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Voices from the Flats – John Aronno from the Planned Parenthood Booth at the Alaska State Fair

Planned Parenthood in the Mat-Su Valley
by John Aronno

aronno

I’ll start off by answering your question: 15 minutes.

15 minutes is the time that it takes from the moment you sit down at the Planned Parenthood booth, to the moment where an older woman calls you a Nazi and alleges that you kill babies. At least that was my experience.

I suppose it takes a lot more time to let sink in the fact that we passed out, easily, forty or fifty condoms to teens in a state that left the rest of the nation in the dust in terms of rising teenage births last year. While the United States, as a whole, saw a 6% increase in teen births, Alaska brandished a shocking 19% increase, according to ABC news and the CDC.

Thinking back to when I was thirteen and fourteen, I remember the free condoms at Planned Parenthood booths. I can easily recall the reality, for me, of what happened when I awkwardly mustered the courage to walk up and grab one. It spent a year in my wallet, before a friend pointed out that keeping them in your wallet for long periods of time renders them useless. So, have at it, kid. And if a few did end up pairing off and making use of them, so be it.

Many parents showed up to the booth with their own children. We even saw “the talk” happen right before our eyes a few times.

One woman, presumably in her late thirties, grabbed a handful of condoms. Before we could stop her and inform her of the “two condom maximum,” she calmly sighed and explained, “My son’s an absolute idiot.”

Many people don’t account for the majority of the functions of Planned Parenthood, nor do they entertain the reality that 95% of the services provided are educational and promote health care; cancer screenings, STD testing, contraception, pregnancy testing and consultations. The strategy is not to create death panels, but instead to help kids understand what so many devote so much time and money to keep them from learning. Advice columnist Dan Savage once offered the opinion that sex education in schools, as they operate now, act as more of a disservice to our teens. He offered an analogy, which is the best I’ve heard so far, comparing abstinence education to Driver’s Education. Imagine if you signed up for a class to learn how to drive, and the instructor spent hours informing you on the inner workings of an automobile’s engine, then sat you behind the wheel and said, “You’re on your own from here.” Planned Parenthood recognizes that shortfall of the educational approach to sex education, and attempts to voice their concern and alternatives; calling for comprehensive sex education in our school systems.

But many individuals gloss completely over the definitive name of the organization itself, and see only “Anti-Unborn” instead of “Planned Parenthood.”

Once again, we arrive at the inevitable fork in the road, where a considerable amount of people truly go to bed at night mistakenly believing that “Pro-Choice” is synonymous with “Abortion Fetishist;” that we wake up every morning counting the minutes before we can terminate a pregnancy. This conclusion is as shamefully baseless and blatantly uninformed as it is offensive. As I have written about on this blog before, I was in a relationship in my early twenties that resulted at one point in the termination of a pregnancy. So, admittedly, the “Baby Killer” comments hit home with me. But I did not, nor did my then-girlfriend, or any of my friends who have been in similar situations, make a casual decision to abort. It just is not something that is done arbitrarily. It is something that, no matter what, stays with you. It weaves itself into who you are. I hate abortion. But I don’t have a better idea.

I wish that the people who afford themselves such a “casual decision” to hate me for supporting the right to choose gave pause to that.

The majority at the fair, though, were supportive of our presence. Many people asked us if we could watch their bags while they walked around, and it was commonplace to be asked where the ATM or bathrooms were. People often waved as if they had known us personally for years. It was clear that a big cross section of people felt safe talking to us. And that’s big.

My favorite part of the evening, though, was during a brief trip to the restroom. This might be a bit of a too-much-information anecdote, but it’s too funny to not relay. I was wearing my incredibly pink “Safe Sex is Sexy” t-shirt as I entered the men’s room. An older gentleman walked in and stepped up to a urinal next to me, and began his business. However, a few seconds into the process, he glanced over at me, then looked at my shirt. The silence was interrupted by a quick zipping sound. He proceeded to, then, walk four feet to the furthermost stall, where I heard a second zipping sound, followed by the sound of relief.

