Almanac

Viewpoint - June 22, 2011

Letter: Rancor over Planned Parenthood misses point

The appeal, by a group of residents and activists, against Planned Parenthood in Redwood City is unconscionable.

Orange County Catholic Attorney Gregory Weiler claims it would be "a necessary evil ... considered by a growing majority as an anathema."

Is it evil to provide health care to those who can't afford it? Is it anathema to offer cancer screenings?

More than 90 percent of Planned Parenthood health services are preventive. Every year it provides over 1 million cervical cancer screenings, 830,000 breast exams, and 4 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases — including HIV.

Abortion is legal. Abortion foes should be grateful that Planned Parenthood services prevent more than 612,000 unintended pregnancies each year. Only about 3 percent of services relate to abortion.

Weiler claims those appealing the clinic include "people who just don't want the disruption in the community."

Would these people consider a doctor's office or hospital disruptive? Is it disruptive to provide essential health care to men and women — especially young people — who couldn't otherwise afford it?

We don't need an Orange County lawyer to deprive local residents of affordable medical services.

We do need Planned Parenthood.

Pat Marriott, Los Altos

Comments

Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Barry Goldwater once said that Jerry Falwell should be given a swift kick in the ass. Goldwater's complaint was that the religious right was trying to impose its views on the electorate through the election of theocrats. Goldwater was a true conservative. That means he wanted small limited government that did not butt into people's private lives. Planned Parenthood does not receive any Government aid for the controversial woman's right to choose.

All funding for pregnancy termination comes through private donations. Planned Parenthood does a lot to keep women's health from being at risk and also helps infertile couples conceive. Planned Parenthood has been working with Washington University in St. Louis to allow infertile couples conceive through advances in science.

We need to be more tolerant of people exercising their individual freedoms. Just because one, through his/her own belief system, believes that pregnancy termination is wrong, does that give him/her the right to impose her views upon other people? Unless we are living under the Taliban then respecting women's personal rights should be a good thing.

Harry Blackmun a Republican Supreme Court Justice appointed by Richard M. Nixon wrote the majority opinion for Roe v. wade affirming a woman's right to choose. Byron White, a Democrat appointed by John F. Kennedy wrote the dissenting opinion arguing that woman did not have the right to choose. Democrats and Republicans have been on both sides of the issue. The question is should personal liberty prevail over opinions seeking to limit that liberty. I think it does.


Posted by I agree, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I agree wholeheartedly. The majority of us who know that Planned Parenthood is a wonderful and effective health-care organization that provides fundamental health services to low income women and men need to stand up for PP! The anti-choice minority is trying to change the conversation by demonizing a healthy, strong, community-minded organization that our community needs. Don't let their lies spread any further! Remember, these folks are only a few degrees removed from the people who shoot doctors in their church and blow up people in their clinics.

I just sent a donation to PP in honor of your sensible post.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

First, I am a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood and have no problem with federal funding of abortions (and cancer treatments, bariatric surgery, contraceptives, etc.).

Second, it is false to deny that Planned Parenthood provides pregnancy termination procedures. In fact, they provide something like a fourth of all terminations performed in the US. It's a tragedy that we have so many abortions - it's a very poor substitute for easy, pregnancy prevention.

Third and most importantly, we should resist demonizing people who disagree with us on this issue with inflammatory statements like they "are only a few degrees removed from people who shoot doctors in their church and blow up people in their clinics." That is not so dissimilar from those who generalize about Muslims. We are polarized enough.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 27, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I forgot to add this comment.

You may want to note the history of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. If you are unaware of her philosophy, it will raise your eyebrows.

For obvious reasons, Planned Parenthood has distanced itself from her views.


Posted by 70 bucks & amtrack ticket, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

on a not dissimilar (anti-intrusive govt) note

viva Nueva York!

Web Link


Posted by PP supporter, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

70 bucks - Awesome funnies. Thanks for posting.

