As the election creeps closer and closer, the political ads are even more prominent. Something about the election is featured in every news broadcast. Every commercial break holds at least one political ad. It saddens me to see the turn that these ads have taken. With all the issues that face this nation right now, much of the political agenda has been focused on a women’s choice lately. And the problem is not one sided. The Obama campaign is pouring money into ads with women stating how frightened they are by their rights being threatened because of Romney’s previous “support” of ending Planned Parenthood and fighting abortion. On the opposite end, Romney’s campaign has denied many of these claims and does not clearly state his position at all. The reason these ads sadden me so is that it has taken a touchy issue, twisted it, and made it the face of the campaign. While we are facing economic troubles, healthcare debates, international tensions, and more, we are arguing over whether women’s rights are at jeopardy. While everyone will have their own opinion, I would like to state mine. Are the rights of women being jeopardized by the threat of a Republican candidate opposing Planned Parenthood and abortion? No.
Planned Parenthood’s website offers information on the services they provide. Abortion, birth control, the morning after pill, STDs, and women’s health are among the services listed on the main webpage. So let’s think about what Planned Parenthood truly has to offer. Abortion is the top service listed. When you click on their link for information, the website tells you that 1 in 3 women in the United State will have an abortion before the age of 45. Now, in all these political ads, the focus seems to be on how terrible ending abortion would be because of victims of rape who become pregnant. Rape or any sexual assault is terrible. Never ever ever would I defend that. The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network estimates that in one year (using 2004-2005 as their study year) .o5% of rape resulted in pregnancy. Looking at those statistics, I think it is clear that rape is certainly not the leading reason for 1 in 3 women in America having an abortion. Most women are having an abortion because they are having unprotected relationships when they are not ready for the actual consequences. Instead of teaching women to respect their bodies and to wait for a real relationship, Planned Parenthood spends 33.5% of its funding on contraceptive services. Not surprisingly, another 38% of their funding is spent on STD testing and treating. So over 70% of the funding goes towards preventing pregnancy, and another 3% of funds are strictly for abortions. 73%. That’s a huge majority. What makes this more upsetting is the fact that 46% of the funding Planned Parenthood receives is from the US Government. (All of the above Planned Parenthood information is taken from Planned Parenthood’s most recent annual report found on their website)
Planned Parenthood also lists services such as women’s general health including preventative health care. Many people are latching onto this as a reason to continue Planned Parenthood. Well, according to the new healthcare reform, every American must have insurance. And every insurance provider is required to provide women with preventative healthcare without charge. So why is Planned Parenthood necessary for this? Is it really necessary to spend that money on services we now have required elsewhere?
So with all these questions in mind and with all of the information above, do I believe that my rights as a woman are at risk because of the possible statement that Planned Parenthood is unnecessary? Absolutely not. If anything is at risk, it is the right to religious freedom which is being threatened by the HHS mandate. The right to stand up and say, I do not believe that and will NOT support and pay for something that goes against my beliefs. If someone’s rights are being threatened, perhaps it is the rights of the unborn children who are being lost to abortion. These rights truly are at risk and truly are being threatened.
Many people will fight for the “Right of Choice” when talking about abortion. It seems to me that this is not the argument at all. If these people would only listen to the Lord who tells us that He knows us in the womb, from the moment of conception, they will see that this is not a matter of choice at all. It is ending a life, plain and simple. Women do have a choice. They can choose to have sex. They can choose to go for routine checkups or to avoid the doctor. They can choose to take care of their bodies in whatever way they feel is appropriate. But no woman, no person at all for that matter, has the right to make a choice that will end the life of another innocent person.
The political ads are telling me that I should be frightened of the times ahead as a woman because of the threat to our choice. They are asking me what choices I will be left with as a women. While it is not what the ad intended, I would say that I do agree with one small point. Rights of Americans are being jeopardized and that is a frightening thing. Too many people don’t get a choice at all. Instead of fighting for the right for a woman, or for anyone, to make a choice that ends the life of another person, I believe we need to be more interested in the choices of those who are unable to voice their own desire to live. I believe that we need to protect one very important right for ALL Americans. And that is the right to life for everyone.