Oh my God, I thought. I’m the monster in the public restrooms that I’ve been hearing about all summer!

Comments

comments

Comments
54 Responses to “Voices from the Flats – John Aronno from the Planned Parenthood Booth at the Alaska State Fair”
  1. AKPetMom says:

    I’m am not going to put my tail between my legs because of my comment.

    Perhaps I was misunderstood, however I did use the example of Planned Parenthood’s presence at the State Fair on an open thread prior to John Aronno’s post being included here. I used it as an example to counter the hateful bumper sticker people and try to bring forth the realization that everyone has a voice and not everyone thinks like us.

    I am just trying to make people realize that Alaska is red, red, red, and the Planned Parenthood booth incites more hateful comments than do the “hateful bumper sticker booth” or the “dead fetuses in jars booth” (Right to Life).

    My brother just escaped the Red Madhouse of Alaska because he could no longer be comfortable living here, and he’s a mountain climber, skier and outdoor aficionado. He escaped to Washington state, to a little community called Bonney Lakes and he just arrived yesterday and already feels the relief from throwing off the chains of the conservative hatred that rules this state.

    I was, in my own convoluted way of writing, trying to share a glimpse of what Alaska really is with those who do not live here and don’t realize the overwhelming feeling that is present when the majority of the population has beliefs that are diametrically opposed to one’s own.

    I know that many of you from outside of Alaska live in red states, the majority of whose populations do not share your personal beliefs so you know what that feels like.

    Sorry to offend but just wanted to offer up a view of how it is up here.

    In closing, I do sometimes feel that we spend a lot of time sharing our common views and patting each other on the back for witty comments and essays and here at the ‘flats we live in a little bubble of mutual admiration.

    I love it but it doesn’t give me a broader view of the entire spectrum of beliefs and human activism that make up the entire “big picture”. That “big picture” makes me angry beyond belief at times but I have to dip a toe in there every now and then or I would spend my life chatting amongst a group of like-minded people and perhaps become complacent because here at the ‘flats it always seems just fine and dandy, but things are not fine and dandy and we all need to remember that.

    The “haters” will use their first amendment right until someone calls them out on it or they are arrested and the judicial system finds them guilty of inciting hate crimes and other violence. Until they cross that line and someone actually gets hurt they can exercise their right to free speech. Often times it’s too late for some unsuspecting victim and that is unfortunate.

    Sorry to offend but I hope my reasoning makes some sort of sense to someone who reads this…..

    I’m not a bad person, I just felt the need to try to be “realistic” and it really backfired on me and I apologize to those I’ve offended.

  2. InJuneau says:

    Anne–if you’re “realizing” that you think this post means AKM is a man, you’ve missed that this was actually a guest post by John Aronno, who is working at the PP booth at the Alaska State Fair. I’m pretty sure AKM is still a woman.

  3. Punkinbugg says:

    OMGoodness. This just in: Dallas TX leads the nation in REPEAT teenage pregnancies. In other words, 28% of our children who have had a baby have ANOTHER baby before reaching the age of 20.

    The statewide average of 23% means Texas leads the nation in repeat teen pregnancies.

    Yay Big D. We’re #1!

    *sigh*

  4. ValleyIndependent says:

    Well said, Kath the Scrappy @ #42.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Thank you John, for your dedication to the cause, your post, and to AKM for running it here.

    Thanks to PP for making sure I never had to face such a heart-wrenching choice, and for basic medical care when I couldn’t afford it anywhere else.

    I’m angry with those who picket clinics and invade the privacy of their patients, not realizing that 95% of them are there for basic care unrelated to abortion. It is sadly ironic that they actually scare off young people who most need the clinic’s services to avoid unwanted pregnancy and thus abortion, but they never seem to understand they are actually counter-productive to their cause.

    May I suggest this question be asked each time a pro-birth person pipes up or shows up on a picket line: How many children have you adopted and how many others who are not your own do you support?

