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Pro-life advocates expressed outrage last week at reports that Planned Parenthood of Indiana would be offering gift certificates for health care this holiday season. Then, pro-choice advocates expressed outrage at the outrage. From Ann at Feministing:
Conservatives are freaking out because Planned Parenthood in Indiana is offering gift certificates. Granted, a pap smear is not the most exciting Christmas gift I can think of, but it sure is practical. Oh, wait—-you mean they’re claiming these are going to be used for abortions? As if that’s all Planned Parenthood does? I’m shocked.
This is a common response to pro-life folks who protest outside women’s health centers, shaming all who enter—-hey, not everybody here is getting an abortion. It is tempting to try to explain this to the dude trailing you on your way into the clinic, shaking rosaries in one hand and ultrasounds in the other: I’m going to Planned Parenthood for convenient and affordable lady part care, not to abort no fetus! At the same time, this argument can be destructive to those women who are going to Planned Parenthood to have abortions.
Sure, Planned Parenthood offers a lot of great services—-many of which pro-lifers don’t like either, like contraception access. But shrugging off anti-abortion advocates by saying you’re only using the clinic—-and the gift certificate that funds it—-for yearly check-ups implies that those who do use it for abortion are legitimate targets for attack.
I say, use the gift certificate for abortion. Those things are really expensive! And while I’d advise against friends, family members, and significant others encouraging a woman to terminate her pregnancy through Christmas gifting, if a woman is holding out on having an abortion for financial reasons, by all means, give her the gift of abortion. She deserves it this year.
But don’t check your unwanted pregnancy off your shopping list just yet. While a Planned Parenthood rep said that several of its outposts around the country offer up the gift idea, Planned Parenthood’s downtown D.C. clinic—-the Schumacher Center, at 1108 16th St. NW—-isn’t one of them.