De-Funding the 'Contraceptive Mentality'

Comments

43 comments posted
Amazing the lengths people will go

...to impose their sexual anxieties on everyone else. Thank you for posting this.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 4 January 2006 - 12:19am
Why don't they just be honest -

and admit they don't want women to enjoy sex. That's the whole thing. If those girls learn about orgasms, it will be the end of civilization as we know it! Well, good. I say pass out the batteries and let's bring this mother down. Patriarchy dies a little every time a single girl gets off, so do your thing, ladies.

Support the Women's Autonomy and Sexual Sovereignty Movements

Morgaine Swann's picture
Posted by Morgaine Swann on 4 January 2006 - 4:34am
And will they raise the funding

for the additional food stamps, housing, medicaid, and educational costs for the children who get born because their mothers couldn't afford to get birth control? Oh I forgot -- while they are full of concern for the pre-born, they could give a rat's ass about anyone post-born and pre-dead.

AndiF's picture
Posted by AndiF (not verified) on 4 January 2006 - 5:56am
Planned Parenthood should forego profits

I've read the entire article and the three comments. One thing strikes me. The woman who stood in line at Planned Parenthood for hours only to be forced to pay $35 for her month's supply of the pill. The fact is that Planned Parenthood buys a month's supply of the pill for $1.50. If it was really concerned about the women, it would have cut the prices -- particularly for this one-time sale. But it didn't. It got every penney it could. Many people are upset about Planned Parenthood not because of the products but because of the enormous profits it makes every year. PP made $35 Million in profits in 2003-2004 and over $500 Million in the last 16 years. PP is a business preying on women. Oh, and by the way, 70% of PP's customers are under the age of 25. Since it was stated that this age group will still get services paid for, it is even more outrageous that PP wouldn't lower its prices for the older women.

Jim Sedlak's picture
Posted by Jim Sedlak (not verified) on 4 January 2006 - 6:54am
How do you think

they keep the lights on, pay staff, provide services for the indigent? They pull money out of thin air?

Always distortions with you people. They are not "profits" if the money is plowed back into the organization.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 4 January 2006 - 10:30am
Maybe the dirty little secret of the "pro-life" movement

...is that they're Communists?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 4 January 2006 - 12:37pm
Uh... I used to work for

Uh... I used to work for PP.

PP had several nurse practitioners, and dozens of medical staff on hand.

PP have rent to pay, bills to pay, often additional security to pay for.

PP has to pay medical malpractice insurance for the staff- as with anyone practicing any kind of medicine.

People may not agree with this but they also pay a lot of lobbyists and lawyers to keep contraceptives and choice legal in the US. Lemme just say that they pay a lot less to their lobby/law team than other organizations like... the oil cartel.

Seriously, do you think doctors should work for free? What about police and firemen?

The money that PP makes goes back into the organization. Even at 35 bucks/pack, that's still cheaper than a lot of pharmacies.

Catty's picture
Posted by Catty (not verified) on 4 January 2006 - 3:53pm
Guess I'm the only one who thinks this is a good thing....

I spent years on the Pill and Depo...had NO SEX DRIVE, which studies are now confirming may be permanent, had all kinds of unpleasant side effects...and for what? So that the man in my life could have his kicks scot free? No thanks and no more.

I wish more women would see that contraception, especially hormonal contraception, is harmful to their health and suppresses their amazing fertility just so men can use them without consequence. By the grace of God someone introduced me to natural family planning--which, by the way, is FREE and can be used BY ANYONE--and I said goodbye to the hormones forever. Why in the world is being willing to take the Pill, which even the WHO just declared a "major carcinogen," somehow more "empowering" to women than teaching them to learn about their bodies and to force the men in their lives to restrain themselves during the fertile times if they want to avoid a baby?

Sorry...I for one am not singing the blues over efforts to squash contraception. All its done for women is endanger their health, teach men to use them, and reinforce the idea that children are plagues who occasionally "slip through" our best efforts to avoid them. Blech.

Dawn's picture
Posted by Dawn (not verified) on 4 January 2006 - 5:42pm
I hear you can win

big jackpots playing the dollar slots, too!