    The most rabid ones I know are not putting sufficient amounts of their money where their mouths are to raise even one child successfully.

  5. Lighthouse says:

    aussiegirl77:

    Amen! (to everything you said!)

  6. aussiegal77 says:

    P.S. Sex education helps prevent unwanted pregnancies and therefore helps prevent abortion, helps prevent the spread of HIV and other STDs and is a good way to communicate the Bible’s teachings about sex and marriage (if you are a Christian). What’s not to like?! My staunchly Christian mother certainly didn’t have trouble talking to me about sex. AFTER I was married. I wish she would have talked to me before that – I made a lot of mistakes that ended up hurting me (physically, emotionally & spiritually) because I just didn’t know enough about sex and relationships in general to avoid the pitfalls.

  7. aussiegal77 says:

    Denial is the easiest way to deal with things we are uncomfortable about. What a silly old man.

    I don’t speak for anyone else but myself. If I ever have to counsel someone about an unwanted pregnancy, I would have to stick to my beliefs and counsel them against terminating it and suggest either keeping it or giving up for adoption.

    But – as a Christian – I would do one of the following:

    1) If they choose to terminate, I would pray for them and with them. Then be sure that I was there every step of the way thru this agonising decision – up to and including going to the clinic with them and holding their hand thru it all OR

    2) If they decide to keep the pregnancy, I would pray for them and with them. Then I would want to offer to adopt the child. If that isn’t an option for whatever reason, I would be sure that I was there every step of the way thru the pregnancy – up to and including the day the baby comes.

    Because if you preach Christ and faith – yet have not love for the people you counsel, then you are nothing but a clanging cymbal. When you say to someone “God is with you, go in peace” yet not help them in every practical way possible with whatever they are struggling with – then that is just empty rhetoric.

    Unless Christians everywhere are willing to bear each other’s burdens out of love – then no one will come to Christ. Why would they? Without love because of faith in action, then it’s just religion.

    It takes more faith to help someone in need (believer or not) and trust that God will make something good out of a bad situation – than to sit back, do nothing and point the finger. You know which group was good at that in the Bible? The Pharisees. I believe Jesus referred to them as a “brood of vipers” who “cannot enter heaven and block the way for others”. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

  8. Kath the Scrappy says:

    A Joke from back in early 1980’s
    I cannot believe I actually laughed at the time, CANNOT believe I laughed.

    Q: What’s the difference between “Love” and “Herpes”?

    A: Herpes is Forever.

    Not so long after that, rumors started coming down about a new kind of STD called AIDS.

    Planned Parenthood has probably done more to intervene than any other agency to stop the spread of STDs. I donated in each paycheck to PP until I retired. It just made sense to give people a chance to support the kids they had and be able to survive without overloading them.

  9. A flood of memories about half truths and myths and awakenings this brings out! My mother´s tale is that (50ies!) that a friend got married and bought a book. The young couple could not afford to have children just yet, so they studied. This friend decided to share his book with all his friends. Did I mention this was Italy .. no kissing in public in those days.

    Thankyou so much for educating the young ones and maybe some of those that think they don´t need it anymore…. You are sparing them a lot of anguish.

  10. Nin says:

    I don’t call myself pro choice but rather Pro Prevention. Making the case for PREVENTION is easy when you remind those hostile to choice that Sweden is the perfect example of your philosophy: I has the lowest teen pregnancy and unwanted pregnancy rate, the lowest abortion rate AND the best comprehensive sex ed and free contraception. I remind people that if they want to stop abortion, they have to get aboard the prevention wagon. They can’t have it both ways as we’ve seen that abstinence programs don’t work.

  11. samper says:

    Well said, Karen Marie!

    AKPETMOM: You KNOW I heart you! But I, too, would have to place just a bit of objection on what I think you mean in your post.

    Freedom of Speech is, indeed a right for ALL of our citizens. The Pro-Birthers have as much a right to dispense whatever information they want as are the Pro-Choice folks. I’ll defend to the death their right to speak out for their position, whether I agree with that position or not (and I don’t, I’m pro-choice).

