taking a stand

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

I haven’t always. When I was in high school and in college, I was firmly in ‘the other camp’. I won’t dwell on that here. The point is, people change.

With the recent attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, I did the usual signing of petitions and letters and sharing on social media. I refused to believe that this movement would actually succeed. It almost did.

Today, I ran across a post for writers–you know, that age-old advice. ‘Don’t take political stands because you might never get a publisher and you’ll lose readers.’ That got me irked and thinking.

If you’re a straight white dude, you can blog and share all this stuff on social media without ever being ‘political.’ You can write your white-washed novels with male characters doing default-narrative stuff with universal appeal and never make a controversial splash.

If you’re anything but, your existence is political. As a white woman above the poverty line, I can close my eyes and pretend it doesn’t affect me. But it does.

It’s not a controversy. It’s my body, it’s my health.

Planned Parenthood stood with me for years.

I no longer need their services, but for a long time, I did.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. I was not ready to have a child ten years ago–five years ago. Having a baby is not a decision to be made lightly. It kinda changes everything.

And by kinda, I mean your old life gets washed away and the waves bring back this unrecognizable clutter. It can be a good thing–if you’re ready to be a new mom or dad.

I can’t imagine having a kid before I was ready. When I discovered I was pregnant, I decided to make myself ready. I was lucky to have a great PP clinic in driving distance to provide me excellent medical care and good information. Many other women rely on that clinic today.

I can’t get away from ‘controversy,’ either, because I write about women. I write about pregnant people–girls who are too young, women who are plagued by doomsday offspring prophecies. As I’m writing my next book, Heaven’s Most Wanted, the choices they want to make (and the lengths they will go to protect themselves) bleed onto every page.

I can’t help if that’s being ‘controversial’. I never set out to write a book about abortion (because it’s really not a book about abortion. It’s about sisters and healing and hope for the future). But apparently I am writing about abortion, and I can because of what Planned Parenthood has taught me–the importance of self-care and positive, safe relationships.

The thought of losing Planned Parenthood terrifies me. Many women rely on these clinics–I can’t remember a single time over ten years I entered a Planned Parenthood and found it empty of other patients. That’s a lot of people every day, every year, every decade.

My stories would have to change. Without the clinic just across the river, what will that overwhelmed teenager do? (None of the answers to that are pretty). But let’s be honest here–I’m not talking about a fictionalized teenager in a fantasy world. Real people rely on Planned Parenthood. Real people need these kinds of stories.

I stand with Planned Parenthood because people need health care, information, and family planning.

I don’t give a flying fuck if that’s a ‘controversy.’

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