(This post began last night, 2/1, after a FB update defending PP… now, nearly 24 hours later, SGK has reversed a decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood, thus enraging nearly anybody with a moderate opinion on abortion. A guest post is in the works on “Why I Won’t Buy Pink” – and now that I publicized it, it’ll materialize, right? – but these thoughts are less on Komen and more about the PP controversy).

A friend posted a FB status in support of Planned Parenthood, emphasizing the numerous woman’s health issues that it serves; PP gets its legacy as an abortion factory, but according to it’s own information, 3% of services gear toward the Big Divider.

(I found this on a Moveon.org link, but it states the source came from PP directly. Take that for whatever you’re going to believe anyway). So, because PP includes as 3% something a large group of people don’t like, funding has been cut (and then reinstated?) that will hurt the other 97%. (I have since been directed to this post which rearranges the numbers a little to a different direction).
So, I decided to get nosey. I was on the PP site looking at the abortion information, and the service is not available at every PP clinic (though referrals are available at nearly all). I did a little zipcode search to see how close this was happening to my home. It turns out that not a single PP clinic in a 60 mile radius of my home – including metro Dayton, Cinci and Columbus – offers the procedure, only a referral for who could do it if someone was seeking it out. Does a referral mean an abortion will or won’t happen? Neither. It simply means that the PP clinics around me offer similar services as a doctor’s office but at a fraction of the price for people who cannot afford them or are without insurance. 
I can be numbered in the people who have used similar services; though I went to a “family planning” and not “Planned Parenthood” – which simply means I was using more of your tax dollars as it’s source of funding – but it was a needed solution when one grows up on a fastically horrible insurance plan that does not cover contraceptives (and let it be known that numerous young women find themselves seeking solutions to woman’s problems that don’t involve sexual activity. It’s an overstated assumption that, to be honest, furthers the divide in many ways that are too many to name for this already lengthy parenthesis). All this to say, I can’t believe PP came into being to become a source for abortions, but rather to fill a gap in terms of need in women’s healthcare. Abortion came with it and PP decided to make it an offering.

People don’t like abortion. I get it. I’m not a fan either (though I have come to wrestle with the idea of the government forcing me to give birth). But being pro-life or pro-choice (because very few people are “pro-abortion”) does little to solve problems. I will shout it until I’m blue in the face: we’re talking about an effect, not a cause, of evil and fallenness in the world.

I met my friend A today. She’s avidly against abortion. You know what she’s doing about it? She and her husband have prayerfully decided to take in one of these babies and raise it as their own. Her dream is to grow an agency that will make such a generous giving of a couple’s home and family more affordable with a smoother navigation through the system. She’s not all talk. She’s walk. In another month, that voice she’s been advocating for will call out to her in the middle of the night for a feeding. She won’t have time to write snarky FB status updates because she’s got Pampers to change.

I’m tired of all the shouting about issues (ha! funny coming from this captain of the flag wavers!). I’m tired of the putting others on the defensive. If pro-lifers care about the baby, then raise it. If pro-choicers care about the woman, than bring her in, join her into your family so that you can stop the cycle. Or what about those babies who were born to mothers who chose life, only to find that they weren’t physically, emotionally or financially able to care for the little one? Jump into the foster system and care for those beating hearts.  If you feel PP doesn’t do enough to promote adoption as an option as opposed to abortion, then begin a movement of planting adoption consultants in a PP. How about instead of making enemies we join forces? We may not agree to one another’s entire agenda, but we ask our representatives to “cross party lines” all the time. Maybe the pot needs to give the kettle a call.

All of this sound like too much? Then it’s high time to discover that we’re not just ankle-deep in thought; we’re wading – swimming – in questions and concerns, not about politics but about people. And for those of us who want to “love God and love people” we’ve got a grand space of opportunity in front of us.

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