    However, the thing I think is getting lost in the 1st Amendment is that with our Freedom of Speech (and by extension, the right to dispense information to support a position) comes a RESPONSIBILITY to use that freedom wisely, with respect to others, and without inciting danger, violence, or emotional distress.

    First Amendment or not, it is not “nice” to call someone a “Nazi Baby Killer” just because they are dispensing accurate information on a variety of health issues, including the prevention of pregnancy. If the person wants to express a view opposing abortion, for instance, they could find a mature, factual, and respectful way of doing so rather than using hurtful and inflammatory speech.

    That’s how civilized people do it. I’m sure that our Founding Fathers and the Framers of the Constitution kept their manners about them, even while disagreeing with the opposition’s viewpoint. I also have a feeling that they would have expected the generations hence to do the same.

    Abortion, after all, is a legal procedure in this country. Just as carrying around Uzi’s at the President’s Town Hall is legal, though both very disagreeable to many.

    But God forbid, we call them “gun toting, people killing Nazis”.

  12. karen marie says:

    @AKPetMom Says:
    August 31st, 2009 at 8:07 PM

    Not everyone agrees with Planned Parenthood yet they have a right to have a booth at the Alaska State Fair.

    [snip]

    I know that we reside in a little community of “like minded” people here at the ‘flats, but I just want to remind everyone that those who don’t think like us also have the right to express their views, no matter how unsavory we might find them.

    While I appreciate your desire to have a friendly and open environment here (which it is), the mistake you make is believing that the free-speech clause of the First Amendment guarantees a person freedom from being ridiculed, shown to be wrong or shouted down, or freedom from the consequences of your speech. Just ask Glenn Beck (34+ advertisers gone in the last two weeks).

    But no one need fear they are violating anyone’s rights under the Constitution if they throw a brickbat at an opinion they disagree with. Civility is, of course, a very good thing — no mind was changed and nothing gained by name calling — but there’s nothing mandatory about it. If there were, the majority of the teabaggers would be in jail.

    What constitutes our “right to free speech” is just a handful of words in the First Amendment:

    “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”

    Even having this prohibition, there are all kinds of laws (the government) which curb speech. Most of them we, the people, agree on, which is why they are in the law. An example is laws regarding language and image censorship on TV and radio.

    At the end of the day, AKPetMom, the people here are not guilty in any way of attempting to stop anyone from joining the conversation. The people who scream “baby killer” at the PP volunteers at the fair and the people who complain to fair officials that PP is permitted to have a booth, when they attempt to intimidate and/or chase away the people who work/volunteer/use the services of PP they are, IMO, guilty of interfering with their fellow citizens’ right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

  13. Anne says:

    In response, in all seriousness – it’s responsible to mention to your progressive, sympathetic audience, that PP offers services for those of us who find ourselves with poor insurance, going back to school, low income, etc….I’m a nursing student, and a mother, who uses medicaid for insurance. I get my women’s health yearly needs from PP. Not only do they offer the teen, initiative health services, but they are well able to handle adult preventive health services (and I prefer them – no judgment with these folks – I always find the atmosphere to be more accepting and friendly than my local GYN office).

    Long time reader, only a few time commenter. Love your work, so great to see how your readership has evolved!

  14. Anne says:

    I must have been on a blog/internet break when you revealed your gender/identity. I realize I’m late to the party. It should please you to know that from previous context clues, I had decided you were a woman.

    Kudos for androgyny from CT!!!

  15. strangelet says:

    Oh, hey, John. I don’t think you qualify as a monster. I forget which rest room you need to be in, but I’m sure you have to be dressed as a woman.

  16. karen marie says:

    Dear John:

    Wonderful, encouraging post. Thanks so much for it, and all the work you and Planned Parenthood do.

