Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Planned Parenthood is Not a Ping-Pong Ball

The only thing hyper-conservative politicians fear more than a woman in office, is a woman making decisions about her body. On Thursday, Judge Daniel Jordan III was just the latest to block ridiculous legislation that would inhibit the abilities of Planned Parenthood as a healthcare provider on the grounds of anti-abortion(by the way, it isn’t “pro-life,” it’s “anti-choice”) sentiment. A similar story made headlines in Ohio earlier this year. Not to mention, the prevalence of negative rhetoric surrounding women’s health (the women-blaming CDC fact sheets and laws that now require fetal funeral services to name a few) are ever-increasing. But, sadly, these anecdotes have become normalized as politicians continue to wage war on femme bodies and accessibility to reliable healthcare services.

Now, the most infuriating aspect of this debate is that these regulatory laws— which directly impact femme healthcare— are being made by men. How they deem themselves fit to make rules regarding female anatomy without possessing any is the most mind-boggling part of it all. But what isn’t mind-boggling is the reasoning behind it— control over a woman’s body is control over her. It goes back to the archaic social construction of man’s role as the protector and woman’s role as the protected. There’s this silly concept that femme-identifying persons include male protection on the base level of their Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that without a man to make decisions for them, those individuals would surely self-destruct, die, go extinct, etc.  The power to choose needs to be regulated so harshly because once women and femme-identifying individuals have it, they can choose to make male guidance irrelevant. It’s the same reason why women were excluded from education, land-owning, voting, etc., for hundreds of years. Same rodeo, different bullshit.

While uber-conservatives wage Planned Parenthood crusades on the platform of providing federal funding to abortion procedures, they refuse to acknowledge that one: abortions only make up 3% of their total services provided (the rest of their time is spent providing less important services such as STI/STD testing, cancer screenings, contraception and sex ed), and two: that abortions (other than in instances of rape, incest or protection of the mother’s life) cannot be performed using federal funds to begin with. You can organize a movement on anger but that doesn’t make it right.

There’s also the aspect of Planned Parenthood being primarily femme-oriented. While they do provide education, contraceptives, STI/STD testing and cancer screenings for men, they do not market themselves as a men’s healthcare provider. And, God forbid any institution not put the interest of men above all else, that institution will quickly see itself become victim to the outrage of entitlement and privilege, both of which prevent people like Mike Pence from appreciating that Planned Parenthood provides care to individuals who have no other healthcare options due to financial instability. It’s a war on women and femme-identifying individuals but the issue is far more intersectional than many people are able to see. Access to reliable healthcare for women and femme individuals is not a political ping-pong ball— it’s a right.

Featured image here.

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