Thursday, February 22, 2007

Talk for Planned Parenthood

This is great and straight from LifeNews (antis) but I had no idea! Sometimes ya get yer news from the strangest places...

Planned Parenthood Launches Nationwide Pro-Abortion Cell Phone

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 21, 2007

Washington, DC ( -- The nation's largest abortion
has started a new wireless communications system partnering with
long-time pro-abortion long-distance carrier. Planned
Parenthood's new
cell phone service will allow pro-abortion activists to not only
calls but get action alerts from the organization.
Planned Parenthood Wireless is a new affinity program that
allows its
supporters to sign up for a mobile phone service and see 10% of
monthly bill go back to the abortion business.
The pro-abortion group will also use customers' monthly bills to
include action alerts and information and will provide 30 free
of calls every month to encourage its members to talk to friends
abortion issues.
"Planned Parenthood members care passionately about women's
reproductive health and rights," Cecile Richards, PPFA president
said in
a statement received. "Now they have a smart,
simple way
to support our work and express that passion with every phone
call they
make, through a wireless service provider that cares."
The service is handled exclusively by Working Assets, a company
exists to sell phone service to left-wing political activists
who want
to see their favorite groups supported. It has provided
phone services for Planned Parenthood for years.
Like many other affinity phone service companies, Working Assets
contracts with a larger phone company (in this case Sprint) to
telephone access to its customers.
In fact, the two companies partnered to generate phone calls to
Dakota residents urging them to defeat a statewide abortion ban
on the
ballot last November.
Customers who sign up will also get pro-abortion text messages
Planned Parenthood. New customers keep their current cell phone
and can get a free phone for signing up.
Not to be outdone, the pro-life side of the abortion debate also
companies that provide telephone service.
The Missouri-based Pro Life Communications offers long-distance,
telephone, nationwide cellular, Internet, and will soon be adding
satellite television to its lineup. The company says it donates
all of
its profits to pro-life organizations, which is currently about
15% of
the monthly bill customers pay.
Joseph Dalton, the head of the company, says it only contracts
networks and providers that do not support Planned Parenthood or
pro-abortion groups.
Another company, Amerivision Communications, has been working
pro-life groups for many years to provide them with affinity
long-distance services for their members. Also known as LifeLine
Communications or Affinity 4, the company offers Internet
services as
well as wireless communications, credit cards, and DirecTV
The company gives 10% of the monthly usage bill back to the
organization of the customer's choice and has contributed more
than $75
million to Christian and pro-life groups.
Related web sites:
Pro-Life Communications - Affinity 4

Printed from: _

Lake of Fire

I am warily looking forward to seeing Tony Kaye's new film Lake of Fire. It's a documentary about the abortion debate. It's 2 1/2 hours god.

But I'm looking forward to it because, from what I've read, it takes a look at the endless controversy surrounding abortion without bias and with an eye towards unearthing the extremism on both sides. That is, the film tries to show how deeply entrenched both sides are with feet firmly planted in the absolute rightness of their belief systems.

That sounds juicy to me. I think a lot about the gray. The gray that lives between the vociferous and passionate pro-choice advocates and the driving, vocal anti-choice activists. We're all hell bent on making sure everyone knows how completely RIGHT we all are. We're stuck in the black or white. But the rest of the country lives in the gray.

I've lived in the gray. I lived in the gray when I became pregnant with my second child - my daughter, while working at Aradia Women's Health Center. How could I feel such absolute joy and love for a collection of cells just 5 weeks old while advocating so strongly for the woman in the exam room next door to my office undergoing an abortion at 12 weeks pregnant?

The gray followed me for awhile. We did exercises at Aradia - the staff would engage in collective exercises, writing about our feelings about abortion. One day, a couple of days before our monthly staff meeting, we were asked to write about "something about abortion that surprised us". I wrote about the gray. I wrote about how surprised I was at my ambivalence about working at AWHC, about abortion, when pregnant with my daughter. I wrote about the sadness I felt that I could feel such love & happiness for a 5 week old embryo while women around me were saying good-bye to the embryos growing inside them.

I wrote about the fear. I had fear that maybe I wasn't "pro-choice." That maybe deep down I just couldn't advocate for something that wasn't black & white anymore. How could I be a passionate advocate for gray?

But somewhere between the writing of the piece and my growing belly, I relaxed. I realized that the gray had always been there. That it's there for many, many women. I realized that the sadness I felt wasn't to be crammed down, pushed away forever. The sadness was to be experienced and felt. The sadness was okay. The love I felt for my daughter growing inside gave me tremendous joy because I had made a choice - the right choice for me.

The sadness was one of those beautiful contradictions that life is made up of. Life is all about the anger, the joy, the beautiful, the ugly, the grief, the happiness, the fear, the calm. I don't live in the gray. But I can understand the gray and where it comes from now. I do feel absolute in the rightness of my belief that all women MUST have the freedom to control their reproductive destiny. My experiences, however, have taught me compassion for and understanding of those who live in the gray. My fears conquered make me stronger. My sadness overcome gives me courage. That's black and white for me.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Merck Puts A Stop To HPV Vaccine Mandate

Merck has decided to stop their push in various state legislatures to mandate Gardasil, their HPV vaccine, for all school-aged girls. Gardasil is the vaccine that has the potential to protect against cervical cancer by innoculating against certain strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer.

Even before Gardasil became available, Merck - the New Jersey based makers of the vaccine, started campaigning to raise awareness. Texas recently became the first state to require the vaccine for school aged girls. There are currently twenty other state legislatures debating the same requirements.

But, according to a statement made by Rick Haupt, director of medical for Merck's vaccine division, there isn't enough state funding to pay for the expensive three-dose vaccine (each vaccine costs approximately $120, making it a $360 vaccine altogether!). And the American Academy of Pediatrics says there isn't enough "public acceptance" either. Also, there is talk that more research needs to be done before a large scale push to mandate a vaccine should happen.

I think Gardasil has tremendous implications if given to as many young girls as possible - in this country but even more significantly in developing countries where examinations like PAP smears and access to gynecological health care is rare. As a parent of a young girl, I want to know what the side effects are, I want to make sure that the benefits of giving the vaccine outweigh potential deleterious effects. But I think this vaccine has obviously been saddled with the weight of controversy by the nature of what it protects against.

But this has always boggled my mind. Hepatitis B is an STD and children routinely get innoculated against Hep B. Why no outrage?! Oh, because, this is for girls only. And we want our girls pure. We don't want to taint our girls sexual purity by protecting them against something that they should have no problem avoiding as long as they avoid sex for any and all reasons.

Off on a tangent I go. The thing is, I think we should be able to find funding for this. At Aradia Women's Health Center, I became almost obsessed with the HPV vaccine as soon as I heard it would soon be available. I did a lot of the prep work at the clinic to prepare for AWHC being able to provide the vaccine to our clients. I worked on it to the exclusion of almost everything else & AWHC was one of the first - if not the first - health provider in Seattle to be able to offer the vaccine to our clients.

But, of course, as with all health care in this country, the vaccine was available only to the more privileged. Some insurance companies decided to cover it. But for the great majority of our clients who used subsidy in some form or another to cover their health care, the vaccine was too expensive and therefore completely unavailable to them.

I hope the proper data is collected so that the major medical organizations in this country and the organizations working on sexual and reproductive health internationally are able to distribute the vaccine widely, ensuring that all girls have at least one more tool to protect themselves against an STD as well as cervical cancer.

For more on this, see Tyler's post on RH Reality Check!

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