  17. strangelet says:

    @AKPetMom — I’m not 100% sure I get your point. You’re right, of course, that everyone has the right to express their opinion, however distasteful it may be. But I also think that calling someone a “Nazi baby-killer” — unless the person actually is a Nazi baby-killer — is sort of terminally impolite.

    Recognizing that people have the right to say offensive or stupid things does not mean that we can’t point out that they are offensive or stupid.

    I’ll accept your last sentence as fact, and all I can say to that is, that’s a darn shame.

  18. Hattie says:

    Planned Parenthood gets 50% of my contributions to good causes. Thanks for your good work, not just for PP but for this blog, which is the best blog on local politics evah!

  19. Punkinbugg says:

    Thank goodness for Planned Parenthood. Because of their help, our children were planned & I never had to face the awful decision of an unwanted pregnancy.

    I took my foster daughter there after I discovered she’d been active for a while, and using nothing. Her boyfriend’s parents refused to let him go with her, nor would they talk to him about condoms. Their solution? Pay for half of her prescription… Thankfully, she moved out of state before anything happened to irrevocably change their lives.

    Idiots.

  20. AKPetMom says:

    Not everyone agrees with Planned Parenthood yet they have a right to have a booth at the Alaska State Fair.

    The Right to Life movement also has a booth as do the people who are selling the hateful racist bumper sticker.

    They all have a right to express their opinions and every year the State Fair gets hundreds of complaints because of the presence of the Planned Parenthood booth. My friend used to work in PR and event planning at the Fair and she told me many stories of people calling her and freaking out because their kids got free condoms at the AK State Fair.

    I know that we reside in a little community of “like minded” people here at the ‘flats, but I just want to remind everyone that those who don’t think like us also have the right to express their views, no matter how unsavory we might find them.

    For every person on that called to complain about the racist bumper sticker, another two probably called to complain about Planned Parenthood.

  21. Ivy Freeborn says:

    “We had actual sex ed in Brainerd Minnesota and family life classes in social studies with actua facts. In the late 70’s.”

    We had actual sex ed in the Tacoma School System in the mid 60s. I certainly had comprehensive sex ed in 8th grade and that was 1965. My kids had much less comprehensive sex ed at their shool in the 90s; we had to supplement a lot.

    What’s happened is that conservatives started running for school board positions. Most people don’t pay much attention to school board elections, but all you need on a board is a simple majority and they can have any curriculum they want.

  22. deist says:

    About 20 years ago, I left the republican party because I realized their platform largely focused on trying to control and subordinate women (as their position on abortion illuminates). Even as a male I found their sexist extremism disturbing.

  23. ChiCat says:

    It’s funny how some people forget the CHOICE aspect of pro-choice. You are always welcome to CHOOSE to carry the pregnancy to term and raise a child or give it up for adoption. I’ve noticed that these same people often call themselves pro-life, when they really mean that they are pro-BIRTH, as they often don’t seem to care about the lives of children, even children that are pregnant. And they don’t realize that by providing information and contraception options, Planned Parenthood has probably done more to reduce unwanted pregnancy, and thus abortion, than all the so-called “pro-life” groups put together.

    Thank you John, Greytdog’s mom, and everyone else who has helped Planned Parenthood in their health care mission.

  24. CR46 says:

    Thank you John for volunteering at PP. I have volunteered at different clinics for the last 23 years, while you run into that crazy person now and then, just remember their kids need access to planned parenthood the most and hopefully they will find their way there before becoming another statistic. I am now middle aged(yikes, I hate to admit that!) but I was lucky enoough to have parents that believed education was the key to success in life, including se education. And as Lilybart stated above being raised in Minnesota, we had good sex ed way back then ( PS my father was on the State Board of Education for a time and helped get sex ed into Minn schools) I feel sorry that Alaska seems slightly backwards on this issue, but I am now living in TX and it was a culture shock after moving here too. Keep up the good work, reaching just one teen makes it worth it 🙂

  25. sauerkraut says:

    That dude in the bathroom wasn’t following proper bathroom etiquette when he moved in next door… maybe the pink shirt helped refresh his memory.

