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I Might as Well Contribute to the Politicization of Mother’s Day – Planned Parenthood and Abortion

May 11, 2008

The blogosphere (certain portions of it) has been all atwitter this week about Planned Parenthood’s Mother’s Day fundraising campaign, in which the organization asks that you “make your gift in honor of someone you love for Mother’s Day.”

A representative of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign stated, “The irony of Planned Parenthood asking for Mother’s Day donations in honor of mothers and daughters hardly needs pointing out.” I suppose if you assume that the women who have abortions are not mothers, will never be mothers, then you might not need the irony pointed out. Some do seem to assume this, as a local blogger called Planned Parenthood “the organization that turns would-be mothers into non-mothers.”

In fact, the CDC reports that in 2004, of the women who had legal induced abortions, “40% were known to have had no previous live births, and 32% had two or more previous live births. The abortion ratio was highest for women who had three previous live births and lowest for those who had one previous live birth.”

In other words, 60% of women who have abortions are already mothers, and women with more children have a higher rate of abortion than those with fewer children. Aside from which, Planned Parenthood offers other reproductive health services that women (including mothers) may very well need throughout their lives. A woman may choose not to carry a particular pregnancy to term, but that does not mean that none of these women are mothers. Say what you want about the “appropriateness” of a Planned Parenthood Mother’s Day fundraising drive, but vanishing 60% of the women who have abortions just because they don’t fit a stereotype or useful narrative simply isn’t truthful.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. It’s all your fault/to your credit that I mouth off when I should have the “decency” to keep quiet (but we can totally blame Dad if you prefer).

Update: The Archcrone is talking about a Mother’s Day “funeral for unborn babies” organized by a church in Knoxville, TN and their comparison of women seeking abortion to 9/11 terrorists (with links to related commentary).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. bridgett permalink
    May 11, 2008 7:04 pm

    More than that, at least in my city, they provide the bulk of inner-city prenatal care at their clinic. Planned Parenthood prenatal services are low-cost or no-cost, providing nutritional and behavioral advice and support, medical care, and emotional support for mothers and fathers who otherwise would have no intervention. They also do perinatal care until they can help transition parents and the new baby to the Free Clinic.

  2. May 11, 2008 7:14 pm

    Echoing what Bridgett says, it’s not ironic at all when one realizes that abortion care is only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. They also do prenatal care and pregnancy care–you know, the “parenthood” part of the name. The anti-choice lobby thrives on ignorance, so their campaign is predictable, and will probably earn them lots of money. Thanks for letting me know about this, I will make my PP donation today.

  3. katbur permalink
    May 11, 2008 7:15 pm

    I love your site, I’m adding you to my resources site for my readers. Kate

  4. May 11, 2008 7:49 pm

    Bridgett and Southern Beale, exactly, and thank you for expounding on this.

  5. May 12, 2008 7:41 am

    The PP in the town that I live in doesn’t even do abortions yet there is always a group outside the clinic carrying signs with anti-choice slogans on them. I find the anti-choice mindset irritating anyway but even more than usual in this case. I always wonder what they’re trying to accomplish. It seems like all they might be doing is prevent women having access to birth control and medical care. It’s like they see the words “Planned Parenthood” and react without even thinking.

  6. riv permalink
    May 14, 2008 2:45 pm

    And then there are the mothers who wished they’d been able to have an abortion. I would bet that number would be much higher than the others, particularly in religious women (yes, they too often wished for abortion choice) and older and rural living women who didn’t have access.


  1. Abortion as a Terrorist Attack: Welcome to the Mother’s Day Parade « The Crone Speaks

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