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Dear Sisters

Dear Sisters,
I like to look at the big picture when it comes to politics. I try not to focus too intently on the obvious things that divide us as Americans, but I try instead to see things from other people’s perspectives. This is useful because if you can understand the way your debate  “opponent” thinks you can better understand his line of reasoning and then counter that with your own opinion. In other words trying to understand one another is the key to an effective dialogue, which in turn can create real progress in terms of solving problems, which I feel is the role of government.
The other role of government as far as I am concerned, is to help its people, especially those who are for some reason unable to help themselves.
Now, for the sister part.
Women have unique issues that unfortunately cannot be understood by men. Our anatomy begins creating problem for us at a very young age. Some little baby girls are even born with urinary tract infections, something that plagues many women throughout their lifetime. They can be quite serious actually, painful, and debilitating if left untreated. Many women suffer with menstruation issues—also starting for some at 9 and lasting into their 50’s. We have ovaries and fallopian tubes and cervixes, that must be examined and worried about constantly so that they are healthy and in proper working order for the inevitable pregnancy that most women will experience in their lifetimes.
Then there are the breasts, which also must be secured and x-rayed and examined religiously lest they become lumpy and cancerous. We have to stress about contraception and fertility/infertility and we are always counting weeks and days in an effort to be cycle ready, keeping a supply of unmentionables stockpiled so as never to be caught off guard.
There is an expense to all of this preparedness and it can be stressful because any kind of slip-up in terms of maintenance can result in infection, disease, and gasp! death if we are not vigilant—always.
It is a lot to think about, to obsess over, and I haven’t even gone into detail about pregnancy and birth yet.
So what happens if you are poor? What happens if you do not have health insurance? In many cases, if not for Planned Parenthood you would be out of luck.
It is a frightening prospect. Most people get that, but not all. In New Jersey (and in numerous other states, incidentally) Governor Christie cut funding for women’s services calling the spending “wasteful.” When he was challenged by women in the state legislature he told them, “Women could just go to the emergency room.” When they responded, “Who goes to the ER for birth control?” he did not have an answer for them. It is not his problem, so he doesn’t care, and that is my point. I thought that perhaps it should have been suggested to him that he should go to the ER for his annual prostate examination, but women are more tactful it seems, and they did not challenge him in that way. But in case you somehow missed it this guy is on the very short list for Vice President.
While many have very strong opinions about abortion, the fact remains that men cannot possibly understand this issue from a woman’s perspective. It is impossible. They may have an opinion, but they can never know what a woman might feel if she discovers that she is pregnant and she is frightened and alone. A woman on the other hand, especially one involved in politics, could and should be expected to understand this.
 
The only reason I bring this up is because abortion has become the reason women’s health programs and services are being de-funded at an alarming rate. Because pregnancy and abortion services and counseling are women’s concerns, they fall under the umbrella of women’s health, so the issues overlap. Pregnancy is a woman’s health issue, and while many consider it a moral issue as well, morality is not something that can or should be governed.
But what is really happening when women (think Planned Parenthood) are short-changed literally in this way is that we are being hurt as a sex. When women are denied services, then as sisters we should unite to fight this inequity.
When you are casting your vote, maybe consider where the candidates stand on gender/health issues because when one of us, one of our sisters is denied health care, we all suffer. It is very easy to say, and frankly it should be on the tip of every woman’s tongue:
 “That could be me…” because it could be.
We are all sisters. 
 
 
Planned Parenthood is many things to many people.
 
We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men and young people worldwide.” *
 
*Planned Parenthood Mission Statement
Quintesse Quintesse 46-50, F 12 Responses Feb 3, 2012

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Faded one. I thank you again too. This story upsets me for obvious reasons. Now it's all birth control they are rallying against. Well, I ask you--how is that not mysogyny? Pregnancy is a woman's issue and if it occurs in a less than ideal situation shall we say, the argument has been made that that woman, forced to bear a child alone, is then plunged into irreversible poverty. So they suggest I guess that people just not have sex--ever.

Good one.

I am hoping that women, as an influential voting block, show the Republicans exactly how they feel about that. Tell a friend.

If it's not out right misogyny, it is a POWER TRIP...My friends suggest this is because of RELIGION..So we are not happy about that issue either...I don't want any "religious based" scheme coming into my life, into my womb TELLING me "how it's going to go" regardless of how I FEEL or what I NEED as a human being who just happens to be FEMALE....xx

It is about religion, and those who refuse to recognize the Separation of Church and State, specifically. The phrase "self righteous" comes to mind (and it makes me nauseous.)

Again Quintesse---------a remarkable story and yes with VALUABLE information...Perhaps unintentionally, You've given me something else to think about as it relates to me, a Woman. TY TY ♥

They love small government--unless it involves womens' health issues--then they want full control over your sex life and your reproductive choices. Something to think about.

