need to make it a slam-dunk month. What Komen, and the evangelicals, and Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns, who launched the pointless political inquiry, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are really mad at Planned Parenthood about is this:

Part of what they do is help people plan. Parenthood. You know. They support birth control. In some cases, they provide it. Like your corner drugstore, but better.

And this week, the bishops are howling about it because the Obama administration refused to grant a broad religious exemption to contraception coverage.

Never mind that virtually all Catholics use birth control, that the Church itself only began to oppose it in 1968, that the Pope recently conceded that condoms are useful, and approved condom use for stopping the transmission of AIDS.

Never mind that most Catholic-affiliated hospitals, schools and charities cover birth control in their health plans — health plans that come out of the wages employees earn themselves.

Never mind that undergraduate and graduate students are fighting for coverage — and are still being denied, even for medical reasons.

Close to every cent the Church has not spent settling lawsuits against priests who sexually molested children has gone into this week’s media campaign to rile up opposition to covering birth control.

So far they’re doing a pretty effective job of it. The Obama administration is standing firm, but Congress is still on the warpath.

You can send a message that you stand against attacks on birth control and with Planned Parenthood. The organization just launched a TV ad campaign in support of contraception coverage (watch below).

And learn more about the men behind the war on women. They’re not going away anytime soon.

Ellen Shaffer is co-director of the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign, a project of the Center for Policy Analysis. Judy Norsigian is co-founder and executive director of Our Bodies Ourselves.


2 Responses to “Now, About Planned Parenthood and the Bishops …”

  1. Nancy Petersen Says:

    Bravo, ladies, excellent overview. When the catholic church and the US Gov are willing to pay medical care, obstetrical care, lost wages, birthing costs and raise unwanted pregnancies to adulthood including college education, they might have a voice. Not control, a voice to teach their brethern, not all of the world.

    It is not their body, it is not their business, and the church and the government need to stay out of womens health. Powerful forces for control of all aspects of being female are nauseating, let alone unacceptable.

    I have often said that the only way to move beyond this conundrum would be to put prolife and prochoice at the same table with a powerful mediator.

    Their single agenda item would be to prevent unwanted pregancies. Any straying from the agenda would result in serious financial penalties.

    A group of inner city black girls in Chicago 20 years ago or better could teach us all a lesson. While the name escapes me now, a hospital administrator there became alarmed when the drop out rate among high school girls, was rapidly approaching 50%. When she met with the school and later the girls, she discovered the girls were ostracized from dating and other acitivities if they were not willing to have sex. She asked the girls what would happen if you all said no? They replied, we would not be dating at all.

    She asked the girls to look at a collective action, to stop the unwanted pregnancies, pointing out their failure to graduate was a serious deterrant to success in their lives. The girls though it over, and when she met with them again, they had developed a mantra…………and stuck too it. NO GLOVE< NO LOVE became the watch word and unwanted pregnancies dropped to less than 2%.

    There are creative solutions to stop the use of abortion as birth control, for unwanted pregnancies. Every child who enters this world deserves to be wanted, loved, protected, and educated to achieve what their path in life becomes. I am neither pro life or pro choice, it is not for me to say, and it should not be for anyone else to say what goes on between woman and her doctor, either.

    So powerful, backward men, butt out

  2. Molly Says:

    wow…the Catholic Church has ALWAYS opposed birth control…she didn’t just magically decide in 1968 that it was wrong.

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