Guys, Planned Parenthood needs more support than our comments in the Almanac. Redwood City Council is chickening out. They need to hear us. Send e-mails of support to council@redwoodcity.org.

If people wish to prevent abortions, the best way is to fully fund Planned Parenthood, open this health center, and make their family planning services available to all who need them, regardless of ability to pay.


Posted by prochoice, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:15 am

Margaret Sanger's philosophy was aligned with Hitler's. Not relevant, but interesting historical footnote.

No matter how terrific the services offered by Planned Parenthood, the fact is that PP is a magnet for a certain type of protester. How many of you remember when PP was on Middlefield in Menlo Park? It was nauseating to have to drive past the protesters -- whose right to free speech withstood numerous legal challenges. To have to explain those grotesque bloody images to young children. Driving down El Camino in Redwood City the other day, I saw similar images, bigger than before. I tried to distract my son in hopes he would not look in that direction.

People should not have to be subjected to sickening pornographic propaganda thrust in our faces. Moreover, I wonder if there's a safety issue associated with waving these pictures in the faces of drivers on a busy street.

So I don't think the issue is as simple as Planned Parenthood, yes or no. The model isn't working.


Posted by honesty, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

So Prochoice--Why do you think it's important to not show the truth to people? They are still free to make that choice. There is nothing dishonest about the photos that show aborted babies. You don't think it's important for people to know what they are doing before they do it? Are you afraid they might not agree with your point of view if they learn the results and/or consequences? Everybody should be able to assess all sides of ANY issue before they make a decision on it.


Posted by prochoice, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm

You're right, honesty. And I think that protesters should hang around outside McDonald's with puddles of vomit and mounds of diarrhea, just to show the possible consequences of a visit to that establishment.

Who defines the truth? You? People visit PP to get health care services and birth control...isn't that a good thing in your estimation? I guess not. Nope, the goal is to force as many women as possible into pregnancy (note the misogynistic overtones of the protesters) and not allow them to have abortions. Of course, once the babies are born -- often to parents who are too young or too poor to care for them -- you won't eveb consider doing anything to help those families. You may even vote against social services and school taxes because "that's not my problem!"

Meanwhile, you have no qualms about inflicting nightmares on innocent children like mine. Those are the real, living victims of your hatred.


Posted by Also pro choice, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:14 pm

To Pogo:

I don't think it is unreasonable to note that folks with views not that far from those held by the opponents of PP in RWC, have murdered doctors, nurses and innocent bystanders in the name of "saving babies." That's not rhetoric, a doctor was shot to death in his church, a nurse and a security guard was maimed by an explosion. Please explain why we should tone it down when denouncing those who would prevent, as any cost, women from exercising their freedom of choice?

Read this article: Web Link

I can think of no clearer indication that the anti-choice folks have lost their way. How can one justify the cruelty of this law to a living woman and her doomed fetus?


Posted by honesty, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Wow, prochoice. Such vitriol! Nobody suggested forcing women into pregnancy. For the most part, they have the choice to do that themselves. As you stated, they can get birth control and advice from PP. In fact, the photos that so disgust you would probably be a catalyst for them to make sure they use that service. But why would you want to shelter your son from this free speech? Does free speech only apply when it aligns with your ideals? Do you not want him to question other people's perspectives? If you allow him to do that, it could, in fact, reinforce your mindset in his eyes. Or, God forbid, he could disagree with you. He will not always be in your company, and will see all of these real world demonstrations, from all sides of every issue. He will talk with his peers. At some point, he will wonder why you would not let him draw his own conclusions. Result--rebellion. Good luck with that!

Oh, and your McDonalds analogy was quite weak. While I don't subject myself to the likes of McDonalds, I hardly think that everybody who does ends vomiting and with diarrhea. However, everybody who has an abortion does end up with one of those bloody fetuses--or at least the medical team does. The person receiving the abortion, and the person being aborted, never has the pleasure of that viewing.

