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Planned Parenthood is About Responsibility for Sex

Local Planned Parenthood affiliate provided contraception to about 15,000 people last year.

When it comes to sex, America’s culture is like a perpetual adolescent. Our sitcoms offer a steady diet of jokes about threesomes, strippers and penises, we use sex to sell beer, and we have restaurants themed around women’s breasts. 

Yet many of us are loathe to have serious, honest conversations about sexuality with our kids or our parents. A 2009 study published in the journal “Pediatrics” found that 40 percent of teens have sex before their parents get around to talking to them about safe sex practices, birth control or sexually transmitted diseases. 

Luckily, there are some grownups who aren’t embarrassed by sexuality and are big on responsibility. Planned Parenthood is there for the young woman who can’t tell her parents that she’s become sexually active and for the young man who is afraid he has HIV. 

The Susan G. Komen Foundation found out the hard way last week that there are lots of women and men who are grateful to Planned Parenthood for providing everything from low-cost birth control to breast and cervical cancer screenings to testing for sexually transmitted diseases. 

A few facts are in order: 

-- Ninety-five percent of Americans have sex before marriage, according to the Guttmacher Institute. 

-- American and European teens have similar levels of sexual activity. But European teens are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to use contraceptives and use the most effective methods so they have much lower pregnancy rates. 

-- More than 99 percent of women ages 15-44 who have ever had sex have used at least one contraceptive method, according to the Guttmacher Institute. A quarter of the more than 20 million women in the U.S. who get birth control from a medical provider get it from a publicly funded family planning clinic. 

Often that clinic is run by Planned Parenthood.  The local affiliate, Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn, has nine medical centers serving 19 counties. These are some of the services the organization offers: gynecological exams, pap smears, birth control, emergency contraception (Plan B), pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counseling, adoption referral, abortion services, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases for men and women. 

Of the more than 30,000 patients served last year, about half obtained contraception. Thirty-six percent have incomes below the poverty line and all the fees are on a sliding scale based on income, according to Development Department Manager Andrea Dolak. 

At Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn, less than 2 percent of its services are abortions; for Planned Parenthood nationwide it’s 3 percent. Most critics say it’s the abortions they object to. But if that’s true why aren’t these opposition groups setting up competing clinics all across America offering low-cost contraception and STD testing but no abortions?  

On the other hand, I think the Obama administration is wrong to require Catholic hospitals and universities to cover contraception in their health insurance plans for employees. The line separating church and state is always a tightrope but no one is required to take jobs at those institutions and leaving contraception out of their benefits plans violates no one’s civil rights. The church shouldn’t be forced to go against its official doctrine in order to continue to provide health care or higher education in this country.

That the vast majority of Catholics ignore the church’s teaching on contraception is beside the point. Let them take it up with their church. Meanwhile, there’s Planned Parenthood. Thank goodness. 

