(A Planned Parenthood leader also announced that the clinic on 23rd Street in Oklahoma City will get a complete renovation. That’s great news! Planned Parenthood, it should be noted, does not provide abortions in Oklahoma, but I would fully support the organization, as I do now, if it did.)
In Mississippi, there is only one clinic where a woman can go if she needs an abortion. https://t.co/mD9O77zbx2
— wake1up (@n2oneness) September 10, 2016
Dr. Willie Parker shared his vision and philosophy as a reproductive-rights advocate Saturday evening at the annual Great Plains Planned Parenthood “Choices” dinner in Oklahoma City.
Parker, who provides abortions to women in the deep south of Alabama and Mississippi, said he was inspired to do so after reading a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King about the Good Samaritan. As he described it in an article in The New York Times:
The Samaritan reversed the question of concern, to care more about the well-being of the person needing help than about what might happen to him for stopping to give help. I realized that if I were to show compassion, I would have to act on behalf of those women.
Dr. Parker’s work is extraordinary in every sense. He not only puts his life on the line to do it, but he also speaks out openly and honestly throughout the country about a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. The key word here is, of course, “choose.” Women have the absolute right to control their bodies. Anyone who thinks differently has most likely bought into right-wing, patriarchal ideology, which carries with it an entire set of bigoted and distorted assumptions and beliefs that transcend the singular issue of abortion.
Parker, who is African American, also debunked the myth Saturday evening of what fanatic protestors call “black genocide” when it comes to abortion. The bottom line is that on a percentage basis minority women do have more abortions than white women, but there are huge socio-economic factors involved, including lack of access to birth control and affordable medical care, Parker noted.
I talked to Parker before his speech at the dinner, which I attended, and he was down-to-earth, humorous and gracious.
On another note, Planned Parenthood in Oklahoma has become, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, a part of Great Plains Planned Parenthood, serving women and men in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and now Arkansas. The hope is that by joining the states together the organization will have more power and flexibility in this region. I believe it’s an excellent strategy.
A Planned Parenthood leader also announced that the clinic on 23rd Street in Oklahoma City will get a complete renovation. That’s great news! Planned Parenthood, it should be noted, does not provide abortions in Oklahoma, but I would fully support the organization, as I do now, if it did.
Planned Parenthood here provides vital medical screenings, contraceptive and health care and reproductive education. Overall, it’s an important, lasting American institution that needs to be nurtured and honored. The headline of this post is its slogan.
I understand that some people want to make abortion a contentious issue in our society, but too many right-wing extremists make it the center of their belief system, which is a glaring error and horribly myopic. Oklahoma, in particular, has a slew of right-wing legislators trying to control women’s bodies based on their twisted and self-serving ideology. They create the hysteria they use for their own political and financial gain. The right-wing religious leaders here use the issue to indoctrinate and inflame parishioners so they can get donations and feel important or godly.
Think about what this place could be if all these right-wing “leaders” suddenly focused on solving poverty and poor medical access here in Oklahoma. What they do, though, is only bolster their own fleeting and petty political or ministry careers through a visceral issue that ignores larger and more important truths about our unjust society. THEY are the immoral people in our culture. I’m just using their own language and logic when I argue about morality. They set themselves up for it with their obvious, suffocating hypocrisy.
Sometimes the air in Oklahoma drips with so much hypocrisy I can barely breathe. Then a 5.8-magnitude earthquake caused by oil and gas activity shakes me up as I run for the doors, and I’m panting in yet another moment of despair, but, hey, at least I’m breathing again.
Abortion is on the decline in this country thanks to improved access to birth control and more reproductive awareness, but you wouldn’t even know that if you’re listening to the right-wing religious folks in Oklahoma. Tune the freaks out and start working to end poverty and improve our health care system if you really want to make a difference.
Please care, no matter what.