Friday, January 16, 2009

Throwing the baby out with the bath water

Planned Parenthood Billboard Pictures, Images and Photos

A few days ago, I read an article in our local paper about the ongoing efforts of a state representative to halt funding for Indiana's Planned Parenthood sites.

To give you a little background, late last year, a videotape surfaced in which a 20-year-old woman was posing as a 13-year-old girl. (I'm not sure who this woman was working for.) When she told PP workers that she was pregnant, and her boyfriend was 18 (or something like that--a legal adult, at any rate), the workers said that they didn't want to talk about that. Apparently, if workers find out that there is the possibility of abuse or statutory rape, they must report it to authorities. These workers ignored the information.

Obviously, they were wrong to do so. But this representative, Jackie Walorski, took steps to start an investigation, and in the meantime, asked the state to stop funds to all of our state Planned Parenthood offices. That bothered me enough at the time, but when I read the latest article, I decided to write to her.

The two workers in question no longer work for Planned Parenthood. However, Walorski is still attempting to stop funding, and according to the article I read, was asking for contributions on her website to continue her efforts. From what I understood, that's not really illegal, but there was something to do with the timeframe of when she was asking for donations--it all seemed horribly convoluted, and to me, it's all beside the point! When I read that she was still pursuing a cut-off of funds, that was it. I wrote to her.

Dear Representative Walorski,

As a woman, one of my concerns is that all women have access to information about women's health issues, and access to birth control. I have been reading with interest the saga of Planned Parenthood and your efforts to cut off their funding because of the recent videos that surfaced and raised concerns about the mandatory reporting of child abuse.

I do not dispute that Planned Parenthood must adhere strictly to those guidelines in order to protect children. However, the employees responsible are no longer working for the organization, and while enforcing the law is an admirable goal, your desire to cut off their funding is shortsighted and not conducive to women's health.

Do whatever needs to be done to enforce the mandatory reporting rule, but I strongly urge you to stop your efforts to cut off their funding. Planned Parenthood helps millions of women gain access to health screenings and birth control that they would never be able to afford otherwise. As a microbiologist, I saw first-hand the rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and Planned Parenthood works hard to try to educate and assist women in the prevention of these diseases.

Cutting off their funding because of this incident is akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face. This is a worthwhile organization, and I urge you to desist in your attempts to stop their funding.

Thank you for your time.


I know that not everyone is a fan of Planned Parenthood, and you're entitled to your opinion. If you feel the need to comment here with your opposition to the organization, I won't stop you (unless you get nasty with me), but I also won't be drawn into a debate about it. I believe they do important work in helping women (and men--PP is not restricted to women only) get health screenings that they might never get otherwise, screenings that can sometimes save lives. They provide birth control to men and women of all ages, preventing unplanned pregnancies. They assist local and state health departments in the tracking and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, some of which can be passed congenitally to fetuses. They help with prenatal care for those young women who are pregnant.

For quite a few years, during college and after my divorce, I went to Planned Parenthood, and was grateful for their services and was happy to support them. As a young woman, I was in a position where I could pay for their services, and I felt that my payments went towards helping others who were unable to afford care.

No, I believe Walorski is wrong to attempt to stop funding to Planned Parenthood. She hasn't been successful so far, and I don't believe she will be. She promises to respond to all letters, but I've heard nothing yet. Possible abuse absolutely must be reported in order to protect children. PP has said that the laws and their policies are clear, they have fired the employees in question, and they are retraining their workers in the regulations. Walorski's attempt to cut off funding is nothing more than political posturing, and she is ignoring the health care needs of thousands of Indiana residents, especially women. Shame on her!


A final word today, this one about the "Miracle on the Hudson." In such rough times, how great is it to see these true professionals, including Captain Sullenberger, bring their passengers to safety under some very dire circumstances? The last person out was the Captain, after walking the plane and making sure that all his passengers were safely out. And how wonderful was it to see the Coast Guard and ferry workers speed to the scene and rescue each and every passenger? I guess there's something to be said for being a part of the "liberal elite" that lives in New York City. Apparently it confers some sort of bravery gene. A standing ovation for every single person involved in this rescue. Amazing, heartening, and very, very inspiring. Let's hear it for the good ones. Huzzah!


  1. When I was a young woman, PP was a lifesaver for birth control when I could not afford it.

  2. I don't know much about PP to be honest but from what you've said it seems they do a valuable service to the community. I think your letter was excellent.