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 4 January 2006 - 6:10pm
oh my!

i can't tell whether you are serious, or just some troll looking to get a reaction out of people. on the off chance that you are serious, please let me enlighten you.

the pill is not a major carcinogen. further, it works for a great many women without any side effects at all. the rhythm method is highly unreliable. if you insist on using it and have side effects from the pill, please use other non-hormonal forms of contraceptive as a backup. condoms for instance. a diaphram maybe. something! anything! besides relying on your body temperature and the phase of the moon. the catholic church permits the rhythm method. look how well its worked for all those catholic women with 9 and 10 children.

what i find most sad, however, is your view of sex. perhaps it because you have such a low sex drive that you see sex as being smoething that benefits men only at women's expense. as a lesbian, i can't say that i disagree with you. i can't imagine anyone getting turned on by sex with men. but many women do. and for them, sex with men is actually something they enjoy, something they seek out, something they pursue. these women aren't being used by men when they consent to sex with men. and women who enjoy sex with men should be free to use whatever form of birth control works for them, including the pill.

i hope that someday, whether its with a man, a woman, or by yourself, you can discover that sex is a natural, enjoyable act for women, that an orgasm is a wonderful thing.

i strongly urge you to check out The Women's Autonomy and Sexual Sovereignty page.

artemisia's picture
Posted by artemisia on 4 January 2006 - 6:32pm
for Artemis

Artemis,

Most of what you say is erroneous.

First, natural family planning is NOT the rhythm method. It is highly effective, as effective as any oral contraception. People have not used the rhythm method for 30 years. See:

http://www.bygpub.com/natural/natural-family-plann...

Second, the Pill IS a major carcinogen. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in its July 29, 2005 press release that a team of scientists has determined that combined oral contraceptives (estrogen plus progestogen) are "carcinogenic to humans." In fact oral contraceptives were upgraded to a Group 1 classification, "sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans." See http://health.dailynewscentral.com/content/view/00...

The Pill does affect libido, sometimes permanently: http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page.... I don't see how insulting my sex drive makes any point other than to paint me as an oppressive prude, but maybe you ought to consider that taking a libido-suppressing pill for 10 years might have something to do with the reason many women claim "headache" to the men in their lives. My husband is profoundly grateful I got off the Pill because for the first time I am interested in sex, too! And guess what, we even have orgasms without using hormones!! GASP! The horror!!

The side effects also don't occur for a "few" women...40% of women experience one or more side-effects on hormonal contraception: http://www.unm.edu/~shc1/pill-side-effects.html.

Some are even susceptible to death: link. [Link converted to html -mg] I can give you a dozen stories about the birth control patch killing almost two dozen women in two years, but I won't.

And let's not forget...even Planned Parenthood admits that 60% of the women who come in for abortions were on contraception when they got pregnant. So acting like hormonal contraception is the panacea for unplanned pregnancies is absurd.

I'm not a troll. But I do find the "pro-birth control" arguments to be uninformed. Women thought the Pill was going to liberate them, but all it really did was endanger their health and make them sexually available to men without consequences. And we wonder why we can't get men to commit...why they treat us like pieces of meat and why they can't seem to see beyond our sexual utility. Given the personal empowerment I have experienced by insisting that my husband exercise sexual restraint so that ~my body can work as nature intended,~ I wish more women would see the beauty and effectiveness of natural fertility awareness methods of family planning.

Dawn's picture
Posted by Dawn (not verified) on 5 January 2006 - 11:56am
40% of women?

you seem to miss the fine points of the statistics you site.

here's what your New Mexico Student Health link actually says:

About 40% of women who take birth-control pills will have side effects of one kind or another during the first three months of use. The vast majority of women have only minor, transient side effects. Some of these side effects are: light bleeding between menstrual periods, skipped periods, nausea, weight change, bloating, increase in vaginal infections. Although it is difficult to predict whether a woman will develop one of these minor problems, a problem can often be eliminated by changing to a different birth-control pill.

So the vast majority of that 40% experience only minor, transient side effects and only during the first three months. And many of those effects, if they don't resolve themselves, can be resolved by changing to a different pill.

Further, as I state below (with the exact quote from the report), the July 29, 2005 WHO report you refer to specifically says that the Pill causes a slight increase in risk for some cancers while at the same time protecting women from other cancers. It goes so far as to speculate that the net result may in fact be that the Pill overall is beneficial to women in cancer prevention. That is a far cry from calling it "a major carcinogen."

You are also muddling the facts when you argue that Planned Parenthood admits that 60% of women who come in for abortions were on contraception when they got pregnant. Assuming that statistic is ture, it clearly includes all forms of contraception, including those that are far less reliable than the Pill. The Pill has a very high success rate in prevent pregnancy.

