Here we are again. Surreptitiously gained footage targeting the most well-known name in access to reproductive healthcare – yes, Planned Parenthood. I know that many of us are tempted simply to sigh and shake our heads in exasperation, but instead we must remain more vigilant than ever about keeping their clinics—often the only resource for reproductive health care for low-income women and transgender people in many parts of the country–open.
First and foremost, we must write or call our representatives in Congress to tell them not to vote to defund Planned Parenthood because a rogue organization bent on eliminating abortion care secretly recorded conversations under false pretenses. The individuals behind the sham organization want to ultimately stop women, especially those in marginalized communities, from receiving reproductive health care – including abortion.
Shutting down clinics where abortion is performed eliminates abortions performed at that clinic. But it also shuts down the same clinics that provide physicals, well-woman exams, and services for transgender people.. It eliminates low-cost cancer and HIV screenings, testing for anemia, cholesterol, and diabetes. If you wanted to quit smoking, Planned Parenthood could help with that too. When people try to shutter these clinics they are affecting more than just their myopic vision of what the clinics actually do and who they actually help. They are relegating those who need these resources to look elsewhere, or worse, or go without it.
Planned Parenthood is a particularly critical resource for LGBTQ people. LGBTQ individuals, particularly transgender people and youth, are more likely to be poor, more likely not to have insurance, and more likely to need a safe space in receiving medical care. We go there not only because we receive medically accurate information, contraception, and classes about healthy sexual behavior, we go there because we are not stigmatized for who and how we love.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) understands that reproductive freedom and access to basic reproductive and pregnancy-related health care is imperative if we are to become and remain healthy individuals, families, and communities. By standing with Planned Parenthood we affirm their right to stay open and provide services for those of us who need them. We stand by Planned Parenthood because they stand by us.