The day after women in America celebrated Title IX, the SCOTUS ruled to overturn Roe v Wade.
Shortly after the ruling, AP releases statements made by Justice Samuel Alito (in the opinion issued), writing that Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey (the 1992 decision to re-affirm rights to abortion) were wrong when they were decided, [that] The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and must be overturned. Well….congrats on reaching your lifelong career goal, now would be a great time to step down.
He goes on to say that we mustn’t be concerned that non-abortion matters will be impacted, that this is only about abortions – and ‘giving the power back to the people and their elected representatives.’ How fresh. Read the room buddy. There are literally too many elephants in the room to be ignored. Welcome to America How It Is, in 2022.
In 2011 I had just turned 18 and started leaning into one of my ‘political hills’ (to die on, ya know) (I don’t have that many hills, there are, like, 2 and this is one of them. we’re politically sane, don’t worry) – Women’s Reproductive Rights. Women’s Rights. Abortion Rights. Family Planning Rights. The Freedom to Make Your Own Decisions…..Rights. It’s a lot of things.
I don’t know how or why this became one of my ‘hills’ – this was before one of my closest friends had an (safe) abortion, this was before I dated men who would quietly offer up the idea of abortion if needed but openly voted – and lived – differently, and before I learned about the possibility, the likelihood, of a doctor denying my request to not have children of my own – to tie my tubes, to avoid unplanned pregnancy – so long as I’m an unmarried woman.
But I knew, in 2011, that the fight for Reproductive Rights would be just that – a fight. So when we were given the Persuasive Writing assignment in my senior (high school) communications class, it didn’t take much to pick my topic:
Funding and supporting Planned Parenthood is necessary.
That’s not the real title (still searching for the final versions) but it’s the thought that counts. I’m still working on finding the submitted version of the essay, but I was elated to even find a draft of my presentation speech related to that paper – all the way in my first email inbox, emailed to myself on May 19 2011 (at 12:04 am, classic).
I can’t remember last week let alone an assignment from high school, but after reading the excerpt below, I feel like the assignment included a persuasive essay about a larger topic (Supporting Planned Parenthood) and then a verbal presentation or argument that is more focused or relevant to classmates so as to persuade them to agree; based on the draft script I found, I think my verbal topic was in response to a proposed bill/policy that would impact the privacy of teens under 18 looking for birth control/contraception/etc (without parental consent or knowledge).
It was an election year, fwiw.
Anywho, you can find that hidden gem (draft of a presentation script) below. I cringed the whole way through reading it as well, but it’s the thought that counts, right? And the grade (A, duh). Unfortunately we’re still having the same (persuasive) arguments. So here I am, posting the draft from high school dated 11 years, because apparently we still have to deal with this shit and it’s an even bigger hill to climb now.
Note: I made no updates to the content of the draft, only fixing necessary spelling/grammar and formatting. Again, cringe.
Title X started in the 1970s and says that state funded clinics must provide CONFIDENTIAL service to those who go to the clinic, regardless of age. This means no parental consent, no notifying the parents that their child was there, (and) no giving out information to parents. All of this criteria will be gone if states require permission. Bills have been introduced that contradict and might override Title X, and would require parental consent. It would often be impossible for a teen to obtain both parents permission because most teens do not live in traditional settings like these politicians so ignorantly believe. Most teens these days live with one parent, and one may live far away, which would make the chances even slimmer for the teen to obtain birth control. Parental consent has many rules for obtaining birth control, including sometimes needing both parents signatures. This would include needing parental permission 5 days before, which would make it impossible to get emergency contraception in time, considering it needs to be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex in order to work. It would be completely immoral to deny a girl emergency contraception who was forced into sex. One argument for parental consent is that it would force parents and teens to talk more. This statement is wrong, teens would rather not talk to their parents and go without birth control than awkwardly confront their parents and face disappointment, and even consequences. It would create tension. Teens have a right to privacy just like adults. We like to keep somethings private as well, and going back to the county that required consent and saw a rise in pregnancies while other counties saw declines, just goes to show that consent drives kids away from protection, not sex. Another argument is that birth control is abortion. Preventative birth control is in no way abortion, abortion is the killing of a fetus in the womb. Birth control prevents the fetus from being made, period, it is never made. And even emergency contraception, like plan B, states that it can not abort any existing pregnancy, just prevent. So birth control is not abortion in the legal terms. Some people may say it is, but that is (often) based on their religion, and every respondent from my survey said that religion should not come into play when it comes to making laws about birth control. It’s immoral and unconstitutional to force a minorities belief over a majorities right. We need planned parenthood to keep the young adults safe and informed. It not only provides birth control, but services such as sexual health exams that save lives. Dr Chulani recalls diagnosing two 16 year old girls with an advanced form of HPV, human papaloma virus, which can lead to an even more serious cervical cancer. Neither of the girls had received treatment previously because of the consent laws required to go get checked. Imagine getting that news, that at 16 years old, you have cancer that will affect the rest of your life because some lawmakers find it wrong for you to get checked for your own health (on your own). Chulani stated that ‘it’s sad that the threat of cancer is easier to take on that telling your parents about sex.’ So, please, if you have the chance to vote, please vote against parental consent laws. Birth control is needed, (and) we need to have more open minds. We cannot just keep going about knowing that kids are getting denied the right to birth control. Did you know, that if consent laws are passed, a young woman wanting to seek out the best birth control for her lifestyle would be denied? A minor buying condoms would be turned away, and according to statistics, still continue to have sex, just without protection? And even a young girl who was forced into unprotected sex would be denied emergency contraception? And if that girl becomes pregnant, she will have to raise a baby she didn’t want, and, sadly, according to statistics, she will not graduate high school, she will go on welfare, she is more likely to become depressed and the child is likely to be neglected because it reminds the mother of the night she was forced without consent, or just the unbearable stress that comes along with raising a baby unplanned. Do you think its right that lawmakers can control that part of peoples lives? I don’t. Teens have the right to be informed about sex and contraception. Teens have the right to walk into Planned Parenthood and walk out with the birth control they need, or the relief of knowing that they don’t have an STD or HPV, or the knowledge that no matter what, they can go to PP and ask them questions, trust them with things they can’t talk to their parents about. We need title X, and politicians need to acknowledge that.. SHOW VIDEO (wish I had this video tbh)
To conclude, birth control is available in most counties and states, in grocery stores and state funded clinics, but this could all be taken away with new laws to overrule Title X. Teens have a right to privacy just as much as adults do, and its been proven that taking away birth control doesn’t turn young adults away from sex, but rather turns them away from birth control, which can lead to unintended pregnancies, and we know that most teen pregnancies are unintended. Don’t let politicians take away our right to safe sex. Though most of us are already 18, think about how you would feel if you were 16 and these laws passed.
Support planned parenthood, and birth control, it’s for the well being of teens. Thank you.
& there we have it. I didn’t think we’d still having these same arguments 11 years later, but it’s an “argument” that I will continue to go to bat for. I hope you do, too.