Growing up in rural Texas, Gloria Feldt became pregnant at age 15 in the 1950s. The birth control pill did not exist and abortion was illegal; it was a time when a wife needed her husband’s signature to open a bank account and job listings said “Wanted: Male” and “Wanted: Female.” So, she married the guy who got her pregnant and by age 20, they had three kids together. Although she loved her family, Gloria felt she had very little ability to make choices for her own life. She began working at a small Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas (and can remember a time when the birth control pill was so new that men were afraid of it and would flush their wives’ pills down the toilet!). Eventually, the kids were grown and the marriage dissolved, but Gloria rose through the ranks of Planned Parenthood, eventually becoming the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She served PPFA from 1996 to 2005, testifying before Congress and even appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” (and coming out alive). Keep reading »
Marie Stopes International, a women’s reproductive health care organization in Britain that is similar to America’s Planned Parenthood, ran a commercial on British TV on Monday night that had everyone aflutter. What, pray tell, was the problem? Could it be shocking imagery, like the images of bloody, aborted fetuses which can regularly be seen in public on sidewalks, on college campuses, and outside abortion clinics?
In fact, the commercial shows a couple of melancholy-looking women as the words “Are you late?” flash on screen and a voice-over says, “If you’re pregnant and not sure what to do, Marie Stopes International can help.” Very radical and crazy stuff, I know.
Do you think Marie Stopes International’s ad is more or less effective than an anti-abortion ad like the ones starring Tim Tebow and his mom, Pam Tebow, for the conservative group Focus On The Family, which ran during the 2009 Super Bowl? [Guardian UK] Keep reading »
After using clandestine tactics to investigate Planned Parenthood, Lila Rose, 20, has become known as an anti-abortion crusader. She staged her own sting at the clinics to prove her claim that the organization routinely covers up sexual abuse. She says Planned Parenthood counselors don’t report statutory rapes, as the law requires, and often encourage the girls to lie about their age or the identity of their partner. “Planned Parenthood is looking at these young girls as a plumbing problem: ‘We’ll get you that abortion and send you on your way,’” Rose told Reuters in an interview. “And that’s disrespecting two human lives. It’s destroying her pre-born child and sending her back to an abuser.” She has posted her secretly recorded videos on the website for her non-profit group, LiveAction.org, which she started at age 15. Keep reading »
This week, Planned Parenthood’s mailing list included an email from Judy Blume. Here’s a snippet:
If you are the daughter whose mom had the guts to give you the answers to questions you couldn’t quite figure out how to ask… If you know a mother who is struggling to raise strong, independent, and confident children in the face of unbelievable odds… Say thanks. Say thanks this Mother’s Day with a gift that honors her courage by making a donation to Planned Parenthood in her name.
Turns out, that call for donations to Planned Parenthood has angered anti-choicers because, in addition to providing general health care for women, some Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortion procedures and administer the morning after pill. PP representative Cecile Richards says that since writing the letter, Blume has been inundated with nasty phone calls, emails, and letters. Keep reading »
Up-and-coming designers doing collaborations with Target is becoming too predictable a path to success. Instead, an alternate way to gain name recognition and visibility is to design a line of condoms. Yes, that’s right, designer condoms. Marc Jacobs designed a rubber wrapper on his own, and then last September, Planned Parenthood released a Yigal Azrouël-designed condom wrapper for its Proper Attire line. The Planned Parenthood/designer collaboration is continuing this season with Alexander Wang‘s simple black and white package ($5.99 for 3), which just happen to match his Fall 2009 collection that came down the runway on Feb. 14. Come September, what hot designer will Planned Parenthood get to do a Proper Attire condom wrapper? We’re betting on Phillip Lim. [via Refinery29] Keep reading »
Not sure what to get one of your best girlfriends or a female in your family for a gift this holiday season? How about a gift certificate to Planned Parenthood in Indiana or Illinois, which can be redeemed for any of their women’s health services, including pap smears, birth control, STD tests, and, yes, abortions. The gift certificates can be bought in $25 increments and really would be a great gift for a woman who doesn’t have health insurance, as PP’s services are generally very affordable. Of course, it should have been expected that the religious right would go all koo-koo crazy about PP’s latest offering and when we linked to a College Candy story about this topic in yesterday’s Quickies, we didn’t understand how much larger the issue was. Keep reading »
On October 16, 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the nation’s first family planning clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Women waited on line to get information on birth control. Nine days later Sanger was arrested for violating the Comstock obscenity laws, which made it illegal to send any contraceptive devices and birth control information through the mail and banned the distribution of information on abortion for educational purposes. Unfortunately, the clinic was closed, but that didn’t stop the birth control movement. She later opened clinics, known as “Mothers’ Health Centers,” in Manhattan and the Bronx, which later became branches of Planned Parenthood of New York City. The American Medical Association didn’t recognize birth control as an essential health service until 1937, but Sanger had championed the benefits for two decades prior. [Planned Parenthood] Keep reading »
Teenage pregnancy is trendier than metrosexual manscaping. From celebs like Jamie Lynn Spears to preggers Bristol Palin, the 17-year-old daughter of the Republican VP hopeful, baby bumps on babies are popping up in the most conspicuous places. In the current climate where children are exposed to sexuality through pop culture, Planned Parenthood is more needed than ever. Yet despite their efforts, they’ve come under fire from conservative groups for their recent campaign, Take Care Down There. We posted some love for these cheeky PSA’s back in April when the site launched, but after a cross-country summer tour, the safe-sex advocates have been getting crap for their sense of humor. Planned Parenthood has said they are trying to appeal to their young audience through relatable slang and situations without confusing their messages with fear mongering and scientific lingo. However, conservative groups are claiming Planned Parenthood isn’t taking the situation seriously by supporting safe-sex and masturbation via comedy sketches that the abstinence-only supported find hokey. But petty arguments aside, with one in four teenage girls already infected with an STD and teen pregnancy on the rise for the first time in almost 15 years, something has got to be done…besides all those teenagers. [ABC News]
Keep reading »