    Nice of you to not ask him “Larry Craig, I presume?”

  26. the problem child says:

    Hey, John, I hope my first post didn’t come across as discouraging — the work you are doing is so important, and so necessary. Thank you. And I hope you never again have to contemplate an abortion (with a partner). Once is enough. I say this from experience (false alarm, but still alarming).

  27. lilybart says:

    My mother died when I was 13 and I don’t know what I would have done without Planned Parenthood. they were the only people I could talk to. I went there at 18 to get the pill. We had actual sex ed in Brainerd Minnesota and family life classes in social studies with actua facts. In the late 70’s.

  28. Lee323 says:

    Great post, John.

    15 minutes to “Nazi”………and 4 feet to safe relief. It’s all in the numbers, eh? LOL!

    Kudos for the work you’re doing with courage and humor.

  29. lexky says:

    always with the bathrooms.
    womens bathrooms are not nearly as exciting as the mens is apparently.

  30. SmallSteps says:

    thank you also too to Greytdog’s mom!

  31. SmallSteps says:

    Thanks John! PP was the only healthcare I had when I was an uninsured college grad working part-time while attending grad school. They provide so many services. The one I went to didn’t even provide abortion services back in the day (still doesn’t – it’s verboten in Lancaster, Pa). I remember one of the last times I went in for a yearly exam/pap and they were all still shaken up by a client who had been in earlier that day. This was back in the days before HIPPA, still they didn’t disclose names/ethnicity/etc. They see it all, and yet they were still in shock. All they said was, she was pregnant and only 11 yrs old!

  32. Denise says:

    I am 52. When I was in school sex education was still taught. Girls had a movie night about their upcoming periods – with Mom, of course – when we were in 4th grade. Then in 6th grade we got the basics – proper names for organs, where babies come from and, more importantly, HOW pregnancy happens. When I became sexually active I went to Planned Parenthood for birth control pills. They didn’t judge me. The gave me the right information to prevent unwanted pregnancy. My best friend missed all of that because she went to the local Catholic school (I, too, am Catholic). She literally thought she could get pregnant from kissing. If her period was late, she was sure she was pregnant…from kissing her boyfriend. I was the one that took her to Planned Parenthood because she didn’t believe me!

    I still support Planned Parenthood with my check book. Planned Parenthood does excellent work, under sometimes difficult circumstances. I applaud their efforts.

  33. nswfm CA says:

    Yay, greatdog’s mom. Teaching women to read so they can use such information and to impart it to their kids is the way to improve lives around the world. More than I can say for the Palin gang that can’t shoot straight.

  34. judi says:

    Unbelievable….funny and sad at the same time!

  35. Greytdog Δ says:

    Standing and applauding John!!! My mother set up planned parenthood clinics throughout SE & Central Asia for over 20 years. Those clinics brought much needed medical help (and not just for birth control) & education to areas that often didn’t have ANY access or never had access to medical help. She brought in the staff to administer vaccinations, exams, midwives, and medical educators. She worked with WHO staff, Peace Corps, and missionaries – they worked to stop the spread of that most insidious of diseases – ignorance. So thank you John, for carrying forward the very necessary work of Planned Parenthood.

  36. samper says:

    PS: They use the Nazi thing because they obviously can’t think of anything intelligent to say when voicing their opposition to choice, healthy behavior and prevention.

    ALSO TOO: No wonder Bristol got knocked up at 17!

  37. samper says:

    It’s good and meaningful work, John, if even one “absolute idiot son” makes a healthy decision not only for himself, but for the young lady he woo’s.

    PC: I know grown men who have been using condoms for 30 years who can still mess it up in a moment of “passion”! Two seems a little shy of a reasonable night’s supply for some! 🙂

  38. zyggy says:

    Had that nasty woman called me a “Nazi” I would have turned around and slapped her silly, and I do feel I would have be justified.

