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Planned Parenthood

by Linda Jenkinson |

Although ending a pregnancy would never be my choice and I‘m past the age to have to worry about it, I do believe that every woman has the right to choose. In fact, the right to choose is paramount for me. I don‘t want government telling me what I can and cannot do unless it endangers or causes harm to another.

These days it seems the Republicans are out to privatize everything except those things that should be kept private. It‘s my belief that government doesn‘t have the right to interfere with human rights, most importantly the right to judge what is good for our physical and mental health and what is not. That‘s why we have family, friends, clergy, and counselors-- to guide us individually to the path that is right for each of us, not collectively to a path chosen for us by someone that does not know our individual needs.

That’s also why we have Planned Parenthood. The operative word should be "planned" but more often than not, Planned Parenthood is faced with helping young women deal with un-planned pregnancies. Choice goes both ways. Planned Parenthood lays out a woman’s options and helps her decide what is right for her. When the right choice is abortion, women need access to clean, modern services.

The onus of birth control usually falls to the woman yet some people think that the male of the couple has the right to be a part of the choice to terminate or continue a pregnancy. Maybe that’s where modern couples up with, “We’re pregnant.” But the truth is that men don’t get pregnant. They don’t have morning sickness, their bellies don’t swell, their water doesn’t break, and they don’t go through the pain of labor.

Are men who ‘want‘ their unborn children prepared to compensate women for both the mental and physical changes that pregnancy imposes upon them as well as day to day finances during the duration of the pregnancy? Are they willing to pay both the pre-natal and post natal bills, from vitamins and doctor visits before delivery right through the medical costs of the delivery? Would they be as comfortable raising a female child as they would a male?

I believe that many men who think they deserve to be a part of the choice see only a single, healthy child as the outcome of a pregnancy. What about twins, triplets? Do they consider that a pregnancy can end differently than expected. What of birth complications during delivery? What of a child born with learning disabilities or a physical condition such as cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, or spina bifada? Are they willing to rear that child, too?

If a man answers no to any of these questions, then they must answer yes to Planned Parenthood and safe, modern, pregnancy termination.

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