You want to know why women are so goddamn passionate about Planned Parenthood? It’s because toxic conservative policies made us need it. Planned Parenthood provides low-cost services to patients living in poverty, whose standard of living is the lowest in the developed world because conservatives dismantled the safety net. It provides healthcare to patients who otherwise can’t get it, because conservatives have so vehemently campaigned against making it more accessible. It provides contraceptive resources to patients whose schools can’t meet these needs, because conservatives have mandated abstinence-only sex education. It provides patients with affordable birth control, which can be omitted from employee health plans thanks to conservative-majority rulings. And yes, Planned Parenthood provides abortions to patients for many reasons. Some patients need abortions because conservative opposition to maternal and family support programs makes parenthood so unaffordable. Some patients need abortions because conservative rejection of family planning initiatives makes it harder to prevent pregnancy. Some patients need abortions because they were raped, and conservative cultural stigma made it unbearable to report the crime or obtain Plan B. Some patients need abortions because they simply don’t want to be pregnant, despite conservatives’ conviction that zygotes have the constitutional right to condemn their host organisms to compulsory pregnancy.

Conservatives have wielded their power to build a country wherein one-fifth of all women rely on Planned Parenthood for basic needs. The organization is a refuge from social harm caused by the exact same conservative lawmakers who demonize it. And they’ve done it so hatefully that their propaganda inspired a terrorist act, which was committed using a weapon that conservatives have worked to keep widely available.

I’m so grateful that Planned Parenthood still stands strong against conservative violence, and I’m in awe of the employees who refuse to abandon their patients.

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