Rosemary B February 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM
White house spokesman said it is a done deal. http://sotu.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/12/w-h-chief-of-staff-no-more-negotiations-on-contraception-policy/
Rosemary B February 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Funny what happens when lawmakers don't read a bill before it is passed. Would love to see all who voted for Obama care voted out of office! And, Wilfredo, according to the White House, this is as far as they are going. This President is not big on compromise. Direct quote "This is our plan".
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 15, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Rosemary B Obama has twisted and turned and "compromised " to accommodate many bishops and decided to let the religious organizations exempt from covering their employees' contraception needs...This will be covered directly by their (employees) own insurance..This should be a done deal unless the holymen and naysayers want more....COMPROMISE...This is a bad word, like Voldemort, for the Republicans.
Chris Miller February 15, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Wilfredo Once again you have failed to look at what Obama is really doing. He could not get the Church to pay the bill so he passed it onto the Insurance companies. How is that any different from what he initially did? It is anything but a compromise. The Bishops are furious at his attack no matter how he does it.
Rosemary B February 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I am sorry, Wilfredo, I was responding to your incorrect post "Let us wait and see what the final outcome is...It is not a done deal yet.." According to the White House it is. This is no compromise. Just an accounting gimmick. And COMPROMISE should not be a bad word for anyone.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 15, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Rosemary B...I don't know what else you want after Obama and company tweaked what was grossly inappropriate regarding the First Amendment and COMPROMISED to let the churches be exempt from paying for contraceptives...I misspoke when I said no deal has been accomplished when there has been one in favor of the church already...The priests and their acolytes need not worry about this issue any longer because they got what they want...I sincerely wish that Boehner and his friends learn to accept the word which appears to them an unmentionable word...Of course, they will never compromise with the president because it would look like capitulation for them and that is not a good tea party/Republican ideology "Obama must not succeed at all cost".
Rosemary B February 15, 2012 at 10:49 PM
You must be unaware of this most recent compromise that the republicans have made. And, as I said the contraception "compromise" is a mere accounting gimmick. http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2012/02/15/146924898/election-year-brings-congressional-compromise-on-payroll-taxes-and-more I also agree that Obama's policies must not succeed at any cost. His policies success will lead our country to ruin. Obama care will lead us to financial ruin and possible rationing of healthcare. His "foreign policy" succeeds in making us weak to other countries. Taking away our military and economic strength is also leading to chaos in the rest of the world.His "payroll tax cut" will only lead to bankrupting Social Security all the faster. Why would anyone who truly cares for America want this man's policies to succeed.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 15, 2012 at 11:08 PM
It looks like we are veering off the topic of Planned Parenhood and delving into other political issue such as hatred for Obama's policies...This is nothing new, of course...One political party wishing pox on the other...Fair enough...I must remind you that the Bush administration got us in this abyss and Mr. Obama is trying his utmost best to turn the country around...We have been in a huge hole it is so hard to get us back to the surface, thanks to the uncompromising obstructionism of your party...The economy is improving, albeit painfully slowly (the way your party wants it) because of his policies...Your party comes first before the country...I cannot write more extensively here because this is one thread for one purpose and that is on contraception...I will not respond to anymore commentaries outside this topic...We can do this in another thread.
Rosemary B February 16, 2012 at 02:53 AM
So sorry, but I just can't let this one go. The blame Bush thing is just so old. At some point Obama and the Democratic Congress that he had for 2 yrs must start taking responsibility for the State of the Union. I don't wish a pox on anyone. I want what is best for this country. And true, Obama did walk into a huge hole of debt, 10 trillion in 2008, It is now 2012, a mere 3 yrs into the Obama administration, and our debt is 16.4 trillion. And we have yet another budget that is not balanced. It may be your assertion that Bush and the Republicans drove the country into a ditch, but Obama is taking it over a cliff. The only thing that bugs me more than Obama are the people who blindly support and follow him as he does it.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM
The truth hurts, Rosemary B, so let's just sweep this one under the rug, and continue on our obstructionist agenda so Obama can't move the country forward...Now that's frustrating...You want best for the country, then get out of the way of progress...I am sorry that I bug you on my support of Obama but I can say the same to you who wants to go back to the same policies that got us into this aweful mess. Help!..I ask the editors to open up another thread on politics.
Rosemary B February 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM
What truth am I sweeping under the rug? I said he was handed a whole lot of debt which causes a whole lot of other troubles. His choice was to continue to make the debt situation worse and not make the tough choices to make it better. Open you mind, Wilfredo. It is not just a choice of Obama's way or Backwards! We are a country of millions of ideas. Not just two. I am all for going forward. Just not towards losses of personal freedoms, (like with this contraception issue) financial and military ruin or socialism..
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM
"Blame Bush thing is old"..Sorry but we suffering folks can't just pooh-pooh this debacle...So many more are out of work brought on by your party...Want to go forward, then cooperate, let him govern and not just let him fail...Admit it...The obstructionism your party imposed on this administration is so devastating on the progress the poor guy has accomplished so far...We are moving forward...Economy is picking up, unemployment is is going down...But 'HELL NO YOU WON'T...We will make sure you won't succeed...Your policies suck"...What! Yours are better? Tax cuts for the job creator rich, yada, yada, yada?..Where are the jobs? Socialism!..Medicare, Social Security, Cops, Teachers...We have lived with these as far as I can remember and they work...This contraception bit is finally is on its way...No one lost their personal freedoms (the bishops want them to lose theirs)...Are you going to gut this, too? You want to argue on this?..I will be here, although I wish for the editors to open a new thread...This is a "First Amendment" place.
