Planned Parenthood and the Infertile

It’s late 2015 and Planned Parenthood is again under attack. The ostensible reason is because of doctored videos about selling fetal parts (they are donated but PP is allowed to recoup costs), but the real reason is because there is a group of people in this country, in 2015, who truly believe that reproductive freedom is a moral travesty.

I do not. I support Planned Parenthood and everything it does, even non-federally funded abortions. I am pro choice. I always have been and always will be.

As an infertile, this may seem odd. How can I support an organization that provides a (legal) service that seems to be at odds with what my husband and tried so long to achieve?

First of all, it’s not my business what someone legally (let’s not forget that key fact) chooses to do with her body. Secondly, it isn’t some moral equation: one less abortion means a baby for an infertile. It’s not like the lack of abortion would result in a glut of adoptable infants. That’s a repugnant thought actually, based on what we know and understand about the complexities of adoption- that the lack of reproductive freedom would somehow enable more couples to adopt. And it isn’t the 50s. Forcing women to have their babies would likely result in their parenting the child, perhaps in less than ideal situations. And darn, where is that social safety net again?

I also support Planned Parenthood because abortion and fertility treatments are facing similar attacks. The same people who want to de-fund Planned Parenthood because of abortion also have serious reservations about IVF and the embryos created. Clumps of cells in both cases. 

Consider this: my beloved, much-wanted child is the result of a transferred 8-cell embryo, the only success after 7 other embryos. It isn’t a stretch to me to see that if abortion is outlawed, IVF could be next, which is a bit ironic since it is a family-building tool. One could argue that in its own way, abortion is also a family-building tool.

The bottom line is that I support Planned Parenthood because no other group appears to care about women’s health. No other group provides necessary medical services, the vast majority of which have nothing to do with abortion. I’m also tired of legislators treating women badly and telling us what to do with our bodies, what they think is best for us. 

Stay out of my uterus. Stay out of my family-building decisions. Give me my reproductive freedom.

I stand with Planned Parenthood.

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10 comments

  1. I disagree that an aborted fetus is just “a clump of cells,” but I agree with your general sentiment here. My body, my family, my business (I would not want my own daughter to have an abortion)… Your body, your family, your business (I could care less if your own daughter has an abortion). But let’s be honest that a 12 week embryo/fetus (I think they become a fetus at 14 weeks?) is far more than a “clump of cells.”

    1. Obviously I was going for a bit of sensationalism there, but I agree. The point I was trying to make was to connect the similarities about how some people feel about PP and abortion and how they feel about IVF and its products. I genuine believe that fights against one will impact the other.

      1. I have the same fears about this fight turning against IVF too. It already has in a few states. That is one reason why I think it’s important to differentiate the two. My frozen embryos are “clumps of cells,” the POTENTIAL for life. Fetuses are alive and FUNCTIONING, just like a leaf on a tree. Take the leaf off the tree, and it dies, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t once alive. I don’t like abortion, but it has a place in our society and no matter what I THINK, I have no idea what I’d do, or encourage my daughter to do, until I was in the actual situation. I am as pro choice as it gets, even though I THINK I’d choose life. But that doesn’t mean I’m choosing to transfer or donate my frozen embryos… Because they aren’t life yet, they are the potential for life… A clump of cells.

        We’re on the same page. 😁

  2. Well said. As an infertile and adoptive mom, this is part of why I’m firmly for women having true access ALL evidence-based women’s health services, including abortion. That, and I believe in women and girls having agency over their own bodies.

  3. Great post. Most of the people who yell about adoption not abortion (in my experience) have made no effort to find out what firstparents or adult adoptees have to say on the subject. It is complex and one is not a solution to the other.

  4. Very well said.

    Abortion should not be a political topic, at all. What other medical procedure is legislated and debated like this? None that I can think of. All debates on others take place within the realm of medical ethics committees.

    What I do with my body – and my embryos – is between me and my doctors. Period.

  5. Yes! I stand with Planned Parenthood as well. It is a wonderful organization, staffed by people who truly care about women’s health and reproductive rights. Contrary to what some people think, abortion providers care very much about women and babies. They are freedom fighters.

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