|Action||Regulations for Licensure of Abortion Facilities|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/29/2013|
I think the TRAP legislation is a bad idea. See, for every one abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood do, they prevent many dozens to hundreds more by handing out birth control, educating women and helping provide medical care, especially when ladies are broke or between insurance companies. Just because a facility performs abortions, doesn't mean they like doing so. If Planned Parenthood could make it so that no pregnancy was ever unplanned again and abortions only ever happened in the rare case of unsurvivable birth defects or the health of the mother, you can bet they would. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion at all, it's just in favor of keeping the worst possible solution to a preventable problem available, safe and legal while working hard to make it eventually obsolete. They want abortion gone as much as the pro-life crowd does, they just disagree on how to go about that, and frankly, the pro-choice side is fairer to women and, from the contraception angle, fairer to children as well. No kid should get stuck with broke, unprepared parents who can't afford to feed and shelter them without help from society.
I first visited Planned Parenthood back when I was a teenage girl with no desire to sleep with boys, but a serious cramps-and-PMS problem, and the skills they taught me have helped keep me healthy and avoid unplanned pregnancy for over ten years. I learned how to do breast self-exams there, why and how often to get complete physicals, and how to plan a healthy diet. When I was a college student, they were cheaper than Student Health and had better prices on birth control. When my first 'real job' came with crummy starter insurance that didn't cover gynecology, I was able to go see them and get excellent care that I could afford out-of-pocket, even on a really low starting salary.
I met my now-husband when I was nineteen and a college student, and thanks to our friends at the Planned Parenthood, we were able to get free couples' counseling long before we married, just to be sure that we had good conflict-resolution and coping skills, as well as mere-formality STD screenings and contraception advice to be sure that we wouldn't have a child until we were ready and able to provide the best possible home for the little one. We've been together for nearly eight years, nearly four of those married, and since a job change has us between insurance companies for a few more weeks, the odds are pretty good that the appointment to remove our current form of birth control (the hormonal IUD, incidentally,) get a full gynecological checkup, good prenatal vitamins and medical advice before we start trying for our first child will take place at Planned Parenthood.
The fact that we are doing as well as we are, and only as responsible, financially stable adults choosing to try for a child is directly attributable to the same kind of facilities that this legislation is targeting and which this legislation's proponents openly hope will drive such facilities out of business. When I compare what birth control has cost me since I was sixteen to now, compared to what it would have cost had I not had Planned Parenthood to rely on when I was young and broke, I can't thank them enough. (The difference between market rate and what the Pill, for example, costs on their sliding-scale over ten years is enough to cover a year of community-college or the down payment on a modest FHA-financed home.) And while I don't expect my husband and I to ever need Planned Parenthood's abortion department, I feel a little safer knowing it's there, just in case we should conceive a child with problems incompatible with a healthy and comfortable life or develop complications that could kill me. And in the event that should happen, God forbid, I know the counselors there will know other girls who chose the adoption route and be able to refer us to an organization or agency where we can adopt instead. Their belief in choice extends to all choices, after all, and I trust these good doctors, nurses and counselors as much as I feel the legislature should trust women.
Don't pass TRAP. It's a transparent attempt to shut down clinics that, yes, perform abortions, but who also prevent them and on whom many women, myself included, have relied for years, not only to help us avoid having children we can't afford to care for and bring up well, but to help us conceive them and have healthy pregnancies when the time comes.