Regarding your story of a woman's death from Texas online, the article clearly states, "Although the actual cause for Nicole's pulmonary embolism was not identified after numerous tests, experts say that this might be a rare result caused by the birth-control pills that she was taking. " Key words and phrases: "actual cause...not identified" "might" "rare." Even acknowledging that in very rare cases the Pill may cause embolism, the article goes on to say that only 10% of those embolisms are fatal.

As for the low libido, I don't dispute that some small percent of women may experience that side effect. As for whether it is permanent or not, I am unconvinced. At the very least further study is needed to determine whether other factors are affecting the libido of those women.

I don't dispute that any drug that a person takes can have adverse or unintended affects. All gynocologists are supposed to inform women of the risks and potential side effects to taking the Pill. As with any drug, if the patient is willing to accept those risks, they should have a right to do so.

Finally, I am still confounded by your failure to acknowledge that there are many non-hormonal forms of birth control. While most are not as effective as the Pill, they can still provide significant protection against pregnancy. For instance, a properly fitted diaphram coated with spermicide can be very effective without any of the hormonal side affects you are worried about.

I'm glad your libido has rebounded since you have stopped taking the Pill. It's clearly not for everyone. But the fact that it wasn't right for you doesn't make it wrong for all women.

Mostly though, i am very saddened by your perspective on the relationship between birth control and men's treatment of women. I don't dispute that many men treat woman as pieces of meat. Your view clearly implies sex is a carrot that women should dangle in front of men in order to get men to commit. Even if I were hetero, I wouldn't want to be with a man who married me just so he could fuck me. Furthermore, if your new version of the rhythm method is so successful, why wouldn't that have the same affect as other forms of birth control, allowing men to have sex without the consequences of commitment and fatherhood?

Many men are pigs who treat women like pieces of meat. That has been true as long as our patriarchal culture has existed. I see no relationship between that behavior and birth control, and I challenge you to provide any evidence of such. Before birth control was widely available, it was not men who suffered the consequences of that behavior. It was women. Women get pregnant. Women were stigmatized for having a child out of wedlock. Women raise children. Birth control, in any form, doesn't liberate men from responsibility. It liberates women to enjoy and explore their own sexuality.

one final note: please use tiny url to shrink long hyperlinks to a manageable size. The long ones blow the margin on the page and make it necessary to scroll left to right to read every paragraph on the page.

artemisia's picture
Posted by artemisia on 5 January 2006 - 3:11pm
Somehow I don't think

...that men did not use women before The Pill. Nor do I believe that The Pill created STDs. The pill didn't appear until the mid-1960s, long long after fatal STDs have been on the scene. So you can't blame the pill for any of that.

The wonderful thing about this country, though, is that people (presumably) have self-determination and can make choices that best suit themselves. If you believe in rhythm method, that's great. But it's hardly reliable to be a prescription for women.

For one thing, women don't always have a choice when intercourse happens. And yet rape is a violent crime that is vastly under-prosecuted, with barriers to conviction higher than any other violent crime.

As for your claim that the pill is a "major carcinogen," I wonder if this is just another "pro-life" myth being perpetrated. A google reveals only "pro-life" sites.

Meanwhile, WHO says about EC:

Emergency contraceptive pills should not be given to a woman who has a confirmed pregnancy because it is too late to prevent pregnancy. Experts believe there is no harm to a pregnant woman or foetus if emergency contraceptive pills are inadvertently used during early pregnancy.

Emergency contraceptive pills are for emergency use only and not appropriate for regular use as an ongoing contraceptive method because of the higher possibility of failure compared to modern contraceptives. In addition, frequent use of emergency contraception would results in more side-effects, such as menstrual irregularities. However, their repeated use poses no known health risks.

Not only that,

Levonorgestrel emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) have been shown to prevent ovulation and have no detectable effect on the endometrium (uterine lining) or progesterone levels when given after ovulation. ECPs are not effective once the process of implantation has begun, and will not cause abortion.

So much for claims that EC causes abortion. Those claims are simply lies.

As for the pill, aka "low dose combined oral contraceptives," WHO says nothing about being "a major carcinogen".

So if you're against contraception, maybe you want to make a decision based on science and not on lies being promulgated by religious ideologues with an agenda.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 4 January 2006 - 6:34pm
Info from the National Cancer Institute

you say:

which even the WHO just declared a "major carcinogen,"

The Scientists employed by the Government of the United States at the National Cancer Institute says these issues aren't quite so clear cut.

Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk, CancerMail from the National Cancer Institute

Breast Cancer

A woman's risk of developing breast cancer depends on several factors, some of which are related to her natural hormones. Hormonal factors that increase the risk of breast cancer include conditions that allow high levels of estrogen to persist for long periods of time, such as early age at first menstruation (before age 12), late age at menopause (after age 55), having children after age 30, and not having children at all. A woman's risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of time she is exposed to estrogen.

:::snip:::

Studies examining the use of OCs as a risk factor for breast cancer have produced inconsistent results. Scientists suggest the inconsistent findings may have occurred because participants in different studies used OC in different doses and forms. In addition, other factors that influence baseline hormone levels in the women under study may have led to different results among the studies. In general, most studies have not found an overall increased risk for breast cancer associated with OC use. In June 1995, however, investigators at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reported an increased risk of developing breast cancer among women under age 35 who had used birth control pills for at least 6 months, compared with those who had never used OCs. They also saw a slightly lower, but still elevated, risk among women ages 35 to 44. In addition, their research showed a higher risk among long-term OC users, especially those who had started taking the pill before age 18.

:::snip:::

A 1996 analysis of worldwide epidemiologic data, which included information from the 1995 study, found that women who were current or recent users of birth control pills had a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer. However, 10 years or more after they stopped using OCs, their risk of developing breast cancer returned to the same level as if they had never used birth control pills.

:::snip:::

Scientists suggest that the slightly elevated risk seen in both current OC users and those who had stopped use less than 10 years previously may not be due to the contraceptive itself. The slightly elevated risk may result from the potential of estrogen to promote the growth of breast cancer cells that are already present, rather than its potential to initiate changes in normal cells leading to the development of cancer.

:::snip:::

Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers

Many studies have found that using OCs reduces a woman's risk of ovarian cancer by 40 to 50 percent compared with women who have not used OCs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Cancer and Steroid Hormone Study (CASH), along with other research conducted over the past 20 years, shows that the longer a woman uses OCs, the lower her risk of ovarian cancer. Moreover, this lowered risk persists long after OC use ceases. The CASH study found that the reduced risk of ovarian cancer is seen in women who have used OCs for as little as 3 to 6 months, and that it continues for 15 years after use ends. Other studies have confirmed that the reduced risk of ovarian cancer continues for at least 10 to 15 years after a woman has stopped taking OCs. Several hypotheses have been offered to explain how oral contraceptives might protect against ovarian cancer, such as a reduction in the number of ovulations a woman has during her lifetime, but the exact mechanism is still not known.

i'm sorry that you have side-effects from oral contraceptives. you were right to quit because of them. it's nice though, that you had the choice to either use OC or handle things in your own way.

i support that and support you in your choice.

choice. nice word isn't it?

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 4 January 2006 - 6:40pm
Choice

Choice is a good word...but how many women honestly know what they're signing up for on the Pill or patch? I doubt it was much of well-informed choice for the young women who dropped dead from complications related to the hormones.

Real choice is knowing that there are alternatives and making an informed decision. Yet when I try to introduce an alternative family planning method on here, I'm flamed and insulted by most. Thanks for being open-minded.

Dawn's picture
Posted by Dawn (not verified) on 5 January 2006 - 11:59am
Chicken Little declarations

...are hardly credible. Your "proof" has been discredited. You call that flaming? I call it a reality check.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 5 January 2006 - 5:19pm
what WHO actually says:

ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES INCREASE RISK OF SOME CANCERS AND DECREASE RISK OF OTHERS

Use of OC's increases risk of breast, cervix and liver cancer...

There is a small increase in the risk of breast cancer in current and recent users of oral contraceptives. However, ten years after cessation of use, the risk appears to be similar to that in never-users. The risk of cervical cancer increases with duration of use of combined oral contraceptives. The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma is increased in long-term users of combined oral contraceptives in populations with low prevalences of hepatitis B infection and chronic liver disease – two major causes of human liver cancer.

but decreases risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer

In contrast, the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancer are consistently decreased in women who used combined oral contraceptives. The reduction is generally greater with longer duration of use, and some reduction persists at least 15 years after cessation of use.

More work needed to assess risks and benefits

Because use of combined estrogen-progestogen contraceptives increases some cancer risks and decreases risk of some other forms of cancer, it is possible that the overall net public health outcome may be beneficial, but a rigorous analysis is required to demonstrate this. This should be done on a country-by-country basis and also consider the effects on non-malignant diseases.

source: http://www.iarc.fr/ENG/Press_Releases/pr167a.html

artemisia's picture
Posted by artemisia on 4 January 2006 - 7:12pm
I think we are missing the point

I live in Texas and am familiar with many of the poeple who passed this legislation and their opinion of why they passed it has little to do with access to contraceptives. I should note that I do not know the sponsor of the bill, but 6 of the people who voted for it definitely stated it wasnt about access to contraceptives. For all intents and purposes, contraceptives are readily available and the only issue is how much of a price support should the government supply.