  3. Miss G was invented to romp and stomp around in high heels, high hair, and fake boobs to raise awareness for and funds to fight a horrible disease that was ruining lives. And, while I don't know the numbers, I'm pretty sure unexpected pregnancies, coat hanger abortions, and venereal diseases (remember when they calle them that?) have ruined even more lives. I'm a strong supporter, Nutwood Beth, and I'm proud to see someone I call a friend stand up for what she believes!

  4. Unwanted babies, especially in this time of financial turmoil, is a tragedy. Also, making sure that those that are expecting, stay healthy and deliver healthy, is also worthy. So, Walorski, leave PP alone, and go focus on something that will help people, versus make thing worse.

  5. When I first went on disability, I went to PP for my birth control and services. My daughter took her friend out of school on her own for the morning after pill, because her friend had confided in her she had unprotected sex. You can bet I was proud of my daughter for knowing enough to be preventive, to help her friend out. Because of PP being there an unwanted pregnancy might of been avoided. Not to mention the lecture the girl recieved on protecting herself.

    There are enough children out there already that are starving for attention and love. To bring one more child into that, seems unrealistic. I agree with Ken in these times of financial stress, how many women won't be able to afford basic services to protect themselves.

    To continue this is foolhardy now. There is far more at stake than proving a point. Especially since the women in question no longer work there. I'm proud of you for standing up for something that needed to be said. (Hugs)Indigo

  6. Standing Ovation from me!
    I hope you get a response to your letter.

    :) Leigh

  7. I agree, that's a great letter. I've never been involved in any relationship that "got in trouble" but, well, let's put it this way, I think nobody wants to see unwanted pregnancies and abortions...we really are on the same team (I believe). and thanks Beth for your encouragement with my blog, I'm a fairly timid sort, that's probably pretty clear.

  8. Hi Beth,
    I was just about to comment that -- sheesh -- they're throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and then I realized that this is exactly the title of your post. Walorski would only succeed in punishing countless people for the mistakes of a few.

  9. Good job Beth. I'm with you all the way on this issue.
    Hugs, Joyce

  10. As a nurse I see a lot of under age (18) women/girls coming in the hospital to deliver. These girls/women have changed their lives forever, and not for the better. If they are going to be sexually active they need the information on how their body works, prevention and should consider giving up for adoption. Babies are sweet and cute, but when the get to be a toddler their moms are thinking about being a kid themselves. Children are a lot of work and at that time the baby gets neglected and the child care falls to the grandmother. People out there should realize that teaching about ABSTINANCE ONLY does not work. They need information on PREVENTION AND THEIR SAFETY. There other womans health clinics out there that they can get information and help with contraception. I personally do not believe in abortion as a means of birth control but I do believe in contraception.

  11. Your letter is well reasoned. I agree with you regarding the positive role that Planned Parenthood can play in many lives. I hope that Indiana has a huge number of folks that think as you do and that this stifling attempt to stop Planned Parenthood is stopped. :)

    I'm not sure however that the Coast Guard and the ferry workers that helped in the recovery and rescue of the passengers are the best example of the "liberal elite." I could be wrong.

  12. You got a standing "O" from me regarding PP.

    Hugs, Rose

  13. I am a current employee for PP of Indiana. Reading your blog and the comments of others lifted my spirits. It's especially uplifting to hear of the men and women we have helped receive basic health care and birth control. We are not the evil we are often presented to be, and I cannot tell you how happy it made me to read about those that have used our services or see the endless need for our services. I wish we received just one of these comments for every hateful e-mail we receive. Thank you all for sharing your stories, and thank you author for not only seeing the importance of PP of Indiana, but for writing your representative. A true patriot acts.

  14. I'm a big fan of PP....lovely entry. I am amazed at the outcome of the plane crash on the Hudson....amazed and so GLAD for all of those survivors! XO

  15. as a young uninsured woman, pp was my healthcare provider.

    i have problems with people lying to catch other people breaking the 'rules'.

    i hope someone in power listens to what you have to say beth. you are spot on.

  16. My boss just brought her 16 year old daughter to the Dr to get Depoprovera because this girl can't or won't take pills. She went on and on about "how embarassing it was for the Dr. to see my butt" etc.. and won't talk to her Mom about sex, ohhh giggle giggle blush, but here she is contemplating having sexual relations with a boy! Kids.. at least she was mature enough to tell her Mom she needed birth control. Thank God for places like Planned Parenthood!


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