Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Planned Parenthood Leaves a Pain-Wracked Woman on the 'Wire'

One of the reasons Planned Parenthood advocates offer for why it deserves the quarter-billion that it receives in taxpayer funding each year is that the organization does more than abortions—it provides "health care."

Reading blog entries from impoverished youths gives one an idea of just what Planned Parenthood means by "health care." For example, it means inserting an intrauterine device into a young woman's womb and then refusing to take it out when the patient's wracked with pain.

Well, "refusing" is a bit of an exaggeration. Planned Parenthood's quite happy to undo the damage—if the woman will only wait five weeks for an appointment.

A 26-year-old who calls herself D [UPDATE:name deleted at her request] wrote yesterday:

I made myself get up and took some Tylenol. Called Planned Parenthood and the sickeningly cheerful receptionist on the other end of the line informed me that September was one of their busiest months and I'd be lucky if I wasn't rescheduled again on the 28th. Yeah, that's right. I have to wait over a month and they might reschedule that appt.
If its an emergency go to the hospital....I want PP to take care of it so I don't run up any more debt with the hospital...
D's online bio says that she's a mom to "4 or 5 cats"—no real kids, apparently—and that her interests include "rape survivor" [sic] and "polyamory." She doesn't sound like the best candidate for an IUD, given that, as WebMD's experts write, "Women who haven't had children are more likely to expel the IUD or have more pain and cramping after insertion." In addition, if D is a rape survivor, the wire IUD is a singularly invasive form of contraception, especially as it may become embedded in the uterine wall, requiring an even more invasive dilation-and-curettage.

Then there's the "polyamory." The IUD's risks include pelvic inflammatory disease, and the risk of contracting that disease increases with multiple sexual partners. All things considered, with all the contraception options available, Planned Parenthood appears to have exercised remarkably poor judgment in its treatment of this young woman.

No, it's worse than poor judgment. It's tragic. And you and I paid for it. D lists her residence as Spokane, Wash., where Planned Parenthood of the Inland Northwest offers free "health care" and contraception for low-income clients through the state's Medicaid-funded Take Charge program.

Go back through D's blog entries and you'll see that, between her bragging about mixing alcohol and painkillers, she's very ill.

August 8: "Musta been something I breakfast is trying to come up on me...Stupid abdominal pain, took some Tylenol, hope it helps."

August 17 : "Felt really sick again yesterday afternoon, didn't eat dinner and had strong abdominal cramping again. I hope Planned Parenthood doesn't reschedule my girlie exam again."

August 19: "My abdomen is f[---]ing hurting so badly right now...I took some heavy duty pain killers earlier. Had to reschedule my stupid PAP/IUD check appt. because my cycle came early. I wanted to get a pair of needle nose pliers and yank the damn [thing] out earlier today, stupid displaced IUD."

Her cycle came early. One symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease is irregular menstrual bleeding.

Fast-forward four days, to yesterday's post, where the "sickeningly cheerful" Planned Parenthood receptionist informed D "that September was one of their busiest months and [she]'d be lucky if [she] wasn't rescheduled again on [September] 28th."

Did D tell the receptionist in one of her many phone calls to Planned Parenthood that the IUD felt "displaced" and that she was experiencing "strong abdominal cramping"? Given her many complaints on her blog, and her many efforts to gain an appointment, it's hard to imagine that she would omit that fact.

One of the major symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, besides the abnormal bleeding, is lower abdominal pain. Planned Parenthood knows this; its own IUD fact sheet instructs patients to tell their clinician immediately if they have "severe abdominal cramping."

According to a government fact sheet, untreated pelvic inflammatory disease can cause chronic pelvic pain and scarring in about 20 percent of patients. That's in addition to infertility and a risk of ectopic pregnancy.

D calls herself a "pagan," and it's no wonder. Planned Parenthood's treatment leaves her without a prayer.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America's annual report shows that it received over a quarter-billion dollars in taxpayer funding in fiscal 2004. If you do not want to see your tax dollars go towards Planned Parenthood's dangerous "health care," contact your senators or your representative.

UPDATE: A commenter who identifies herself as D writes:
I request that you remove this or at least take out the direct quotes taken out of context/misinterpreted from my LJ as well as my name. I refuse to be 'a statistical case study' for whatever right wing political agenda this article was intended to highlight.

Freedom of press is one thing; defamation of character through misquoting and asserting religious convictions on an individual and calling it an entry is an entirely different thing. I am a pagan libertarian with a twisted sense of humor which can at times be discordian and my journal reflects that.
I have removed D's name as her request. Because her blog is a public blog, unlike those that are protected by passwords, I believe I have the right to report what it says as news. I have included several links to her blog so that readers may see whether the quotes here have been taken out of context.

I apologize to D if my actions have offended her, but I believe people have a right to know what qualifies as "health care" by Planned Parenthood's standard—especially when we as taxpayers are paying for this seriously harmful and negligent treatment. I pray she gets the treatment she needs.