Planned Parenthood was targeted for cuts because the Texas legislature did not feel they were a social program that matched the desires of most of their constituents. It had nothing to do with making contraceptives illegal. It had everything to do with consitituent taxes funding something that a majority of the constituents oppose. This is primarily an abortion and social spending issue. Contraceptive availability apparently did not enter into the discussions of most of the policymakers.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male (not verified) on 4 January 2006 - 8:29pm
thanks for helping us find the point

i think.

you state:

their opinion of why they passed it has little to do with access to contraceptives.

so you're saying that we, as citizens, shouldn't concern ourselves with the consequences of a law, only the intentions of the lawmakers.

then it follows that if i bump into you with my car while your walking on the sidewalk and injure you, the fact that i didn't intend injury absolves me of all responsibility for how i drive.

that about it?

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 5 January 2006 - 12:02am
Consequences matter

Consequences matter, but if you are going to effectively oppose the legislative activity of your opponents, you have to understand why they are succeeding. You will not manage to reverse this trend in Texas if you frame it as a need to subsidize Planned Parenthoods contraception provision program. The majority of voters do not support their programs.

If you frame the argument as a claim that the elimination of PP subsidy prevents women from having access to contraception they will laugh you out of the state. Contraception is relatively cheaply available and only a limited group of women are conceivably denied by the loss of the PP subsidy.

If you are truly interested in providing govt. subsidized contraceptives to the poor, then you would have to realize that another delivery method beside PP is your best chance. PP is extremely unpopular due to their abortion and educational efforts.

If it makes you feel good, you can argue all day that the Legislature is opposed to contraceptives. They aren't and focusing on that kind of argument will cause you to be much less effective. They are opposed to Planned Parenthood.

Failure to understand your opponent will prevent you from attaining your goals.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 12:32am
cite your "majority votes do not support PP" please

there was no movement in the state of texas to reduce funding for PP, other than the legislative /anti-choice movement. the leg passed the latest $20,000,000 diversion of funds in secret without public notification, and didn't release the information until months later, on the afternoon of the day before Thanksgiving, hoping that no one would notice. I guess you just doesn't read the papers.

here's why my opponents succeed. it's got nothing to do with "we the people"

"The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them."

Michael Scanlon, former aide to Tom Delay

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 5 January 2006 - 12:52am
Polling info for elections

Polling information for elections has repeatedly shown PP to be unpopular. Texas is a conservative state. In many districts publicly supporting PP is the kiss of death. I have worked enough campaigns and done enough consulting to verify this. Pretty much only the Austin area and some heavy urban districts support it.

That being said, the anti-PP forces have been fighting a pretty continuous battle for many years to reduce their scope and funding. If you wish to see a similar campaign in its infancy I suggest the anti-MADD campaign. The reason you don't see an all out legislative effort focusing on PP funding in open debate is because that would be an incredibly ineffective way to accomplish the goals of the anti-PP crowd. This method is much more effective.

Incidentally, I do read the papers, but they are not a good source of political info in Texas. They are often inaccurate, way behind the time and rarely do their homework. Mostly they provide sound bite level coverage. Definitely not enough info for an informed opinion of how the political sphere of activity operates.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 1:06am
this is 'we the people'

The Texas legislature, an elected representative body, tried to cut funding through an anti-abortion bill but ran into challenges from the judiciary, an unelected body. As long as the elected body is anti-abortion, they will continue to pass laws restricting the activity of any group supporting abortion. If direct assaults fail, the elected body will start attempting subtler methods. The only way to prevent this is to win some elections. To do that you need to focus on the key conflict...abortion. Most of the people opposed to PP are not opposed to contraceptives, but to abortion and the zealous PP education programs. Note, there isnt a large successful movement to legislatively make contraceptives illegal. Only a small fringe group supports that position.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 1:25am
"zealous education"

what the fuck does THAT mean? They tell women ALL of their options?!?