You referred to my hatred, which I have never expressed. The only real hatred is what you have just demonstrated--hatred for my willingness to disagree with you. That's a classic left-wing response to any dissent--name calling, distort an opposing position, and silence the free speech of an opposing opinion. How insecure and paranoid!


Posted by honesty, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:25 pm

.......sorry, I forgot "pathetic" at the end of my last post.


Posted by 70 bucks & amtrack ticket, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm

suggested edit -

"...women from exercising their *CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED* freedom of choice? "


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Also pro choice -

According to the Gallup Poll Web Link half of our country considers themselves "pro-life" and half "pro-choice" - a demographic that hasn't changed in YEARS. For you to characterize half our country as willing to "prevent, as (sic) any cost, women from exercising their freedom of choice" is beyond a stretch. Debate the merits of your position (which I agree with), don't demean people who disagree with you. It's no different than a right winger referring to anyone who disagrees with their position as being un-American or unpatriotic.

Prochoice -

"And I think that protesters should hang around outside McDonald's with puddles of vomit and mounds of diarrhea, just to show the possible consequences of a visit to that establishment."

Have you seen the new cigarette packaging? Should they be spared this same horror?


Posted by Also pro choice, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Dear Pogo:

Wow. In one breath you denounce "name-calling" and then describe that as "classic left-wing response to any dissent." I suggest a long look in the mirror regarding name-calling and "classic [fill-in-the-blank] respond to any dissent."

And you entirely missed my point. Twice. I said that the people who are trying to demonize Planned Parentedhood are not very far removed from those who have taken their position to a violent extreme. I never, nor would I, suggest that 1/2 of the nation are violent extremists. But I do suggest you understand very well who your bedfellows are, and some of them are violent extremists who have murdered innocent people. So much for "pro-life..."

Finally, to suggest that showing a young child aborted fetuses is good for them suggests a lack of concern for children and a lack of understanding of their development. Eventually, a young child might grow up to become a trauma surgeon or a veterinarian, but that doesn't mean that it is appropriate to subject young children to graphic surgical images. I really shuddered when I read your defense of those people with the gigantic bloody fetus signs. Perhaps to promote better driving habits we should all parade around with signs showing mangled road-kill? Do you think that would be an appropriate thing to do on a public street where children might see those images? No, of course is isn't. And neither is showing bloody fetuses, nor is showing women who bled out after illegal abortions, nor is showing naturally aborted fetuses with grotesque birth defects. It is all wrong. Wrapping it up in political self-righteousness does not change the fact that publicly displaying such images is abusive to children.


Posted by Menlo Park Parent, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm

This topic leads to such a charged debate. In my house it lead to a very interesting conversation with a 12 year old boy, as we discussed how one could be both pro-choice and anti-abortion at the same time. My son was confused at first -- but through the conversation understood that everyone has the right to make their own choice and if my choice is to not abort then it is fine for me -- but if someone else is not in the same situation as I, then they get to make their own choice.

I support planned parenthood as I believe that they provide services that support all women in whatever choice that they make. That choice is a right and privilege.


Posted by Also pro choice, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Menlo Park Parent: Good job! I had similar conversations with my children and they have grown up to be thoughtful adults who respect the right of each woman to make that choice.


Posted by Thomas, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 28, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I've never read a pro choice opinion that characterized pictures of aborted fetuses as "pornographic" but then I've yet to see mounds of diarrhea outside a McDonalds either.

It also strikes me as quite hypocritical that Mr. Weiler, an Orange County attorney, is also president of St. Thomas More, an independent Catholic organization sponsored by lawyers and judges that feels it is "the principal objective of every lawyer to promote and seek justice". I would like to think that these guys would have their hands full defending the indiscretions of their clergy rather than trying to impose their beliefs in the year 2011.

