I have been trying to figure out the denial I have been seeing.
Smart, reasonable, responsible women are defending Planned Parenthood. These women willingly turn a blind eye to the damage Planned Parenthood is doing as it has become one of the leading champions of convincing vulnerable young people that they are born in the wrong body. Planned Parenthood is quickly becoming one of America’s top suppliers of cross-sex hormones.
These women often see the damage Planned Parenthood is doing, and yet they insist that Planned Parenthood must be supported because of all the good it has historically done.
I do know how they feel.
I am one of those women who furiously defended Planned Parenthood for providing girls and women access to low cost or free reproductive health care.
But do you know what else this situation resembles?
Women who defend their abusers.
I’m especially reminded of girls who are victims of incest. These girls often grew up with a loving and kind father, who then starts doing unspeakable things in the darkness of the night.
These victimized girls are afraid to speak out, because they know the stigma, shame, and potential financial consequences.
These girls will bury their screams of horror as their younger sisters mature to the age at which her father started her abuse, as she sees her father’s eyes on the innocence of her sister.
To be clear, no child is responsible for failing speaking out about abuse. Abusive men are coercive and the girls in these situations are helpless victims, often habituated to their situation and often in deeply conflicted relationships with their abusers, because daughters love their fathers even when betrayed by them.
So it finally made sense to me why so many women are unable or unwilling to call out Planned Parenthood for what it is: an abuser.
But in this case we have to stand up and speak out against it. We cannot let our sisters, our friends, our daughters, our granddaughters be seduced into believing that Planned Parenthood is offering is healthcare when Planned Parenthood coerces these girls into believing that their bodies are flawed, and that harming themselves is the only way to address any discomfort that they feel. We can’t let them believe that this is in any way normal.
And we cannot allow ourselves to be manipulated into supporting an organization that is taking advantage of our fear, and of our historic goodwill.
That’s what abusers do.
Erin Brewer is a partner with Partners for Ethical Care. Contact Dr. Brewer via firstname.lastname@example.org.