I would like to thank Planned Parenthood and pro-choice women's health clinics for my daughter.
Now let's just get the facts out of the way. Only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's procedures are abortions -- something U.S. Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) blatantly lied about, claiming it was more than 90 percent. His office later issued the world's most embarrassing pseudo-retraction, stating the senator's "remark was not intended to be a factual statement."
Nonetheless, it will be repeated as such ad nauseum on right-wing and anti-abortion sites because in the age of the Internet, you only need to care about the facts that interest you.
Let's also state for the millionth time that federal funding of abortions is barred in both the Hyde amendment and President Obama's health care reform. Not that that's stopped folks from just blatantly making stuff up in that regard, either.
Great. So here's why I personally thank God for Planned Parenthood, which doesn't have anything to do with my beautiful daughter, per se. I have only been in a clinic once or twice as a married woman for birth control -- which was legal back in the '90s. We'll see how long that lasts.
The facility I went to back in early 2002 was the Emma Goldman Clinic in Iowa City, the oldest clinic in the Midwest to provide abortions. I had taken a home pregnancy test and wanted it confirmed by medical professionals. I couldn't take off a lot of time from my new job and my doctor was in the maze of the University of Iowa Hospital. So I went to Emma, where I had also gone for gynecological services when I was too poor to afford health insurance.
There's something disconcerting about knowing you could get blown up by some "pro-life" protester just for getting a Pap smear, but fortunately, most clinics take a lot of safety precautions.
The technician ran my pregnancy test in front of me and I was ecstatic the results. The pregnancy was very much wanted by both my husband and me. Did the staff try to pressure me into an abortion? Are you kidding me? They were practically crying with me. The only thing I was asked was if I needed a referral for an obstetrician.
My experience with women's health clinics wasn't one of life or death. But I am eternally grateful for their existence because they made one of the best days of my life even better.
And for many women, Planned Parenthood and clinics like it are critical for their health and that of their children.
Slithering politicians like Jon Kyl, on the other hand, are hazardous to their health.