I remember that before the jokes on Romney wanting to kill Big Bird, Romney wanting to kill Planned Parenthood.
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY. No surprises there. What's less known is I grew up in a house full of women - my mother, my sister, 2 aunts and my grandmother. Two males in the household, my cousin and me. Despite the age difference (5 years) my cousin was not someone to whom I could turn for any information regarding that deeply taboo thing - sex. Even sexual health. And I certainly was not comfortable talking about sex with any of the women. I doubt they had any comfort level themselves. I learned some of the early things I know about reproduction and contraception from a place called, IIRC, "The Blue Door"> They provided information on reproduction, contraception, and safety in sex at little to no cost for anyone who walked in the door. In fact, if memory serves, I got my first condoms from them.
And they were backed by, funded by, supported by Planned Parenthood.
Now, I have 2 daughters (and 4 more who say they think of me as "Dad"). I also have a granddaughter and a niece. And since my teen-age years I've worked on developing a comfort level in talking about sexual health with any of them (who might dare ask). But, should any of them be fearful, uncertain, even embarrassed about asking ANY of their parent for information or advice on reproductive health (even just to MAKE babies), and cannot afford a doctor, there's Planned Parenthood.
I also remember this - quoting Gov. Mitt Romney: "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that."
So, seeking to educate myself because that's the best kind of voter, I went out and looked at Planned Parenthood. Per reports (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/what-planned-parenthood-actually-does/2011/04/06/AFhBPa2C_blog.html
) 97% of funding goes for things like testing and treatment of STDs, contraceptive services (you know, so pregnancies that might need to be aborted don't happen in the first place?), and ... oh say ... cancer screening and prevention. And then something of which I don't think I was aware: programs for MEN's sexual health (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/men-4285.htm
). Guys. Males. Men.
Forests and trees. So much focus has been on Planned Parenthood's abortion services, hence the focus is on women, we don't tink about whether Planned Parenthood can do anything like check-ups for men's reproductive health problems, colon cancer screening, male infertility, testicular cancer and even vasectomies.
Man stuff where man things happen. "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." I have a nephew and a grandson.
Barack Obama supports Planned Parenthood and their services, especially women's services where the focus has been. But men can and do benefit from Planned Parenthood in significant, life saving ways. President Obama is backing THAT as well, when he backs Planned Parenthood. With many children, our children, my children and family, looking at the possibility of needing low cost health information, I'd say we need Planned Parenthood. But you know, "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that."
For the future, our children's future, I cannot support that concept. I'm voting for the guy that's supporting a vital community service, because we shouldnt' get rid of Planned Parenthood.
I support President Barack Obama.