And "Also Pro Choice", you have every right to tell your children to look away when passing by a demonstration replete with disturbing photos but unpleasant displays are a part of life's lessons. While you may prefer to tell your children to look away and ignore their questions about why people are protesting with disturbing images, other parents may feel it's best to provide an explanation.

Your opinion about what is or is not appropriate parenting is no different than respecting someone that disagrees with your pro choice opinion. That said, I have not read posts from anyone on this thread defending the images of aborted fetuses only their right to do so as well as some parents who would rather address unexpected circumstances as they occur rather than pretend they didn't happen.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Menlo Park Parent - thank you for voicing my views! When I've used PP, it was due to lack of insurance coverage for other services - basic services, not pregnancy termination.

In my youth, I accompanied scared friends on 2 different occasions for pregnancy terminations at PP. They've received excellent care. As their friend, I was included in some of the after-care education. I was impressed by everything I encountered at PP - eye-opening after many years of Catholic education.

Years later, both my partner & I used their services - yes, they serve men - at least they did. After that, I made regular donations, as did my then-partner. I will be ever grateful for the services I received there.

FWIW, most of the staff I encountered there were Latina Roman Catholics. I always saw protesters there, too. Made me wonder if they could've used all that vehement energy towards something more constructive, such as volunteering w/foster children, mentoring kids or even adopting a child.

POGO, I understood your points.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 28, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Also pro choice -

You said "Wow. In one breath you [POGO] denounce "name-calling" and then describe that as "classic left-wing response to any dissent." I suggest a long look in the mirror regarding name-calling and "classic [fill-in-the-blank] respond to any dissent."

You may wish to re-read my post because you clearly have me confused with someone else. I said no such thing. It would be entirely inconsistent with my position.

Then you said, "And you entirely missed my point. Twice. I said that the people who are trying to demonize Planned Parentedhood are not very far removed from those who have taken their position to a violent extreme. I never, nor would I, suggest that 1/2 of the nation are violent extremists. But I do suggest you understand very well who your bedfellows are..."

Actually, you DID suggest that half the nation are "not very far removed" from violent people. TWICE. Regardless of your position on this issue, that kind of generalized smear is truly despicable.

Finally, for your information, my "bedfellows" include Planned Parenthood. I'll put my pro-choice credentials against anyone's. I simply will not resort to smears and sweeping negative generalizations about people who disagree with me.


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 29, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Honesty how can you assume that someone who is pro choice is a left winger. I know a lot of conservatives who are pro choice. Your assumptions are at best interesting. I don't how many children you have ,but seriuosly rebellion because a child wasn't informed properly what a joke.


Posted by Ethan, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Margaret Sanger's philosophy: irrelevant.
The Catholic Church's philosophy and history: very relevant, unfortunately.

"Deus nobiscum, quis contra?"


Posted by honesty, a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hey Bob--Here's my statement: "That's a classic left-wing response to any dissent--name calling, distort an opposing position, and silence the free speech of an opposing opinion." Do you see anywhere in there about me calling all "pro-choicers" left-wing? Nice spin!

Here is the other statement you tried to spin improperly: "Does free speech only apply when it aligns with your ideals? Do you not want him to question other people's perspectives? If you allow him to do that, it could, in fact, reinforce your mindset in his eyes. Or, God forbid, he could disagree with you. He will not always be in your company, and will see all of these real world demonstrations, from all sides of every issue. He will talk with his peers. At some point, he will wonder why you would not let him draw his own conclusions. Result--rebellion." Hmmm........I don't see anything in there about a child not being informed properly. Although, it is an interesting Freudian slip on your part, as you have just implied that not letting the child see what an aborted fetus looks like is tantamount to misinforming him.