Well, we can't have THAT.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 5 January 2006 - 6:08am
re: zealous education

No, that's a good idea. However, many families did not like PP giving out condoms to 6th-8th graders along with an explicit birds and bees talk. Quite a few did not want their kids exposed to it and did not feel it was PP right to impose on their kids, even if it was a school sanctioned event.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 8:28am
heads in the sand

due to our diet in this country and other factors, children, especially girls, are entering puberty at younger and younger ages. I'm sorry if a parent isn't an enough of an adult to talk to their children about the realities of life, but their kids are going to be under enormous peer pressure, societal pressure and hormonal pressure. To those parents, I say "grow the fuck up."

This is a public health issue, ESPECIALLY if we're going to stop girls from having any kind of access to private and safe women's health care without their ignorant parents hovering over their shoulders. We're all going to be paying to help take care of that unwanted child. We're all going to be exposed to STD's that will continue to spread b/c people would rather relie on fairy stories than deal with reality. Information can only help her to make better choices, take more control ... oh, wait, THAT'S what the REAL problem is, isn't it?

Nine times out of ten parents resist education b/c of some religious belief. How paltry and weak are those beliefs? How little faith in them do parents' have? Are they so uncertain about what they teach their that they can't allow any kind information to be presented that isn't rigidly controlled? Small, paltry and weak would be how I would describe such a faith.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 5 January 2006 - 9:05am
proving the point

Your post is an excellent example of my point on PP. It isn't that people are opposed to contraceptives, it is they are opposed to being told by someone else how to run their own households. By bundling contraceptives for adults, abortion and sex education for minors into one delivery platform (Planned Parenthood), the proponents of these causes have inextricably linked them and are catching a lot more opposition than they normally would.

My original post referred to adult contraceptives. In this case, very few people are actively opposed to adult contraceptives, but since its delivery is bundled through PP, attempts to defund PP for its abortion and sex education activities are reducing access to subsidized adult contraceptives. Planned Parenthood is reasonably well designed as a private organization, but it has much too broad a charter for a publicly funded organization. Voters do not feel they should have to fund all of PP activities and since there isn't a line item veto on PP activiities, tthe only way to stop the ones you don't like is defund all of them.

Furthermore, I would take exception to your post that most of the opposition to PP is religiously based. My experiences on the ground working with homeless shelters and PP show this not to be the case. The organization is just much more liberal than the conservative Texas populace it is serving.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 9:27am
Oh, I don't mean your opposition

I mean opposition in general to sex education for children is religiously based.

I'm truly frightened by the idea that full and accurate information is "liberal". This wallowing in ignorance affects us all. "Conservatism" didn't used to encourage such ignorance, but rather a preservation of what was good. Kids used to learn the "facts of life" pretty young by being around animals, or living in large extended families where privacy is hard to come by. This weird neo-Victorian idea that children are some precious groups of "innocents" living in their own private bubble Eden is dangerous, both to their health and the public health in general. INFORMATION ISN'T LIBERAL. It's just information.

Knownothingism will be the death of this country.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 5 January 2006 - 9:39am
I don't agree

The extremely vocal PTA and school board meetings I sat through opposing the PP sex education were not dominated by overtly religious types. I think you are letting their vociferousness cloud your perceptions. Most opponents of the sex education based their opposition on child psychology and civil libertarian arguments, religion wasn't a talking point.

I miss the Know Nothing political party. Rarely do stupid people so aptly name themselves.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 10:00am
Call government regulation of reproduction anything you want

...but to call it "civil libertarian" is laughable. Libertarian means free from governmental intrusion -- yet governmental intrusion all the way into the human body is what the conservative right is demanding.

In the end, that's why I find the right wing scary and borderline fascistic.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 5 January 2006 - 10:13am
????

Not sure what this has to do with my point? Most of the complaints in the board meetings were based on the belief that the govt via PP did not have the right to intrude and teach a sensitive subject to our kids. I would call that a civil libertarian view and completely irrelevant to right wing or conservativism. The interesting thing about the opposition to PP is that it crossed ideological lines and was not driven by the religious right.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 11:06am
You may not realize it

...but a campaign to de-fund one organization because of a political agenda is de facto a government program. Make no mistake, Planned Parenthood has been targeted for providing abortion care. That's where the money came from, the lobbying pressure on the legislators, the framing of the debate. Planned Parenthood was de-funded due to the push of a vocal minority that believes women's wombs are property of the State.