Rosemary B February 16, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Like I said, you will not open your mind to other ideas. You seem to be a "Obama's way is right and all others are wrong" type of person. I am not. I am sure their is another way other than Obama and backwards.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 16, 2012 at 04:05 PM
I see other ideas, and what I see from your perspective is not acceptable for me...This is a 2-way street...You have your own, and I have mine...That's how it goes. Breaking News: The Red State of Virginia wants to FORCE every pregnant woman on their 1st trimester headed for abortion undergo unnecessary probe of their vagina by their doctors...Talk about unintrusive government!..Can't "force" women to take contraceptives against their religious convictions, but can force them to open their legs for the Republicans' intrusion into their private parts...Disgusting.
Lee Snover February 16, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Wilfred, give me a break. The root cause of the big slump was the lending of money for Mortgages to people who had no ability to pay their loans. People bought bigger houses then they should have. This was all due to Barnie Frank and team who practically forced our banks to make these loans. The banks then tried to cover their bogus bets by bundling them into worthless investments. Bush and many in the GOP tried to stop this and cried fowl numerous times and were promptly told to sit down and be quiet. This kaka is STILL going on with Fannie and Freddie. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the bottom line is that B.O. has done NOTHING to resolve these problems and in fact has made it worse.
Salisbury Resident February 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Yeah, because there are no doctors who are Democrats. Pfft...give me a break...
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 16, 2012 at 04:51 PM
But who wants less government, less regulations, get-off-our-backs sort of thing...Wall Street and capitalism gone berserk because the Republicans want less government regulations...Look what is happening in Virginia lately(my post above)...I don't see that as less government...Looking into pregnant women's vagina for no reason is abominable overkill.
Rosemary B February 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
They are trying to save the lives of the unborn. Bring a woman to the realization that she is indeed killing her child. Modern science has found that Human DNA is found almost from conception. That, to me, makes it a person. You want to be pro-choice, that is fine, but at least be pro-choice embracing the truth that you are taking another human life. I don't happen to agree with this VA. legislation. I think it is a great big waste of time and money, unless it is also to confirm pregnancy. I think if a woman wants to have an abortion this will not be enough to stop her. I would be interested in seeing the stats as to whether this makes a difference or if Virginia women might just go to neighboring states where laws such as these do not exist.
Rosemary B February 16, 2012 at 05:52 PM
And how about this one for government over reach http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/homemade-lunch-replaced-with-cafeteria-nuggets.html
Rosemary B February 16, 2012 at 06:03 PM
And, FYI, in order to have an abortion you almost always have to have something inserted into your vagina for what is called a D&E, dilation and evacuation, or aspiration, where the baby is sucked out.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Rosemary B...This government intrusion is nothing but an attempt to ban abortion...This is rather hypocritical since your party wants less government in our lives, especially in our bedrooms...I am very much informed about procedures in abortion and there is no need, unnecessary actually, for lay people to go sticking there noses in women's vagina during the "sucking out".
Rosemary B February 17, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Interesting update on the Contraception vs Religious liberties from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com/2012/02/six-more-things-everyone-should-know.html
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 17, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I suggest that the bishops ceasefire...Who gave the bishops (Vatican) this religious authority?...God?..He personally spoke to them?..When did that happen?..Every individual has the right to go its own moral way and no bishop or whatever can revoke that...Did you also know that the insurers would rather pick up the tab for family planning than paying for pregnancies?..Think about it.
Rosemary B February 17, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Just putting it out there that, according to this document, the Obama Administration has again LIED. "1. The rule that created the uproar has not changed at all, but was finalized as is. Friday evening, after a day of touting meaningful changes in the mandate, HHS issued a regulation finalizing the rule first issued in August 2011, “without change.” So religious employers dedicated to serving people of other faiths are still not exempt as “religious employers.” Indeed, the rule describes them as “non-exempt.”"
Rosemary B February 17, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The point is, once again, should religious organizations be FORCED to pay for medical procedures and contraceptives that GO AGAINST THEIR RELIGION. Especially since their employees still will have access to these procedures and drugs. The only difference is they have to pay for them themselves. It does not matter what the insurers want. The religious organizations do not have a problem paying extra for pregnancies.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I thought we are done with this debate...The insurers are more than happy to pay for contraception than pregnancies (see above)...The bishops and their believers are unrelenting...Let's put this thing to rest and move on...Ayayay.
Rosemary B February 17, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Yes, religious leaders are unrelenting in their fight against having their constitutionally protected right to religious freedom trampled upon by this administration. The day any of us just lay down and give up our rights with out a fight is the day this country will change forever.
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 17, 2012 at 02:59 PM
BUT THIS IS OVER, FINIS...Their constitutional right is not trampled upon...This is not rolling over, by any means, just being obstinate...The church is not to pay for birth control anymore...Are we done yet?..Because I am...No sense beating on a dead horse...God help us.
Lee Snover February 17, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Rosemary, you are valiant in your effort to defend what is logical and simple to see. But your arguing with a troll. Stop wasting your breath and casting your pearls before swine. Enjoy the holiday weekend!
WILFREDO G. SALCEDO, Sr. February 17, 2012 at 05:28 PM
OK...here comes the name calling...Some people just couldn't be happy until they insult someone.

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