  39. Karen says:

    Twenty years ago, when my daughter was 16 she informed me she had made her choice. I took her to my gyno, for the exam & the pills. The “abstinence” bit worked until then. My husband did the same thing with condoms & our son.

    I have never considered having an abortion, for many reasons, one of which is my faith. One of the very few things my mother did correctly was teach me birth control. While I never considered it for myself & would rather see people on whatever kind of birth control works for them, I can’t see forcing my beliefs about abortion on other people. Nor can I see making criminals out of someone who would go that route. Or the doctors who preform them.

    And let’s face it. There are people out there who end up pregnant who should never be allowed alone with babies or small children. Those are the people who use abortion for birth control & shouldn’t be stopped.

  40. colibrimoon says:

    I thought Obama was a Nazi for his pro-healthcare, now John, explain to me why are you are Nazi for prochoice. I don’t get it…I guess I’m a Nazi too. Maybe, the definition of a Nazi has evolved into a person with socially conscience progressive ideas and focused actions with measurable results.

  41. the problem child says:

    Only two condoms per person? And one woman with a stupid kid got a handful? (I really, really hope those condoms went to good use and didn’t end up as water balloons.) I hope you will consider giving handfuls to everyone. First-time condom users tend to mess up the application, especially if drunk or stoned, and teenage boys usually want more than one go-round in an evening if you know what I mean.

  42. Claw Washout Palin says:

    Planned Parenthood is a respected educational resource. There minds are open to what the client is looking for and need. What I found interesting is that; those you oppose are unaware of there own family members receiving service. Sometimes, the person who is opposing has also been a recipient; but now is feeling guilty.

    I’m glad that you had a booth at the Fair. People of all ages are having sex; I’ve known it to start as early as 5 years old. STD is beginning to be on the rise again. HIV has spread to those beyond retirement years. However, ignorance has no boundaries.

  43. jojobo1 says:

    MadCity Chick right on I advised my daughters that I would rather take them to a doctor for birth control than have them end up with an unplanned pregnancy and if they were uncomfortable admitting to something go to planned parenthood.I just wanted them to know what was available and I was not giving them permission as some would say.

  44. MadCity Chick says:

    Can’t remember the name of the magazine, but Todd stated in one interview they didn’t discuss birth control or safe sex with Bristol because he figured the ‘info was already out there’.

    Not the way to keep our kids safe and smart. Talking to your child about options and being safe isn’t the same as giving permission.

  45. nswfm CA says:

    Meant to add, did he wash his hands?

  46. nswfm CA says:

    Keep wearing that shirt. You don’t need morons like that too close to you, either.

  47. Lee says:

    John, that is just way to funny. Thank you for supporting a womans right to choose.

  48. Ivy Freeborn says:

    Actually, about 2 seconds after I hit “submit” I thought it could be better worded. “Opposed to abortion” sounds better, and I never knew anybody that actually liked abortion- although I go on record as liking to have the choice.

  49. Ivy Freeborn says:

    It always cracks me up when prochoicers are called Nazis, I’ve had a great deal of pleasure from informing antichoicers that the Nazis were strongly anti-abortion! We need big posters of Hitler up there, with a slogan: “Don’t like abortions? Nice company you keep!”

  50. 0whole1 says:

    I would have had a hard time not laughing in Ms. “You’re-a-Nazi’s” face.

    There oughtta be a money-where-your-mouth-is tax on each and every tax form: Check one: send 1% of tax due to Planned Parenthood / send 1% of tax due to [program supporting single mothers].

  51. InJuneau says:

    Oh, and it’s also good to know who the monsters are now! 😉

  52. InJuneau says:

    The analogy to Drivers’ Ed is spot on. Thanks for what you’re doing to help with the broader educational needs in our state!

  53. John says:

    Thanks for the post. I think the better driver’s ed analogy is that we are handing kids the car keys, telling them the car is full of gas, and then saying “but don’t you dare drive it anywhere.” Of course they are going to drive the first chance they get.

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