And that is not a libertarian agenda.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 5 January 2006 - 11:13am
you are merging arguments

I agree that PP was defunded because of its support of abortion and sexual education policies. That was one of my original points. The corollary to that point was that contraceptive subsidies were targeted not because most people were anticontraceptive but because it was bundled in with the rest of PP's mission. However, that was not the topic of the last 2 or 3 threads. The topic of those threads was that PP sexual education policies for minors were being opposed on civil libertarian grounds and I haven't seen a refutation of that point.

Lastly, I'm not so sure that the supporters of defunding PP are a vocal minority in Texas. I'd bet they are a majority. There is a big difference between supporting the right to abortion and supporting PP. Many abortion rights supporters do not support PP (e.g., me and the majority of parents in my PTA). My original post was a warning that you are wrapping all of these points up together and it is causing our side to formulate strategies poorly and lose. Make no doubt about it, reproductoive rights are on the defensive in Texas and our most avid supporters are the ones who hurt us the most because they refuse to understand their target audience. The opponent is not a monolithic entity, it is a collection of several groups that only agree on about 60% of their platform, but they are willing to work together.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 11:40am
You're doing quite a bit of merging

here yourself.

What about the shutdown of UT Southwestern's network of satellite clinics, that provided care to over 33,000 women in Dallas County last year alone? What about the county hospital's family planning program in El Paso that has been defunded by 50%? What about all the other providers of primary health screening and family planning across the state -- none of which are connected to Planned Parenthood in any way -- that are being either crippled or completely shut down?

The Tommy Williamses, Bob Deuells, Steve Ogdens and their so-called "Christian" allies have learned that all they have to do is whisper "Planned Parenthood is coming to get your children" to make otherwise intelligent adults pull the covers over their heads and stop thinking. The Houston Chronicle is right:

[R]avaging working clinics during a health coverage crisis has nothing to do with protecting women or children. It's self-interested strutting, and it's trampling on the health of thousands of Texas wives, mothers and daughters.

These men are not incompetent fools who are ignorantly unaware of the outcome of the actions they have taken -- far from it. Theirs is a deliberate agenda that inevitably will result in the denial of family planning care to tens of thousands of the women least able to cope with unplanned pregnancies, and you are completely mistaken if you believe that family planning care is readily available to these women from alternative sources. I have been involved with the provision of women's health care in Texas (with no connection at all to that dreaded and terrifying red-eyed bogeyman, Planned Parenthood) for many years, and I know better.

To defund Planned Parenthood, county hospital clinic systems and most of the many other providers of affordable family planning in Texas is to compel low-income women into unwanted pregnancies and to even further increase the number of women who feel left with no realistic choice but abortion.

And nothing can possibly justify that -- nothing.

moiv's picture
Posted by moiv on 5 January 2006 - 1:47pm
what a wandering thread

1. Family planning does not equal contraceptive availability. Contraceptive availability is a relatively small subset of the whole of family planning. That's why I was addressing contraceptive availability in my first posts.

2. Govt. subsidized family planning got hammered. This should not have been a surprise to anyone. The budget is tight and they still havent figured out school finance reform. Any line item that a special interest group can get reasonable support behind is doomed.

3. Planned Parenthood is what everyone thinks of when they think family planning. Thus it drew lightning. Given the way our budgeting and legislative processes work, this also means that many good programs got toasted along with it. That's just the way ademocracy is. Not terribly efficient, but most people get a say in what happens.

4. I am not justifying what happened. I am trying to point out that if we want to prevent it from happening again we are going to have to decouple the more mainstream family planning and natal wellness programs from the more confrontational programs. The pro choice side does not have the votes to protect them all at once.

5. All Texas social welfare programs are likely to take big hits until the school financing bill and the budget are settled.

6. This is just a prelude to the deluge that overturning Roe vs. Wade will cause. Unless we change our mindset from one of righteous indignation to strategic and tactical planning we are going to get steamrolled. The Republicans were an excellent opposition party that planned and sacrificed tangential goals to get their primary goals. They are a lousy dominant party. The Democrats have been accustomed to the dominant position for so long that they are an even worse opposition party. Prioritization, planning and understanding voter attitudes is generally replaced with polemic, overgeneralization (and yes I know someone is going to accuse me of it) and righteous indignation. Failure to plan for a shift in judicial control combined with existing Republican legislative control will be devastating.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 5 January 2006 - 4:12pm
gee

planned and sacrificed tangential goals to get their primary goals.

Your full autonomy as human beings is a "tangential goal" ladies!! Good to know.

Madman in the Marketplace's picture
Posted by Madman in the M... on 5 January 2006 - 4:35pm
Libertarian

Since Planned Parenthood forced nothing on anybody, your assertion that opposition to Planned Parenthood is a "libertarian" position is simply ludicrous. There is nothing of substance in your statement to refute.

