Back in 1981 at the age of fifteen I walked into a Planned Parenthood office, skinny and scared. No, not to get an abortion. But to prevent one.
Maybe you’re better than me. You managed to abstain. Good for you. I didn’t. And I had no one else to turn to, no where else to go. If not for the advice and care at Planned Parenthood, I too could be another women who turned to abortion because I didn’t know what else to do.
Instead, I was treated with kindness and respect, care and compassion. Because of the wonderful women at Planned Parenthood who cared for me then, I learned to respect my body, respect myself, respect life, and choose it accordingly. And now, over thirty years later, I return in kind. As a midwife, I serve in bringing in new life. Chosen life. Because yes, I confess, I do believe a woman has the right to an abortion. And silly me, I still don’t get why it’s a political issue when it appears to me it’s actually zealous religious beliefs that have created the current political uproar and have in turn shut down the federal funding of my beloved Planned Parenthood.
This is in consideration of our government’s choice to remove funding from Planned Parenthood (and in turn the 2.7 individuals and families in this country relying on their services) and continued threats of a government shutdown based upon the political/religious fear that Planned Parenthood invokes.
Wake up folks. This is not about money and the national debt. Remember the funding is already there, and there is not a whole lot of it. This is not something we normally would bat an eye at when you see the figures that have been allotted in the past to allow this service to continue. Why then the big fuss?
From USNews.com (http://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2015/09/18/why-shut-down-the-government-over-planned-parenthood ):
“Planned Parenthood gets around $450 million yearly in federal payments, mostly Medicaid reimbursements for handling low-income patients, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”
Don’t fool yourself. This is a fiasco that contains its deepest roots in political bias, religious un-freedom and the need to control.
No, this is not about money.
This is about, “I am right; you are wrong.”
This is not about giving – it’s about taking away. Contraction, not expansion. Control, not compassion. Shutting down, not opening further. Imposing my beliefs because I don’t need, want or like it. And somewhere deep down at the core, it’s probably about fear.
And this has been going on for a very long time, my friends. I am grateful for the rights my mother fought to ensure me. And in turn I understand I must do what I can to protect these rights for the next generation to come.
This is a call to each of us to rise above the fear/belief/need in imposing ones personal beliefs upon others and in consideration of human rights.
And even if you’re one to completely abhor abortion and think it is your God given right and/or moral duty to impose your personal beliefs over others, this is still a false representation of the battle. There’s so much more at stake here than abortion. Like birth control, breast exams, treatment of STDs, and women’s general health services. As per factcheck.org (http://www.factcheck.org/2011/04/planned-parenthood/), only three percent of the services at Planned Parenthood are abortions, and pursuant to an article in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2015/09/18/house-passes-planned-parenthood-defunding-and-anti-abortion-bills-but-will-they-help-avert-a-shutdown/), since the 1970s federal funds are not allowed to be used for abortions anyway.
But these facts appear irrelevant in this emotionally charged, political and religious based argument of which the angriest political party may be the “winner” and the people in need are, once again, the loser.
So, why the big fuss?
The personal is political.
That is what this is about. Control, religious beliefs, moral ground that claims to be higher ground, and our inability to see beyond the tip of our nose.
Hatred breeds in the darkness of the closed mind.
Love is the open mind. Expansive. Beautiful. Full of compassion, expression, care, choice, voice and life.
When will we learn to open our minds, eyes and hearts? When will we learn to truly respect our fellow human beings?
Truly rising above fear based actions, and being a compassionate, moral human being means more than just allowing, but at times preventing control, manipulation and otherwise suppression of the bodies or beliefs of our fellow human.
Thus there are times taking a stand is essential, and doing nothing means allowing degradation and violation.
Now may be one of those times.
My body is mine.
As I do not want you to violate it, I do not want you to vote on it.
It is not your business; it is not your belief. It is not your political playground nor you higher calling.
It is simply not yours.
It is mine.
And so shall I defend it.
8 thoughts on “My body, my mind, my soul.”
Thank you, Gin, for a deeply personal piece passionately felt. Respect is the hope for a better world and I appreciate the respect and joy you have shown me and the earth. Write on!
Gratitude for your words of support, soul sister. Seems speaking of the simple stuff appeals more to the masses, and exposing deeper truths can scare so many away. A risk I am willing to take. Thought of you as I just read this by our President, quoted after his last meeting with Pope Francis: “I think the theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that, in politics and in life, the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don’t look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy — that that’s critical,” Obama explained at the time. “It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars. It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.” And as you and I know, empathy expands beyond mankind in our responsibility to care for and respect the Earth.
Hi Honey, GOOD for you – just diving in there and blasting out your p.o.v. – it is inspiring me to tiptoe past my aversion to all this cyber non sense and slap a few more words out into the over crowded void populated mostly by other wordlings, but always with the thought that there be consciousness.
And, as you so perfectly closed; some Earth Love….
I am launching my own blog – a tiny flag waving from faraway Patagonia…I call it “The Patagonia Provocateur”.
That, my dear, is why we were given words – to write, to speak, to share. They are not be horded, but celebrated, honored, and allowed to pour forth. I can’t wait to read yours!
I’m please to find this post is being shared nationally – thus I took the time to revise. If you have a chance, dear reader, please re-read the “new and improved” version now posted.
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I agree with your thoughts & writings here, but I understood most of this “uproar” had to do with the selling of baby (fetus) organs, etc. To me that is beyond helping young girls, women with education & severe life altering situations & making better choices. I appreciate your writings. Mary Ann
I’ve missed reading your posts, Gin. As usual you are thought-provoking.
I cannot say much about American issues from over the water. However I am grateful that my mother, who would have been 21 or so, decided to carry me to term rather than choose an abortion. Even though she didn’t want a child and quickly handed me over to social services. I wonder who, or what, persuaded her?
Not long ago a graduate assigned to my team went AWOL. We searched for him to no avail. When he reappeared a week later, we learned the story. His sister younger found that she was pregnant whilst their parents were on holiday. So he rushed her to an abortion clinic before they returned. For some, new life is just an inconvenience. It wasn’t his body, of course. That situation was amongst the hardest that I’ve faced as a manager of people.
Gin, you were a rarely determined and thoughtful person at fifteen. Not everyone loves life as you do. Most are weaker, and more selfish. I don’t exclude myself from that judgement.