I should invite You to my FB page ..the one where we are discussing all things Political and lately this ENTIRE abortion, Susan Komen..War on Women theme....You'd fit right in :))

Thank you. Unfortunately I am not a big Facebook fan, but I appreciate it very much. ( I just think people are nicer here.)

Ersatz,

So, suggesting that men cannot possible understand what women go through physically because their anatomy makes it impossible to do so is an insult?

Huh, I didn't see that coming. But you seem a little disgruntled, so perhaps I went a little too far in suggesting that.

I would say though, that there is a difference between sympathizing with and showing compassion for what women experience physically, and BEING a woman. But I do applaud your efforts. Maybe if the politicians who are pushing these agendas were more like you we would not even be having this discussion at all.

Sorry for any offense. This was not meant to be a rant against men--it was intended as a wake-up call / shout out for women, hence the title.

I'm SMILING...lol Well said Q xx

Thank you. Little pats on the shoulder are always appreciated.

Wow. I am in awe to come to know I have no ability to understand a damn thing about women. And here I have been trying for over a half century. Trying to understand what my mom went through with cervical cancer. Trying to understand what my sister and mother in law went thorough with breast cancer. Trying to understand the various concerns that my wife and daughters have. Had I only known I was incapable I could have saved all that time and worry and focused on drinking my beer. Yes, I am being sarcastic and factitious. But to lump all men, all of anything, into one group just isn't right. There are idiots of all genders, all races, all nationalities. I guess I am one of them ...

I do understand your position ... but in reality, what is not a political and/or religious issue? It's not a perfect system by far - not even close. But I don't have the answer to correct it. The Komen Foundation lost a lot of support over it's ill-advised position and reversal. In losing that support, who loses out? The women that support was to help. There are no winners in this one ...

Taken. All of the Republicans are talking the Personhood talk, even though it is unlikely that they will actually be able to walk it. But the general sense that you get is that abortion concerns trump everything else, and because as I said, the issues overlap, it becomes a frighting scenario--one where the use of certain kinds of contraception is questioned. I don't think you can dismiss this when you are voting.

Well, slap my face.

I have once again been properly put in my place. There are in fact many skilled and compassionate male doctors out there who (obviously) effectively treat women and their many issues. There are many even, who risk their lives to do so.



But I was referring specifically to politicians who cut funding to programs that are designed to ensure safe, affordable health care for women (and men.) When they call such programs "wasteful" and they slash their budgets I believe it is a safe assumption that they do not have women's best interests in mind.

I do not feel, and I hope I did not suggest here, that male doctors who devote their lives to helping women in a medical environment cannot understand their medical needs. I do not believe they would have been granted medical licenses in their chosen specialty if they did not. I'm eternally grateful for men like your friend.

Maybe the NJ governor's ego is surpassing
his waistline with all the publicity he's been getting.

He is quite full of himself, but he generally gets what he wants. He's not a bad guy, just susceptible to pandering these days, as they all are.

I have a friend who's a gynecological oncologist, and I have always understood that he was a good one. It wasn't what he had in mind when he started in medical school, and he chose this specialty after some specific experiences treating pregnant women in a public hospital's emergency room in a large city. I hope no one ever convinces him that he's dealing with issues that a man cannot ever understand. He's done a lot of good and helped a lot of women survive cancer over the past 30 years.

Thanks Paco. A man's perspective is always appreciated, definitely, especially on a story like this one where I make a huge deal of elaborating on the fact that men cannot possible understand. Way to blow my theory, haha.

I think Planned Parenthood has been around for so long that it is one of those institutions of American society that is kind of taken for granted. It is believed that they will always be there doing what they do best. But what if one day they weren't? Good to think about before November.

Although, I am a man. I agree 100% with your opinion.

As my first wife once said to her male gynecologist before her very first internal exam. His comment to her first was, "this won't hurt." She then replied, "How would you know, ever one yourself?"

Upon his start of the exam, she kicked him off his stool

on wheels. Jersey Girls!



The flip side, Planned Parenthood in NY was the first placei went to obtain info on a vasectomy.

Jeana. We have to stick together. It's bad out there.

Thanks for reading. Tell a friend.

Check out PersonhhoodUSA--they have a legislative agenda--and they are quite powerful/influential with the Right.

Romney vowed to sign a Personhood Amendment. They all did.

Thanks woman. The komen fiasco may be over, but perhaps it woke a few women up. There is mysogeny happening, and it is scary.

oh absolutely ... the fact that it raised awareness is a great thing.

Thanks Marji--The whole Komen thing got people talking, but on the state level de-funding has been going on for the past two years.

Most people don't think about the what if? until they find themselves without insurance for some reason and in pain with an infection. Then what happens if you show up to the site of your local Planned Parenthood office only to find that it has been boarded up? If it hits home then --it is a little too late; by then they will have gotten a majority and they will be working on legislation to make contraception illegal.

Thanks for reading and for getting it. November is not really that far away.