Boots on the Ground: Defending Planned Parenthood

Rachel Fagen

Anti-choicers are attacking PPFA--and indeed all women--because they believe a simple line in the face of a complex reality. We boots on the ground in response. And if it's just one Day of Action, we're missing the point.

Anti-choice believers co-opting the language of feminist work is nothing new. But today’s noontime anti-choice protest of Planned Parenthoods across the country, orchestrated by David Bereit and 40 Days for Life, takes it to a whole new level.

Live Action and 40DFL have spent the last few weeks whipping their mailing lists into a froth over a topic that anti-cthoicers barely registered until this campaign — sex trafficking of girls. Do they want to make sure trafficked women are cared for, that have legal options and full human rights, that they have access to safe health care provided by organizations with decades of experience on the front lines of victims’ advocacy?

Not quite. 40DFL is instead urging its followers to protest Planned Parenthood for daring to give clear, complete, legally-accurate advice without judgment, and follow legal reporting procedures with sting videographers from Live Action.

This is not the time to cast judgment on most of the anti-choice followers who will show up to scream at Planned Parenthood today. It is time instead to understand that they believe the simple line in the face of a complex reality. Feminist writers, advocates, activists, and organizations like Planned Parenthood have spent decades working day to day with the not-so-simple realities of women’s lives. We know the world is not fair or just; that the judicial bypass law and parental notification law were not written to be safe for girls; that families aren’t always in communication; that sometimes safety is hard to come by.

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It’s time to put boots to the ground in defense of Planned Parenthood’s safe, compassionate, complete sexual health care, education, and advocacy for men, women, and families across our country. Call, email, and write to representatives every single time you burn with outrage. (For me, that’s daily. YES, every day.) Visit your local reps. Talk to your family. Come out as pro-choice. Because pro-choice IS pro-life.

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