In one short posting, you have twice demonstrated exactly what I meant about the classic left-wing approach defined above. Thank you for validating my position.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Lets put Planned Parenthood On Santa Cruz Ave in Menlo Park or across the street from Pat Marriott's house in Los Altos. Then they can see first hand how Americans in their cars, sounding their horns, using profanity and the 'finger' against men, women and children exercising their First Amendment Rights who desire to protest against this in THEIR neighborhoods. It is a disruptive entity to a quiet neighborhood.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Fred - PP is not disruptive. It's the *protestors* who are disruptive. This new location, right by Chevy's - talk about disruptive - is on El Camino Real - a pretty "disruptive" street all by itself. That's better than Santa Cruz Ave - no parking Nazis. Folks can protest, exercising their rights, & others can utilize the clinic's services - including abortion - exercising *their* rights.


Posted by bob, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Honesty who were you calling left wingers then and why do you assume I am? Regarding your comment about pictures of aborted fetuses are you sure those pictures are not doctored to make it look worse than it really is? I am not spinning anything you seem to be the one thinks anyone that doesn't agree with you is left wing. [Portion deleted.]


Posted by Emotions in check, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I'm certain PP is not forcing women to have abortions, so why people are targeting PP I don't understand. What's that? You say it's because PP offers a service you do not believe in? Well then great- don't have an abortion. If you believe in preventing abortions, then supporting PP's family planning, education, and pregnancy prevention services would seem like a better use of your time and energy.

And scare tactics are just that, a means to invoke fear. Not sure how much anyone could learn about something like a medical procedure such as an abortion by simply viewing gory images, but if education is truly your goal, then once again wouldn't time be better spent learning how to teach the subject of family planning and pregnancy prevention or supporting programs that help provide birth control to those unable to afford it such as the program PP has instead of trying to prevent people from deciding what to do after the fact make more sense? Just a thought. After all, a pound of prevention.....


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm

"Then they can see first hand how Americans in their cars, sounding their horns, using profanity and the 'finger' against men, women and children exercising their First Amendment Rights who desire to protest against this in THEIR neighborhoods."

Fred: that would people in their cars excercising THEIR first amendment rights. Ain't the Constitution grand?


Posted by Allison , a resident of Woodside: other
on Jun 29, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I fully support Planned Parenthood and a Women,s right to choose and I condone the Catholic church! How dare they try to deny people basic care. I thought the Catholic church was suppose to be a leader in human rights, denying people access to basic health care is a human rights issue. I am not surprised though, the Catholic church is hypercritical they will align themselves with human rights unless it involves pedophile on the parts of their priest, Jews in the, Holocaust, and basic women's rights. moreover, how dare the Orange Country group come Redwood city. Reminds me of the Hate spewing Mormons who defeated Prop 8 and the awful evil West BB Church. How tragic that religion thees days erode basic morality and human decency. I dream of a day that will sadly never come again where religon provides the comfort it was i was intended to without being politicized by extremists who spew hatred, lack of compassion and anger with every breath. Lastly, RWC Council, support PP its a basic human rights issue and if you must look at it only from a $$$$, preventative care make emergency care less costly and thus PP is better for a city already in debt.


Posted by enlightened, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 30, 2011 at 7:54 am

Allison, You write "I condone the Catholic church." Judging by the comments following that statement, I think you meant "condemn," not condone. If that's the case, I'm in full agreement with you.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

To Menlo Voter. Yes, the constitution is grand. It allows Americans to freely act in an uncivil, ugly manner. Everyone knows their rights, but few remember their responsibilty to act kindly to one another and have constructive debate.
Abortion is the law of the land, people are free to choose it. Others hope to persuade some to not to kill their otherwise soon to be children if possible. They also object to the disruption PP brings to a quiet street, that currently has very limited parking. Defending the unborn could be the greatest civil rights movement of our time.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

Fred:

PP doesn't bring the disruption. It is those folks that bring their protests there and act in an uncivil, ugly manner. Gian pictures of aborted fetuses. How much uglier could it get?


Posted by prochoice, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:10 am

Planned Parenthood is not disrupting the neighborhood. The protesters are.

