just stuff I’m thinking about

(Note: if you are offended by “crazy right-wing nonsense about abortion, contraception, etc.” , or by Monty Python humor, too bad. Read, or read not.)

Just stumbled on that Johnny Depp quote up there. Really, I stumbled on it. StumbleUpon, if you haven’t seen it, is a great time-waster that will cater to your particular means of wasting time. Check it out. Or not.

Truth is, StumbleUpon isn’t what has been on my mind lately. Johnny Depp’s quote up there, and related issues, have been swirling around in my head. (Johnny Depp isn’t one of my favorite actors, but oh how I love Jack Sparrow…just sayin’)

I guess it started with the Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood thing. When I was a teenager, I thought that Planned Parenthood was actually about teaching women how to “plan” on getting pregnant, or not getting pregnant. I was stunned when I figured out that Planned Parenthood provided abortions. Sounded to me like the women going to PP for abortions where there because they FAILED to plan. Silly me. (Point of clarification: I haven’t actually been in a PP clinic. But several of my college friends had been. It was a ‘slap-self-in-forehead-and-say-DUH!’ moment for me.)

When this story hit the fan, I was fascinated by the amount of uproar it was causing. I pulled out my trusty calculator, did 20 minutes of online research, and crunched some numbers. I documented my process, as follows:

So, I’m wondering what all the excitement is about this. I read the Reuters, AP, CNN, USA Today, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox…did I leave any of them out? Probably. Anyway, the funny thing is that I can’t find any actual dollar amounts, except for the $250,000 Mayor Bloomberg has donated to PPFA to help offset the loss of donations from SGK, and I see that thousands of folks are following his lead.

It took me 20 minutes of research to find the latest annual report from PPFA (2008-2009). They report a year-end net asset amount of $994,700,000. That’s $995 million dollars, rounded up. Round a little more, and you get $1,000,000,000. That’s $1 BILLION dollars.

Most articles report that SGK donated approximately $700,000 last year. Mayor Bloomberg has already replaced over 1/3 of that amount.

Percentage-wise, the annual amount donated to PPFA by SGK is…wait for it….0.07%. Seven-hundredths of ONE percent. Let me check the math again: that’s 700,000 / 1 BILLION times 100 to get the percentage. Yup, 0.07%.

Looks to me like PPFA won. And there’s a Washington Post article that agrees with me. Not the Washington TIMES, but the Washington POST.

I also checked out a current PPFA document on Services. “The core of PP affiliate medical service is contraception and accompanying health care, education and information. In 2010, [PP] provided 11 million medical services for nearly 3 million people, and helped to prevent approximately 584,000 unintended pregnancies.”

Now I’m moving from “just the facts” to “my opinion”….seems like PPFA should work a bit harder on their contraception “education and information” so that they wouldn’t have to spend so much money “preventing unintended pregnancies.” And, is it really ‘preventing’ if she’s already pregnant? Doesn’t sound like it to me. Maybe that wording could be a bit more accurate, something like ‘terminating 584,000 unintended pregnancies.’ Regardless of the semantics, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or Benjamin Franklin thought so.  Maybe if PPFA educated more and aborted less, more PPFA funds could be allocated to cancer screenings. Probably wouldn’t have stopped SGK from buckling under public pressure, but I can dream, can’t I?

Addendum: See? The San Francisco Chronicle says so too.

So, SGK thought about taking a stand against PPFA in support of unborn babies, and then caved under public pressure. Ah, the power of FaceBook!

Now there’s a raging debate over ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. I’m having a difficult time finding a basic definition of what the mandate is, and I’m still recovering from the headache I developed after reading the “Affordable Health Care for All Americans” bill when it was first introduced. This is the most concise definition I could find: The “Health and Human Services mandate orders all insurance carriers to provide the full slate of ‘reproductive services’ at no cost.”

A couple of questions come immediately to mind. At no cost to whom, exactly? What does ‘full slate of reproductive services’ really mean? And the funny thing is that the current debate has nothing to do with either of those questions. It is, in fact, an argument over First Amendment rights, specifically the freedom of religion (or freedom FROM religion….Henry VIII had a lot to do with that particular language making its way into our Constitution,didn’t he? If you know your Monty Python, you’ll recognize this: “There’s a dead priest upon the landing.” “RC or C of E?” “How should I know?” “It’s tattooed on the back of their necks!”)

I find a lot of this angst to be unnecessary. If the full slate of reproductive services conflicts with an individual’s First Amendment beliefs, then is that individual going to partake of those services? Probably not. The bigger question is this: When did the Constitution of the United States become an instrument for determining what the government CAN DO to its citizens, rather than a document defining what the government CAN NOT DO to its citizens?

The bottom line in my world is this: being a parent of an infant demands that you put the rights of that infant ahead of your own. You want to sleep, but the baby is hungry at 2:00 AM?  Guess who wins? Not you. If you aren’t ready to become a parent, if can’t think of loving anything or anyone more than you love yourself, then take steps to prevent becoming pregnant, or becoming a ‘baby daddy.’ Prevention vs. termination. And yes, I know that nothing is 100% foolproof except abstinence. I personally don’t believe it is expecting too much of folks of child-bearing age who do not want to become parents to take precautionary steps, including abstinence, to prevent their fear from becoming reality.

In other words: grow up. Take responsibility for your own actions. If abortion is a large part of your birth control method, remember that you are aborting babies, not puppies or kittens. You are participating in causing the death of an innocent human being. There is another word whose definition is “participating in or causing the death of an innocent human being”, but I’ll leave it unsaid here.

Why is this so evident to me these days? That’s easy. I used to be an advocate for abortion rights, “free” contraceptives for me from my health insurance provider, all those things. Then I had Kate, 8 weeks premature. When I saw her for the first time I realized that I could have ‘terminated’ her, and it would have been perfectly legal in several states that had no prohibition on late-term abortions. And, a few years later, she asked me what a “partial-birth abortion” was. And I had to explain it to her.

It still makes me sick, thinking of that conversation.

Another twist of irony: I’m listening to Pandora radio as I write this. I have it on “quick mix” mode, which means I never know what’s coming next. What’s playing right now?

Amazing Love.

And my home page: Grief is the price we pay for love. -Queen Elizabeth II

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2 responses to “just stuff I’m thinking about

  1. I could not disagree more.

  2. Which means that the world is still spinning in the right direction! If we ever agreed on this subject, something would be terribly wrong.

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