I’m Standing With Planned Parenthood Because I’m Angry About the Sexism of the Anti-Choice Movement

By Laura Jensen
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Pro-life? Your name’s a lie! You don’t care if women die!

We chanted this over and over again while counter-protesting the anti-choice “#WomenBetrayed” rally on Capitol Hill. I wasn’t sure why, but tears started to form in my eyes, and I felt a kind of frustration deep in my stomach that I previously didn’t know existed.

I was angry.

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I was angry at the aggressive, anti-choice student who shoved cameras into my personal space as a way to intimidate me and keep me silent. I was angry at the protestors who dragged their children through the D.C. heat in the middle of the day to yell and scream about a clearly falsified video. I was angry at the people who claimed to be pro-life, when they were really anti-woman.

Nowhere was this misogyny clearer than in the sexist ways we were treated by the anti-choice protestors. Most telling was one woman who sneered at the interns, telling our bosses to “stop manipulating these girls.” Girls. That word stuck in my head. I was taken aback. We were not a group of girls. We were an organized protest of young, fearless, strong women; women who have the ability to make ethical, informed decisions about our bodies and lives; women who have taken it upon ourselves to make sure people across the country can have access to quality, affordable healthcare.

But she saw us as “girls.” And that proves to me, once again, that the anti-choice movement is not here to serve the interest of women. Instead, this movement infantilizes women, and views us as girls, or people who are unable to make decisions about our healthcare, sexuality, and bodies. I might be a young woman, but I am old enough to make decisions about the issues that matter most to me. I am old enough to know my healthcare decisions should belong in my hands.

So, to the woman who yelled at my internship supervisor to “stop manipulating these girls,” I respond:

I am not a girl, but a woman. I am a woman who cares about other women. I am a woman who believes women can be trusted with their medical decisions. I am a woman who has thought deeply about ethical issues, and has decided the prosperity and lives of women, especially low-income women, are far more important than any right-wing political rhetoric that can be spouted at me with the aid of graphic, misleading signs and false data.

I am a pro-choice woman who will not stand for these injustices.

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By Laura Jensen

Laura is a junior at Colby College where she double-majors in Government and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is currently working as the National Clinic Access Project Intern at FMF. When not writing feminist blogs, Laura can be found dancing, drinking (too much) coffee, and pretending to be an adult.

4 comments

  1. Yes to everything, except the language. Most people are pro-abortion rights. A person is pro-abortion rights or anti-abortion rights (anti-woman). This pro-life and pro-choice stuff is nonsense. Everyone except serial killers are pro life.

  2. Better prepare for all out media war, then. The populist alternate health news site, Natural News, has officially joined the war against Planned Parenthood led by their lead staff reporter, J.D. Heyes, with the full support of site founder Mike Adams.

    Attempts to debunk the attack video hoax in article comments were repeatedly deleted by moderators. Its obvious that this site was one of many captured by the anti-choice movement; not that it had far to go. They’ll popularize any anti-gov conspiracy, but somehow, they won’t permit this obvious media hoax to be outed. They’ve censored me before for being too libertarian, but this really takes the cake for bias and corruption given that their entire schtick is truth and honesty in reporting news.

    Alternate health is one of the most populist of populist internet genres out there; don’t underestimate how influential it can be as part of a broader full-spectrum media assault on women’s reproductive rights.

    Natural News has been building its social capital for almost a decade now. Early critics claimed Mike Adams was sponging off the hard work of other, better and more competent natural health sites and personalities, but he has the skills and charisma to become a leadership figure for the movement.

  3. Just checked out the popular debunking site Snopes.com. After reading and re-reading their entry on this controversy, it seems they also have an anti-Planned Parenthood bias

    Basically they just reiterated the Center for Medical Progress’ argument with no contextual background information on the CMP itself and its connection to radical anti-abortion crusaders. This is unusual for Snopes in that usually they are quick to out hoaxes in detail, considered a ‘liberal’ site, and have very high popular trust.

    The Politico.com website has a story on Planned Parenthood hiring a PR firm. Interesting thing is that both Politico and Snopes used the same Planned Parenthood picture and general page design.

    So, between internet-savvy people planning to attack Planned Parenthood and internet savvy people willing to go along with that, there’s a good chance PP will get a bloodied nose and one heck of a shiner in the court of public opinion which will back moves against PP on the political court.

    Its not like conservative male computer geeks are known for their warm and fuzzy relationship with feminism.

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