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Tuesday, December 7, 2021


The Octogenarian: Shut ‘er down


| Photo illustration by Courtney Williams

There is a threat afoot from certain members of Congress to shut down our government as a means of getting their way on a certain issue.

My feelings: go for it, shut it down.

Who wants to shut down the government, and why do they propose this extreme measure? At the forefront is our good old Texas senator and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. Although she can’t vote on the issue, Carly Fiorina is also at the head of the problem.

The problem that they see is the alleged criminal activity of Planned Parenthood.

Who is Planned Parenthood?  Planned Parenthood is a worldwide group of clinics catering to the health — including reproductive systems — of female Americans. They offer an array of services, including legal abortions.

And, there is the rub. We are going to shut down the American government in the fight over abortion.

I first encountered the abortion problem in the late 1930s.  I lived in the 2800 block of W. Garrison Avenue, a long street running from Old Pimlico Road to an abandoned farm and wooded area.  Our street had two Methodist families, two Jewish families and the rest were either Irish or Italian Catholic.  There were about three dozen preteen kids when Mrs. M (name omitted) became deathly ill.

We all took her illness personally. I overheard a conversation between some of the moms who gathered to help Mrs. M., and the word abortion was mentioned.  I asked my older and much wiser sister about it, and she explained.

My sister told me that Mrs. M. had five kids and couldn’t have any more.  She had gone to a mysterious lady who did kitchen-table abortions, which meant that she stopped another baby for Mrs. M.

Since the Mrs. M incident, I have been against abortion. But more than that, I do not believe that I have any right to tell any female what to do with her body or her life.

According to Carly Fiorina, there is a tape that shows a living fetus on a table, kicking, while people from Planned Parenthood are discussing keeping it alive so that they can harvest its parts for profit.

“I dare Hillary Clinton (and) Barack Obama to watch these tapes,” Fiorina said.

Well, so do I, because there is no such tape.

So, let’s keep spreading the big lie and let them shut our government down.  This will cause some inconvenience. We keep Planned Parenthood funded, we will save American  women’s lives in their war against women.

The anti-Planned Parenthood crowd claim that if they close Planned Parenthood, women can just “go somewhere else.”

Not true.

This argument was heard in the 1950s about black children having separate but equal education benefits. There was separate, but never equal.

“Turns out Planned Parenthood is not only critical to the country’s infrastructure of reproductive care, it’s also cost effective,” according to Kerry Eleveld of the Daily Kos.

Of course, low-income women would be hit hardest by Planned Parenthood closures.  About one in six American counties — 491 counties in total — have a Planned Parenthood clinic. Taken together, they see about 2.6 million patients annually. Planned Parenthood Clinics make up only 10 percent of publicly funded contraceptive clinics but provide care for 36 percent of patients who use the government birth control programs. On top of all that, abortion only accounts for about 3 percent of their total services.

Hey, Republicans supposedly interested in cost effectiveness, how about those numbers?

So again, let’s spend our money and Shut-’Er-Down.  You won’t stop Planned Parenthood, but you will help guarantee a far more progressive government for the United States in the 2016 election.

Women of America — especially students — need to protect themselves. Vote and protect the rights due to all women.

Opinion columnist Ken Levin is a political science senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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