I’m sure you’ve seen or at least heard of the Planned Parenthood videos by now. The fallout from these videos is predictable. So much outrage. So much protesting. So much vilifying. Not a lot of concrete solutions. Now, I am as susceptible to outrage as the next person. This is sort of how I go through life:
It is reasonable to be outraged at times. All manner of unsavory madness goes on daily in this world. Outrage is even necessary sometimes to draw attention to an issue. But in addition to the outrage, action is helpful. I don’t have the answers to complicated problems such as abortion, human trafficking, or drug legalization. Nobody does. Life is complicated. I do, however, have a desire to start thinking more along the lines of “I may be right, but am I effective?” I didn’t come up with that line; it is a Dialectical Behavior Therapy mantra. But it makes sense in so many situations. The mantra can be used in any interpersonal relationships. It can also be applied to tough issues that everyone argues about.
So, people are really mad about abortion. They’re really mad about Planned Parenthood. They want to defund Planned Parenthood. (Btw most of what Planned Parenthood does is all about reducing abortions.) They protest about it. They do this because they believe they are right. I think that to be effective, though, we have to add some action to that fervor. If we are against abortion, we should probably want to see a reduction in abortions. So, how do we reduce abortions? Here are just a few ways:
- Offer free or reduced-cost contraceptives at your organization
- Support organizations that offer free contraceptives and pregnancy counseling
- Choose for your employees insurance policies that include coverage for contraceptives
- Encourage school boards to not only include comprehensive information about different forms of contraceptives in sex education, but to also promote their use
- Encourage elected officials to vote for more Title X funding, not less
- Start, donate to, or volunteer for a free daycare for kids with low- or middle-income parents. One of the reasons people get abortions is that parenthood seems economically impossible.
- Encourage elected officials to lower the cost of adoption through increasing government subsidies
8. Consider adopting a child from an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy
There are more things you can do, of course. This is just to get you thinking. Go ahead and be outraged. It is appropriate that important issues evoke emotion. But do other things, too.