As for what I'm causing, I can't say it has anything to do with public policy in Texas. That boat don't float.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 5 January 2006 - 5:24pm
re: Libertarian

Not true, the PP sexual education classes were forced onto kids over the objection of their parents. That's why everyone was so pissed.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 6 January 2006 - 2:49am
You Texicans seem to get all mixed up

If someone's forcing things on kids, that's a government problem, not Planned Parenthood's problem.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 6 January 2006 - 9:35am
Good for you...
Saying she was afraid of how her boyfriend would react, a woman admitted Wednesday to throwing away her newborn, whose body was found in a garbage bag at a Nebraska landfill.
Schultz told Judge Steven Jensen that the Air Force discharged her for being pregnant, but she didn't tell her parents or friends why she was kicked out.

"I knew I would have the baby. I figured I would go to the hospital and figure out what to do. I was scared and embarrassed," Schultz said tearfully.

The night before Feb. 2, 2004, she was in a lot of pain, didn't sleep well and concluded she was in labor, she said.

She then had the baby and cut the cord.

"I got scared and I put him on the bathroom rug and put towels around him. I saw that he was a boy. I didn't know what Paul would do and I panicked so I wrapped him (the baby) in towels and put him in garbage bags."

Schultz said she put the bundle in a trash can, saw the baby move and wanted to bring him inside but was afraid of Lundberg's response.

Gee Dawn, it's a good thing that ...I for one am not singing the blues over efforts to squash contraception.

Parker's picture
Posted by Parker (not verified) on 4 January 2006 - 8:37pm
Like I said, a huge

Like I said, a huge percentage of women/girls who come in for abortions were on contraception when they got pregnant. Why do people act like the only way to keep people from throwing their baby in a dumpster is to flood them with the Pill??? Ever heard of STDS? AIDS?? Last I heard, there are plenty of risks associated with the Pill other than having a baby.

This girl needed help, not contraception. She needed parents who loved her enough and made her feel secure enough that she didn't need to seek love through sex at such a young, obviously immature age. I can't believe you think a teenager who can't even remember to clean her room or do her homework on a consistent basis is going to remember to take a Pill every day at the same time. Ever wonder why we still have rampant rates of teen pregnancy even when contraception is widely available?? Probably because the root of teen pregnancy isn't lack of access to contraception, but parental neglect, emotional immaturity, and a whole host of other problems unrelated to "access."

Dawn's picture
Posted by Dawn (not verified) on 5 January 2006 - 12:07pm
You are not worth

the time or effort.

This girl is product of your rulz:

* Desperate to hold on to a man for validity

* Ashamed about sex like you are

* Ignorant of her choices (probably had only abstinece only classes)

Yet... she was STILL let down... funny you make no mention of the fact that she was patriotically serving her country until the Air Force had no more use for her... I thought you people were for the govenment upholding the sanctity of motherhood... oh yeah... you people want to control a womens body but you don't want to pay for her babies with your taxes... mighty good christians you are.

Thump your so called values and bible all you want just stay the fuck away from me and mine... you can make your OWN girls backwards and ignorant ...hey... it is a "Free Country" so they say...

I'll teach my girls to take care of themselves... and if you dare try to force the government to undereducate and to underempower my girls... well then you will truly see that "hell hath no fury"... so go climb back underneath your rock and take your rulz and your women folk with you.

Paker's picture
Posted by Paker (not verified) on 5 January 2006 - 12:27pm
You are not worth

the time or effort.

This girl is product of your rulz:

* Desperate to hold on to a man for validity

* Ashamed about sex like you are

* Ignorant of her choices (probably had only abstinece only classes)

Yet... she was STILL let down... funny you make no mention of the fact that she was patriotically serving her country until the Air Force had no more use for her... I thought you people were for the govenment upholding the sanctity of motherhood... oh yeah... you people want to control a womens body but you don't want to pay for her babies with your taxes... mighty good christians you are.

Thump your so called values and bible all you want just stay the hell away from me and mine... you can make your OWN girls backwards and ignorant ...hey... it is a "Free Country" so they say...

I'll teach my girls to take care of themselves... and if you dare try to force the government to undereducate and to underempower my girls... well then you will truly see that "hell hath no fury"... so go climb back underneath your rock and take your rulz and your women folk with you.

Paker's picture
Posted by Paker (not verified) on 5 January 2006 - 12:30pm