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Op Ed: Why I Support Planned Parenthood

Why I Support Planned Parenthood

by Keli McIntosh, R.N., C.N.C., D.N.

Anyone who knows me understands I am not pro-abortion. However, having worked as a nurse for 50 years has shown me that the playing field for women is not an even one. We, as a society, need to do all we can to help women take control over what happens to their bodies. Most of Planned Parenthood's work centers on such activities. I hope you will take a moment to read why I have chosen the slogan "Life Without Love Is No Gift," on the sign that I carry when marching to defend Planned Parenthood.

My daughter's face opened with a broad smile when I asked, “Interested in pumpkin cinnamon donuts?” It was the fall of her first year in junior high and getting pumpkin cinnamon donuts allowed us some extra time for one-on-one conversation on the way home from school. When we pulled up behind a car at the first stop light; she pointed to its bumper sticker. It read – “Life is a Gift.” Instantly she informed me, “Life without love is no gift!”

I was shocked to hear something like this come out of my barely adolescent daughter. I wondered what, in her innocent young life, could she have been exposed to that would bring out such a profound statement? My thoughts drifted back to things I have witnessed during my years as a nurse.

My first patient when I started nursing school was a 14-year-old girl who had been raped by one of her older brother's friends. When it became obvious that she had gotten pregnant, the boys performed a "coat hanger abortion" on her. At the same time, they put a small gash in her face with a razor blade and told her that, if she told anyone what had happened, they would "carve up the rest of her face." She spent 3 weeks in the hospital receiving blood transfusions to compensate for her blood loss, and antibiotics to counter the systemic infection that resulted from her "procedure."

Had my daughter somehow known of the young girl who became pregnant because of being raped by her older brother's friend? Or one who was raped by her mother's boyfriend, or maybe even her father? Yet our society will expect these children who become pregnant by these acts to deliver those babies, find some way to care for them, even though they are, in fact, too young to care for themselves. Don't get me wrong – I don't think God approves of abortion, nor do I; but neither do I think he approves of the suffering some female children endure just to survive.

I believe strongly that every woman should be able to plan when she can best handle a pregnancy and decide for herself whether she is ready to be a parent. There are thousands of women and children who, because of their life situations are subject to depravity and abuse, who have no choice and no voice. These women know firsthand that “Life Without Love is No Gift.”

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