The rabblerousers' protestations regarding civil rights might have a mote of credibility if they expressed any concern for the lives of actual living children, including the thousands of children living in poverty right here in San Mateo County. We already know that they place little value on the lives of the brave professionals who work at PP, or the lives of women who died by the thousands while undergoing abortions before 1973. As it is, they seem focused primarily on attracting negative attention.

I remember attending a city council meeting when PP was in Menlo Park and listening to horrific stories from residents. I don't know if the exploitative artwork has prevented a single abortion -- I doubt it -- but I remember that meeting, and watching people burst into tears as they described, for example, how the signs brought back memories of a spouse's murder.

It's really unfortunate that our communities can ban public cigarette smoke, noise pollution, and newstands with pornography, and yet can seemingly do nothing to prevent these dissidents from assaulting all of us visually. I guess we are fortunate that they are a significant minority -- not even supported by most people who are anti-choice -- and that Roe v Wade remains the law!


Posted by 70 bucks & amtrack ticket, a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 30, 2011 at 11:40 am

"That's a classic left-wing response to any dissent--name calling"

Good thing the right is so pure about name calling - one never hears the right calling the left unpatriotic, or socialist-facist-marxists, or born in Kenya, etc...


Posted by Fred, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm

To Menlo Voter. The truth is often not pretty. Babies are beautiful. Their termination isn't. The man with the signs has gotten to you.

To prochoice. PP supporters have the signs encouraging people to honk and disturb the peaceful neighborhood. Shouting, honking and showing their middle fingers s done by PP supporters, against people quietly expressing their disagreement.


Posted by Fred, a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm

To pro choice. Your comments are simply wrong. Who do you think runs the largest free meal program in San Mateo County in the poorest neighborhood helping the poorest of the poor?


Posted by Hank Lawrence, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Dear Emotions in Check

Thank you for the best post, so far, in this column.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Fred:

the man with the pictures has decidely NOT "gotten" to me. I still support a woman's right to choose. The pictures are ugly. As you said, free speach comes with responsibility. The pictures are ugly. People don't like seeing them. People express their dissatisfaction with seeing them. Free speach works both ways. If you don't like having your neighborhood disrupted go ask the man with the sign to put it away. I can jsut about guarantee you won't hear anyone honking their horn after he does.

Abortion is not a happy positive thing, but it is still a woman's choice to do with her body as she chooses. I fully support PP as they provide more than just pregnancy termination. For many poor women they are their only source for birth control and other reproductive care.


Posted by pat, a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm

> "The rabblerousers' protestations regarding civil rights might have a mote of credibility if they expressed any concern for the lives of actual living children, "

According to the National Center on Family Homelessness, 1.5 million children in America go to sleep without a home each year.

Worldwide, "The exact number of street children is impossible to quantify, but the figure almost certainly runs into tens of millions . It is likely that the numbers are increasing." (UNICEF, 2005)

For details about homeless children and their "rights," see the Consortium for Street Children Statistics at Web Link

Our tax dollars do not support abortions because Federal law forbids it. Planned Parenthood's primary purpose is health care. Eighty-three percent of its clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy, thus preventing abortions.

According to Population Connection,
- "At least 200 million women around the world would like to delay or end childbearing but have no access to contraception. Family planning improves maternal and infant health
- "The 50 poorest countries on earth are also those with the highest fertility rates. Voluntary family planning improves everyone's quality of life.
- Nearly 80 million people are added to the earth's population each year."

According to CARE, "17 children die from hunger every minute. Hungry children face stunted growth, slower brain development, diarrhea, anemia and, ultimately, death."



Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

fred made two good points:
First: "To Menlo Voter. The truth is often not pretty. Babies are beautiful. Their termination isn't. The man with the signs has gotten to you.
To prochoice. PP supporters have the signs encouraging people to honk and disturb the peaceful neighborhood. Shouting, honking and showing their middle fingers s done by PP supporters, against people quietly expressing their disagreement." I have witnessed that scenario. Ross Foti doesn't need to shout. His pictures scream out his message. "There's none so blind as those who will not see."


