FEMINIST FRIDAY: Planned Parenthood Releases Timely “Stories Of Care” Web Series

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There couldn’t be a better time for a web series like this. In light of Donald Trump becoming president, the threat to women accessing the full range of healthcare allowed under the law is under grave threat. It’s hardly been 2 months since the election, he hasn’t even been inaugurated, and yet legislators around the country are already becoming emboldened to push anti-choice laws in the hope that a POTUS Trump will appoint vehemently “pro life” Supreme Court judges who will work to undo Roe v Wade, the law passed in 1973 which made abortion illegal nation-wide.

An Indiana politician proposed a measure that would “prohibit all abortion in Indiana in all circumstances and authorize the criminal prosecution of any doctor or woman who participates in an abortion.” Utah lawmakers want to force doctors to promote junk science and tell women that medical abortions are “reversible”. Newsflash, they are not.

Not deterred by their loss in the Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt SCOTUS case, the Texas legislature is pushing a law that would mandate fetal remains to be buried or cremated. The Ohio House and Senate easily passed an omnibus bill that was supposedly about cracking down on child abuse, but contained a couple of measures that would seek to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is found (most commonly at 6 weeks), and would also outlaw abortion at 20 weeks without any exceptions for rape or incest.

This is only the beginning. In September, President Obama proposed a measure that was described as way to permanently block attempts at defunding Planned Parenthood, the organization which has become the target of vicious smear campaigns and legislative attacks since a series of heavily edited reportedly showed PP employees discussing the sale of trafficked fetal tissue.

” The Obama administration introduced a new rule that would prevent states from withholding Title X federal family-planning money for reasons other than a provider’s ‘ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.’ In other words, it mandates state governments can’t deny providers funding just because they offer abortion services”, reported NYmag.com.

Nevertheless, at least 24 states have attempted to defund Planned Parenthood since the summer of 2015, and hundreds of anti-abortion laws have swept the country over the past few years in an attempt to criminalize women’s choices. What is most egregious about this issue is the lives of individual people which seems to fall by the wayside in politicized reproductive rights discussions, aided by religious ideology.

Which is why Planned Parenthood’s new web series ‘Stories of Care’ come at an important time. The health provider has teamed up with a team of independent filmmakers to document the everyday stories of men and women across the countries whose lives have been impacted for the better because of Planned Parenthood. A number of female directors worked on these videos too.

In ‘Stories of Care: The Carolinas’, throughout 10 short videos we get a glimpse of just how wide-ranging and far-reaching their services are, and it is a timely reminder how crucial healthcare like this is. Away from the click-bait and hyper-sensationalized media headlines, we are reminded that abortion is not the only service they provide, and to reduce access to vital resources such as breast screenings, pap smears, birth control and more, would be a disservice to women across the nation, most notably and disproportionately minorities and those living in poverty.

We’ve chosen to share a handful of our favorite videos from this series in this week’s Feminist Friday, our weekly series where we share a few of our favorite videos right now. Since we are passionate about women’s healthcare and the ability for all women to make important health decisions away from the spotlight of the media, politics and even religious ideology, we thought it apt to focus on ‘Stories of Care’ this week.

Be sure to click on the Youtube playlist to watch all 1o videos (they are roughly only a minute long each) to hear stories about women who were able to detect cancer early enough thanks to a routine gyno health check-up at Planned Parenthood, a young woman who only felt comfortable coming out as queer at a Planned Parenthood clinic because she felt shame at her regular GP, and a mother-daughter duo originally from Mexico who both work at Planned Parenthood because they know what it is like to live in a country where abortion is outlawed and women resort to dangerous methods to obtain one.