Why you (yes YOU) should support Planned Parenthood

I’m talking to everybody when I say, it’s in our best interest to support Planned Parenthood. If you’re pro-choice, I know you’re probably already on board with that, so you can go ahead and skip to the bottom where I’ll tell you a few ways you can help. If you’re not pro-choice, you’re a tough sell. And I’m not naive or delusional, I know I probably won’t convince you. But let me try. I know, I know, you can’t possibly support a clinic that provides abortions. Let’s go ahead and skip over the right and wrong of abortion and a woman’s right to choose and what constitutes pro-life and what doesn’t–you and I will never agree. I’d like to go ahead and dive into why it is that you should absolutely support Planned Parenthood anyway.

2.7 million people use the services of Planned Parenthood health centers and affiliates each year–that includes women and men. The vast majority of those who use PP live with incomes of 150% of the federal poverty levels or less. More than half of PP’s health centers are in rural or medically under-served areas. These areas have high poverty levels, large populations of minorities, and large populations of elderly people. They have high infant mortality rates (hi there, pro-life, this should mean something to you) and they do not have enough primary care doctors. That means that more than half of the PP centers serve communities where people would otherwise have to take long, expensive commutes to the nearest health center to obtain basic healthcare, prenatal care, ob/gyn care, contraceptives… Not only would it flood the other health centers with long waits, but people simply wouldn’t be able to afford to make these trips. We’re not just talking about health care costs; we’re talking about gas and time away from work (these aren’t salaried employees), even having the means to get to another healthcare center would be difficult for many.

And did you know that many Planned Parenthood centers don’t even offer abortions? But they do offer sex education to teens in the juvenile justice and foster systems, home visits to new moms to help prevent infant mortality, STD screenings and treatment, cancer screenings and education… In fact, just 3% of services rendered by PP are related to abortion. 3%. That means 97% of services have nothing to do with abortion….except, perhaps, preventing them.

Supporting Planned Parenthood is supporting education and resources, and more education and resources means fewer abortions. Abortion and reproductive rights are often an emotional and heated discussion. Because of that, I know I may not be able to use facts and numbers to convince you that PP is not the enemy–emotion is often louder than logic. I’ve been, and continue to be, caught up in that myself when it comes to many issues. But if you do want to support Planned Parenthood, it’s truly okay to be against abortion and still find value in their worth and many other services. Your local PP may be one of the many who do not even offer abortions.

Which brings me to….

How can you support Planned Parenthood? There are many ways for you to help! A lot of this is directly from Planned Parenthood’s web page. I’m not trying to plagiarize, but I have no reason to restate what they’ve already said so clearly. And I suspect they want their message shared anyway.

Donate directly to Planned Parenthood.

For the past century, Planned Parenthood has transformed women’s health and empowered millions of people worldwide to make informed health decisions, forever changing the way they live, love, learn, and work. Donate to a PP health center here or go here to donate to the PP Action Fund.

Support Planned Parenthood via Amazon Smile.

If you already shop on Amazon, shop through Amazon Smile to support a cause that means something to you. Amazon will contribute a percentage of every purchase you make to an organization of your choice. Sign up for Amazon Smile here.

Go to Planned Parenthood for your health care.

You can support PP by making your next reproductive health care appointment at your local center. Need birth control? A well-woman exam? STD tests? Hormonal replacement therapy? Planned Parenthood can provide those for you. Make your appointment here.

Tell your Representative you support Planned Parenthood.

Write a letter or, better, make a phone call. Find your local representative here.

Tell your story.

Has Planned Parenthood provided you with health care, education, or advocacy opportunities at some point in your life? If so, tell people about it! Tell your friends, tell a stranger when the opportunity arises, blog about it, share it on social media, share it on their webpage here.

Educate yourself.

Planned Parenthood is at the forefront of the reproductive health and rights movement.  Join their online network to get the resources and tools you need to stay on top of the issues and get involved with campaigns that advance and protect women’s rights and health. They’ll send you information about specific opportunities to make a difference and make sure that you get the real story in real time. Sign up here. And while you’re at it…

Join Planned Parenthood on Social Media.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest. Share the real stories, share what Planned Parenthood is really doing.

Sign on: #WeWontGoBack

Legislators may try to take away health care from millions of Americans and strip away people’s civil rights, and deport millions of vulnerable immigrants, but we are bigger, stronger, more powerful, and more committed than you know. We won’t shrink or hide away. We’re standing strong— ready to fight. For our lives. For our rights. We represent the true strength and power and future of this country and we have no intention of letting you abuse your power to take us back. Sign on here.

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