Second: "To pro choice. Your comments are simply wrong. Who do you think runs the largest free meal program in San Mateo County in the poorest neighborhood helping the poorest of the poor?"

That would be St. Anthony de Padua Dining Room. I am a past supporter of theirs. Unfortunately, in recent years they have succumbed to the temptation of tax dollars ($100,000/year) from the Sequoia Healthcare District, and run the risk of becoming yet another social services agency of government.
As a thrice elected Member of the Sequoia Healthcare District Board of Directors, I voted against the grant of tax dollars to St. Anthony's. I also spoke out in opposition to their grants to Planned Parenthood and the Children's Health Initiative (CHI), both of whom provide or fund abortion services. The District discontinued grants to Planned Parenthood, but continues it's $1.35 Million annual grant to CHI. This excerpt from:
Web Link is self explanatory.

Family Planning Services
Cost to Member
No copayment
Description
Voluntary family planning services are covered, including:
Counseling and surgical procedures for sterilization, as permitted by state and federal law
Diaphragms
Coverage for other federal Food and Drug Administration approved devices pursuant to the
prescription drug benefit
Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Fred does make a good point about St. Anthony's. I'm not up on the recent history/funding, but historically, they've fed thousands & thousands of folks - something so easily forgotten by anti-Catholics.

I've worked very closely with interfaith ministers. All agree that Catholics feed the hungry, moreso than others. I don't recall the figures, but a Unitarian minister I know had ready local figures he gave out - very interesting. However, this thread is about PP & protesters - many of those protesters are NOT Catholic. Please don't turn this into an anti-Catholic rant - that's shortsighted, off-topic & despicable.

A lot of the posters here make excellent points, whether or not I agree w/them. Abortion is legal, protesting, w/in limits, is legal. One thing I can't agree on is that this considered a "quiet" neighborhood. If you live on a side street of ECR, near ECR, it's pretty NIMBY to complain about a business on ECR - unless that business itself or its clients are noisy. PP isn't responsible for the protesters, nor are they responsible for who honks or not, drunks coffee while driving or flips anyone the bird - even if they encourage these behaviors - they're not responsible. Take responsibility for your NIMBY attitudes - ECR was there before you.


Posted by Thomas, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Mr. Hickey: "There's no so blind as those that will not see". AND
"people quietly expressing their disagreement."

It's disturbing in this day and age to read the remarks of old timers like Mr. Hickey and Fred who easily forget about people like Eric Rudolph. I don't think anyone with a position (pro or con)honestly believes that Mr. Hickey's three time election to the Sequoia Healthcare District board of directors qualifies him as any expert on a woman's right to chose let alone the resulting consequence that these decisions are better left to men. I might put more stock in the opinions of board members Kim Griffin or Emily Kane rather than Mr. Hickey whose only contribution to public service (according to his own resume) is webmaster for the Fun after 50 Club.

This issue has absolutely nothing to do with religion and the fact that Sequoia Hospital is owned by Catholic Healthcare West certainly provides enough evidence why a board member feels threatened by a PP office opening in Redwood City. Come on guys, time to scrape the Jesus fishes off your cars.


Posted by Ethan, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

>>This issue has absolutely nothing to do with religion<<

Amen. But you kind of have to wonder why the president of a Catholic lay organization located in Orange County has gotten involved in the issue up here. After all, they apparently have their own problems down in OC. At the most recent meeting of Mr. Weiler's group, the guest speaker was an exorcist.


Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Don't like the message? Attack the messengers!


Posted by Thomas, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Truth can sometimes be painful Mr. Hickey.

