In response to my post last week â€” Relationship Advice from Planned Parenthood: â€œStop Thinking of Her As a Personâ€ â€” a commenter named Sophi wrote the following:
if you actually read the nyt piece youâ€™d know that the author is quoting a friend and acknowledges the poor choice of wording. and if you knew anything about feminism youâ€™d know theyâ€™re more concerned with the actual message and not just the choice of words. and even with the poor choice of words the message his friend was trying to get across is clearly that â€œhumans are animals and that sex is natural.â€ and taken in the context of the whole article it becomes part of a nice story of coming to terms with the sexual hangups he got from his traditional/strict religious upbringing. and beyond that, even the congressman who claimed 98% of what pp does is abortion came out and said it wasnâ€™t a factual statement. so repeating that lie only hurts your credibility.
I wondered if someone might try to argue that I was taking the “Stop thinking of her as a person” advice out of context and say that’s not what Planned Parenthood was endorsing when it linked approvingly to the New York Times essay “Eating the Forbidden Ham Sandwich” from its Facebook page earlier this month: Here again is what Sophi began her comments:
if you actually read the nyt piece youâ€™d know that the author is quoting a friend and acknowledges the poor choice of wording.
Now, remember that Andrew Limbong (the author of the essay) was writing about how he wanted to have sex with his girlfriend (Sam), but the influence of his mother and his Christian upbringing was holding him back. Rather than listen to his conscience, he sought the advice of his friend Haroon. Here’s the context:
Sam was patient, but I didnâ€™t want to wait for her patience to run out. So I called Haroon. At this point, he had already had sex, or â€œeaten the ham sandwich,â€ as we like to say. He laughed when I called, but not condescendingly. He was expecting this call from me. He had become something of an expert in overcoming the ham sandwich effect. He ran off a list of people we both knew in similar situations whom he had coached through this sort of thing. His advice? Breathe a lot, do some push-ups and donâ€™t really think about it. â€œStop thinking about her as a person,â€ he told me. â€œPeople are animals, and having sex is a natural thing that animals do all the time.â€ He probably could have worded it differently, but I was comforted by the simple fact that he got over it and was now eating ham sandwiches on a regular basis. That kind of achievement wasnâ€™t really my goal, but I did need to stop thinking about it so much. For my blood to go where I needed it to go, I needed to distance myself from my fears, my religion, my mother, Sam and even myself. So I did, and it happened. I donâ€™t blame my mother for how difficult it was for me to have sex, to have any sort of physical relationship with women at all. Thatâ€™s how she was taught, and she was just trying to do her best with me. Actually, unlike Haroon, I appreciated my motherâ€™s old-school leanings for making sex so difficult. Getting over the mental block seemed like an achievement, an accomplishment, something worth doing.
What Andrew should have done is told Haroon that the advice to “stop thinking of [his girlfriend] as a person” and start thinking of her (and himself) as an animal is sick and wrong.
“People are animals”? Seriously?
There’s a reason why laws requiring the mandatory spaying/neutering of cats and dogs make sense. Because cats and dogs are “going to do it anyway.” They literally can’t control themselves. But as people, we have the ability to reason, to make free choices, and we have a conscience. And so â€” you might want to sit down for this â€” we are very different from animals, and any advice that tries to convince us that we should lower our behavior to their level is the kind of advice that should be treated like psychological poison â€” because that’s exactly what it is. And although Andrew did admit that Haroon “could have worded it differently,” he also said Haroon’s advice “comforted” him â€” and, most importantly, Andrew said it was precisely Haroon’s advice that he felt gave him the green light to start having sex with his girlfriend. Sophi also wrote that Haroon’s advice “becomes part of a nice story of coming to terms with the sexual hangups he got from his traditional/strict religious upbringing.” “Hangups”? Please.
Abortion = 98% of PP’s Services to Pregnant Women
Now, as for the last part of Sophi’s comments:
and beyond that, even the congressman who claimed 98% of what pp does is abortion came out and said it wasnâ€™t a factual statement. so repeating that lie only hurts your credibility.
This was in response to what I wrote here:
And although abortions do make up 98% of the “services” PP offers to pregnant women, it is true that they’re not the only thing they do. [emphasis added]
Arizona Senator Jon Kyl said last month on the Senate floor: “If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and thatâ€™s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” He misspoke. Abortions do NOT make up over 90% of Planned Parenthood’s services. But what I said in my post last week was that abortions make up 98% of the services Planned Parenthood offers to pregnant women specifically. And then I linked to another post I wrote last month on the Pro-Life Action League’s blog where I explained the math on this: Looking at a Planned Parenthood fact sheet [PDF] detailing their services for 2009 (the most recent year for which we have figures available), we see that PPâ€™s abortion numbers were 332,278, while their number of adoption referrals was 977. Add to that 7,021 prenatal clients, plus the 332,278 abortions, and you have the total number of services to pregnant women, of which abortions constitute 97.6%, which rounds up to 98%. I think it’s also interesting that as PPâ€™s numbers of prenatal clients and adoption referrals have gone down over the past three years (36% for prenatal clients and a staggering 80% for adoption referrals), their abortion numbers have gone up by 9%. In fact, Planned Parenthood’s abortion numbers have gone up every year for the past 15 years. UPDATE, 5/31/11: Check out other May 2011 pro-life blog highlights at Life Reportâ€™s Pro-Life Link Party here.