Why All the Male Hostility Towards Planned Parenthood and Female Reproductive Health?

In light of the all out no-holds-barred attacks on women’s health that we’ve been witnessing lately, I’ve been doing a lot of blogging and posting on Facebook lately about the need for Planned Parenthood and the affordable birth control and gynecological exams that it provides to women who are unable to see a regular doctor. When I was Miss Illinois, reproductive health care was my platform issue.  I put many years of study into the subject, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the subject, and I still feel very strongly about it even though I am no longer reigning.  I still get a lot of fulfillment and purpose from trying to inform and educate my peers on the issue by providing data, my own personal experiences, and alerting them to any new and shocking developments in the media concerning their rights to reproductive health and choices.

Something I’ve been noticing lately since I upped my volume of Facebook postings on the issues of Planned Parenthood and preventative care is the number of my MALE friends who are displaying angry knee-jerk reactions to it. Many of them who are usually pleasant to me any other time have suddenly begun responding with nasty remarks such as “Well maybe women should just be more responsible instead of relying on the government to take care of them” or “I don’t want my tax dollars paying for other people’s abortions” or “We don’t need Planned Parenthood when you can just go see a real doctor” or “You’re making a big deal out of nothing.”  Interestingly, it’s never any of my female friends and acquaintances who make these remarks (probably because they know better from their own personal experiences).  So I have to wonder, why such the hostility towards women’s health issues from men who never have to experience having a Pap smear, using birth control, or having an abortion??  Where do they get off scoffing at an issue that they obviously know nothing about and that has nothing to do with them??  My biggest guess is that this mostly stems from plain old ignorance and an unwillingness to try to understand the day-to-day issues and experiences that only women deal with.  These guys do not have to see a doctor for routine penis/testicle exams every year, use hormonal medication to prevent pregnancy every single day, or worry about getting pregnant.  Therefore, they live in a world of blissful ignorance that allows them to ignore and scoff at the health issues that we women must deal with on a daily basis and does not demand that they step out of their own shoes and try to understand something that is outside of their realm.

Before I had the luxury of having a job that provided me with full health insurance coverage, I went through many years uninsured and unable to afford to see my regular gynecologist.  I was working my way through college and earning very little money.  In order receive the BASIC health care that I needed as a woman, my only option was to turn to Planned Parenthood.  They provided me with the simple yearly pelvic and breast exams and my monthly supplies of birth control at a very affordable cost.  When I discovered my first ovarian cyst at age 22, Planned Parenthood performed the necessary ultrasound to locate the cyst and provided me with hormonal medication to dissolve it.  Had I not been able to utilize these vital services at Planned Parenthood, I would have had to suffer in pain from those cysts and let them grow bigger.  And yes, when I had a slip-up like countless other women have had and unexpectedly became pregnant, I went to another Planned Parenthood clinic to obtain an abortion (that I paid for in cash with MY OWN money, NOT anyone else’s tax dollars!).  I, like millions of other young women, was just a normal, hard-working, up-and-coming woman with little or no health insurance who didn’t have the big bucks to spend to see a regular gynecologist for my basic health upkeep.  In what way does that make me a “hooker”, a “slut”, “irresponsible”, “lazy”, or a “drain on our system”??  Thank God I am no longer in that situation of being underemployed and uninsured and that I now have the privilege of accessing good medical care.  But every other female who is in the position that I once was in deserves the same affordable care that I received when I went to Planned Parenthood, and THAT is why I have been so vocal about the attacks on Planned Parenthood as of recent.  And I get extremely insulted and disgusted when I hear MEN scoffing at this!!

I have a burning question that just entered into my mind:  These men scoff at our need for affordable access to birth control.  Yet many of these guys have girlfriends (or a string of one-night-stands) that they have sex with regularly.  And their first question to the girl is usually “Are you on birth control?”  because many of them do not want to become a father before they are good and ready.  Soooo….WHERE DO THEY THINK OUR BIRTH CONTROL COMES FROM?!?  Don’t shoot down the source that provides your ladies with the birth control that keeps you from becoming daddies over and over again, fellas!  Oh and another thing…to all you men who bitch and moan about how you don’t want YOUR tax dollars paying for OUR abortions (which they don’t), well WE don’t want OUR tax dollars paying for YOUR Viagra, Cialis, and penis pumps!!  But none of us get to pick and choose what our tax dollars do and don’t pay for.  So buck up and get over it already.

