PERSPECTIVE: “I Stand with PP”

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by Dani Musselman, Special to The Simpsonian

You might have heard on the news about the potential government defunding of Planned Parenthood, or you might have seen someone change their Facebook profile picture to a pink photo that says, “I Stand with PP.” 

Well, that is because Congress has been busy arguing about whether or not the government should continue funding Planned Parenthood, and of course this is not an easy topic to discuss. 

So yes, I am one of those people who changed their Facebook profile pictures to say I “Stand for Planned Parenthood,” and here are three reasons why:

1. I am an advocate for health care to be accessible to all people: 

You probably have already heard this argument, but Planned Parenthood provides care in many other ways besides providing safe abortions to women. 

I believe that all people deserve to have access to health care, and Planned Parenthood is a marvelous place for folks to receive their check-ups. 

Planned Parenthood provides health care to all folks, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical differences, etc. Planned Parenthood also provides health care for little to no cost. Without Planned Parenthood, many folks would have no access to health care, which could potentially lead to major illnesses or even death. 

Defunding Planned Parenthood could lead to many individuals losing their primary care center, and the incredible resources that Planned Parenthood provides. 

Some of the helpful resources that Planned Parenthood provides includes, but is not limited to: PAP smears, breast exams, sexual assault exams, testicular cancer screening, HIV and STD testing and treatment, support for LGBTQIA individuals, menopause services, family planning, and more. 

When folks believe Planned Parenthood is solely focused on providing abortions, they are oblivious to the many ways in which Planned Parenthood is a helpful organization that provides support and care for families every day.

2. I am an advocate for women to have a choice:  

In my opinion, women are whole human beings, and are capable of making their own decisions. In other or more direct words, I do not believe a group of privileged white men (Congress) can make decisions for all women, or any woman for that matter. 

Women can and should be responsible for their own bodies, and do not need anyone else to make those decisions for them. 

The only person I believe a woman would need to converse with concerning her body would be her potential partner, if she were in contact with that person.

3. I am an advocate for the safety of all women: 

Here is where we might get into some controversy. First, I want to preface this section by saying I am not arguing whether I identify as “pro-choice” or “pro-life.” 

Instead, I recognize whether abortion is legal or illegal, women will find ways to terminate pregnancies if they so desire. Thus, I believe it is safer for women to go to a professional place where they can get the proper care before and after the procedure (this includes mental health care), if they do decide to terminate a pregnancy. 

If abortion is illegal, women will instead pursue a ‘back-alley’ abortion, or attempt to terminate pregnancies on their own, which can then lead to harming the woman or potentially killing her. 

I believe women should have the proper care if they decide to go through the traumatic experience of terminating a pregnancy, instead of attempting to do it themselves. And I know Planned Parenthood is a place where a woman can talk to care providers about the consequences of terminating a pregnancy, receive safe care and have access to counseling after the procedure. 

If you are in need of any of the services listed above, feel free to visit Planned Parenthood’s website at: www.plannedparenthood.org. Or you can call the Des Moines Administrative Office at 515-280-7000.