Ticking all those boxes

Via Feministing: Planned Parenthood in Indiana is offering a gift certificate service for the winter gifting festival: it is redeemable for the reproductive health services their clinics offer, and their hope is particularly that women on low incomes will be able to ensure that they keep up their well-woman health checks and pap smears etc (instead of letting these appointments slide due to a shortage of disposable income, given that being the US they can’t just get these health checks done on Medicare).

Of course a local news organisation decided to ask them about whether the gift certificates could be used to pay for a pregnancy termination. PP’s response was that they had put no restrictions on what the cards could be used for, so of course the story ran with a headline (since changed) that the gift certificates were specifically for abortions.

The responses are an education in just how much misinformation there is about Planned Parenthood specifically and abortion generally. Here’s a gem (lost the permalink when my ‘puter self-rebooted, sorry, but it was after far too many pages of wilful misreading the story comments):

This is appalling… And I am politically/socially (though not personally) a pro-choice person. Blaming the economic funk and saying:

“People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table, so we know that many women especially put healthcare at the bottom of their list to do,”

is a joke. First of all, when did abortion become “Health Care”, and secondly… transportation and food are NECESSARY to live… the erm… “Intimate Experience” that is required for an Abortion to even take place IS NOT.

Maybe this is is a little curt and abrasive (I could care less really), but if you can’t afford to put gas in your car and food on the table… maybe you should be DOING OTHER THINGS WITH YOUR SPARE TIME.


OK, totally ignoring that (a) yes, abortion can indeed be healthcare, as the morbidity/mortality rate of abortion complications is still significantly below the morbidity/mortality rate of birthing complications, and (b) most of PP’s services involve well-woman care and support for pregnant women to have healthy babies, which is what most such gift certificates will be used for, let’s unpack the rest of it.

I’m pretty sure I detect an underlying assumption that it’s only single women who sleep around who have unplanned/crisis pregnancies – instead of the known fact that many/most women who wish to terminate an unplanned pregnancy are partnered/married and actually have several children they are already struggling to feed, clothe and educate.

So by saying that they should have better things to do in their spare time, he’s implying that poor women’s primary emotional relationships with their partners should be considered a spare time thing, and that poor couples don’t deserve the emotional comfort of sexual intimacy when they’re doing it tough, apparently. Yet I bet if these poor women did deny their partners sexual intimacy due to concerns about unwanted pregnancy, he’d be calling them frigid bitches and asking them what did they expect if their partner decides to leave.

What else do eagle-eyed Hoydenizens detect?

Categories: culture wars, ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, media

Tags: , ,

9 replies

  1. The last bit sounds like “get a job, you loser!” to me. (Or, get a second/third job.)
    Because, as you know, when someone already has children and there is a child care crunch going on, they can afford another job. Or they don’t have other bills piling up besides rent/food/gas (like meds… oh, meds, how I love/loathe you). Because no one is put in a situation where there’s an emergency need for a new fridge or new water heater or a new engine for their car and thus whatever savings they have burn away.
    Get another job, you loser! It will fix everything!

  2. I’m trying to imagine how awful it would feel to be so close to the edge financially and then find yourself with an unwanted pregnancy and not have the cash to do anything about it. Then I’m trying to add in how much worse it would feel to be flippantly told to just “do something else with your time”. Like survival is optional. So very callous.

  3. This sounds a bit like the ‘we have to breed because the ferals are breeding and they will overtake us’ line. How dare poor people have sex. Don’t they realise that it’s only something you can have after expensive dinners and gifts are exchanged. You have to work for it!

  4. Wow. Because women can control who they have sex with all the time.
    While sex may not be necessary to live, abortion sometimes is.

  5. There’s also a sense of denial that a woman’s financial circumstances can be a reasonable factor:
    Blaming the economic funk … is a joke.
    Perhaps tied in with the get another job that Anna spotted – poverty is optional and all that.

  6. Perhaps tied in with the get another job that Anna spotted – poverty is optional and all that.
    The flipside of the American dream – you can be anything you want free of class/gender/race barriers but if you haven’t or are struggling… well you’re just not trying hard enough (fellow gimps may now join with me in an orchestrated raspberry).
    They’ve also got the ‘can’t do the time, don’t do the crime’ paradigm of sex going on, wages of sin and all that. And there’s something of the Palin wannabe in that “I am politically/socially (though not personally) a pro-choice person.”
    No luv, if you’ve just spent a couple hundred words arguing that personal economics aren’t a valid consideration in the choice of whether or not to have an abortion you’re not a politically/socially pro-choice person either.
    What most concerns me however is that the obsession with the possibility of abortion seems to imply that the rest of the well-woman care provided by PP is somehow frivolous – women in financial shape that dire should be putting all their spare energy into the wellbeing of their family, not selfishly ensuring their own survival.

  7. The last bit sounds like “get a job, you loser!” to me. (Or, get a second/third job.)

    Yeah, because people should be working day-in and day-out…we don’t need to sleep, and there’s no possibility that prior to going to bed we might want a bit of sex, right?
    Honestly, I feel bad for anyone who thinks of sex as something that counts as a “leisure time” activity for rich people–“oh, you’re going on a cruise? Well, I’m having sex. I’ve saved up enough money and vacation days,” rather than something which for most people is a part of everyday life.

  8. Truth is, no one would give a shit about the situation if the funds couldn’t be used towards an abortion of any kind. It’s just another symptom of we don’t care about women, just about the poor unborn babiez, in a far more explicit light–no, they don’t care about women’s health services besides abortions. Not Pap smears nor pelvics nor breast health. Nope. It’s all about the unborn.
    I should note as an aside that I can’t find a number on how many clinics in Indiana perform abortions but my guess is that it’s low.

  9. Emphasis on the unborn, once they are born they are the mother’s problem. She should have crossed her legs or something. Like that has ever stopped a determined man.

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