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  • crowepps

    And their first question to the girl is usually “Are you on birth control?”  because many of them do not want to become a father before they are good and ready.  Soooo….WHERE DO THEY THINK OUR BIRTH CONTROL COMES FROM?!? 

    That’s a good first question.  I hope the second question is, “Even though you’re on birth contorl, I also always use a condom to safeguard us both against STDs, and I hope you’re okay with that?”

  • princess-jourdan

    You’re right crowepps. But the point I was trying to hit home on is the fact that men expect us to be on birth control so that they can have sex with us with no worries about knocking us up and yet then they bitch and moan that we are “depending on the government” when we get our birth control from Planned Parenthood. Well what do they want us to do?! Do they actually expect every one of us to get our birth control from a doctor and nowhere else?? Because not every woman has that luxury anymore.

  • freetobe

    to grow up and please a man or eventually a husband and to understand how wonderful and important they can be but when it comes to boys i don’t know if anyone mother or father is teaching these boys about women! i don’t think they are and i see that as a problem.

    Also i think if we women are going to lose our contraceptive rights that means the men must as well. no more viagra,cialis,penis pumps, no more hookers or pornography, no more sex. And women should just stay single I mean who wants to be married with no birth control?

    We need to start getting our own amendments against male freedoms on this issue maybe they would get it then. Of course there is always lysistrata

    (did I spell that right?)  BOYCOTT SEX ! that ‘ll fix them!

  • princess-jourdan

    Genius, freetobe!!! If men don’t want us to have access to birth control or basic reproductive health care to keep us healthy, then NO SEX FOR THEM!!! If you want to have any fun boys, then you better allow us to take care of our bodies!! You can’t have it both ways! Seriously, we should mobilize all of the women in this country to stage a sex strike to get our point across that we need these health services!!

  • beenthere72

    Just sent you a friend request on Facebook.  ;-)


    Don’t men realize that they wouldn’t be getting laid so much if we didn’t have birth control?   Or are all these men that are bitching and moaning really complaining because they’re NOT getting laid.  Ha! 

  • princess-jourdan

    That was you? Sorry, I denied the request because I had no idea who it was.

    You’re absolutely right, don’ten realize that we will be far less likely to have sex with them if we have no options to protect ourselves from pregnancy or disease? Maybe that’s why they try so hard to make rape impossible to prosecute! Many of these guys have girlfriends and already have kids. Do they want their girlfriends to keep having MORE kids or something?? I just don’t get it at all.

  • arekushieru

    I can’t send you a message on FB, so I hope this clears up any confusion.  A friend request from Carla Clark = me.  I hope you accept!

    Yeah, the above subject line says it all.  They must think that having more children is something every woman wants, which makes it a wonder, then, that they’ve been able to find women willing to have a casual affair with them or that they think they even come CLOSE to understanding the average woman.

  • brucechris

    There seems to be one fact that everyone knows, but no one ever talks about.  There are many means that a woman can use for birth control, but essentially only one, for men.  I would like to see more methods of birth control available for men.


  • sash

    Having worked for Planned Parenthood I’d like to ask you to re-consider your framing of getting “good medical care” in contrast to your care at Planned Parenthood.

    I doubt you intended it to seem that Planned Parenthood’s care is “less than”, but that is how a lot of the defenses of PP read to me, including yours: that Planned Parenthood is an involuntary choice because someone can’t afford “good medical care” elsewhere. Planned Parenthood employs highly qualified OB/GYNs and Nurse Practitioners- “real” doctors and nurses.

    It is true that many people use Planned Parenthood because it is the least expensive way to get the care they need or a PP clinic is the only clinic offering the services they need.  Regardless of why a patient comes through our doors she/he can count on high quality medical care provided in a supportive, non-judgmental environment.

    As an aside, many women with excellent health insurance use PP because they like the quality of care they receive and many PP’s accept health insurance along with treating people with no or insufficient insurance.