Whether it's Redwood City, California or Monrovia, California, Attorney Weiler, while president of St. Thomas More, does not have any problem with abortion clinics but rather their "land use". I suggest you reference online Mr. Weiler's interest in halting other proposed PP locations due to "land use" by entering:

"Zoned Out: Life Legal Defense Foundation" (paragraph 5)

And as you know Mr. Hickey, CHW by their own charter prohibits any hospital they buy or own with assistance to women on "reproductive rights".


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:59 am

Jack:

yes, abortion isn't pretty and no, the pictures haven't "gotten" to me. I still support a woman's right to choose as you clearly do not. But it's not up to us is it? Neither of us will ever be pregnant.


Posted by Jack Hickey, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

We all have a free will. And yes, even women have the right to choose. I choose not to support tax funded abortions of convenience.


Posted by smmmmm, a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 11:52 am

"And yes, even women have the right to choose."

How noble.

/not

The discussion is not about tax dollars, that's prohibited and is law.

"convenience" ??????

Let's see what your definition of the word is when your granddaughter (heaven forbid) gets in trouble...


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 11:57 am

Pro-life people aren't the only ones who resort to violence. Google the name "Harlan Drake." It didn't get much press, but it was every bit as disturbing and insane as the shooting of George Tiller.

There are idiots in every political camp - right wing, left wing, pro-life, pro-choice, pro-war, pro-peace. Fortunately, they represent a very small minority - just one or two people. But sometimes, that's all it takes.

It is for that very reason that I refuse to vilify an entire movement, even if I disagree with - correction, ESPECIALLY if I disagree with it - based on the bad acts of one of a like-minded criminal.


Posted by smmmmm, a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

"Fortunately, they represent a very small minority - just one or two people."

There are more than one or two pro-"life" idiots that are willing to threaten to resort to violence. That's fact. Visit the Southern Poverty Law Center Web Link

re: my misstatement on abortion via tax dollars being prohibited - it can be covered under various tax funded programs in the case of rape.

Glaring exception: our heroes in the military

They cannot get an abortion even if raped by a fellow service member.

Web Link


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

smmmmmmm -

Keeping in mind that I'm unabashedly pro-choice, I only recall a handful of instances of someone causing violence to an abortion PROVIDER (murder or bombings). I recall one instance of someone causing violence (murder) to an anti-abortion PROTESTER. You don't hear people invoking the name Harlan Drake to smear ALL pro-choice people.

Unless you can cite more (and your link did not), I'll stand by my statement that there are a handful of idiots in each camp.

People have the right to protest. In fact, "uncomfortable" protest - provided it is peaceful - is the kind of free speech that requires the MOST protection.


Posted by smmmmm, a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Mr Pogo

One actually has to read or even click once or twice if one is looking for information.

I found that site in a quick google.

From the site you looked at, try this link to domestic terrorism from the right since 1995, below. Use cont-F to search for specific incidents, type in a-b-o-r-t-i-o-n.

Then click the "next" button. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again. Click it again.

There's more than one or two idiots as you suggested.

There are other sites with more information, more records and evidence. Since it's my lunchtime, rather than lead you step by step to those, perhaps you can post something about your "just one or two people".

Always willing to learn. Do not want to be considered an ostrich, do I?

Web Link

example:
Sept. 7, 2010
The FBI arrests 26-year-old Justin Carl Moose, a self-described "freedom fighter" and "Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden," for allegedly planning to blow up a North Carolina abortion clinic. After earlier receiving tips that Moose was posting threats of violence against abortion providers and information about explosives on his Facebook page, the FBI set up a sting operation to capture him. Moose later pleads guilty to distributing information on manufacturing and use of an explosive and is sentenced to 30 months in prison.


Posted by Old Mole, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jul 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I haven't seen the particular images used in this area, but I have seen protesters with photos of so-called "aborted fetuses" elsewhere, and they do not accurately represent the early-term abortions that PP performs. To that extent, they are dishonest, and, to my mind, weaken the anti-abortion position.

In the inerests of full disclosure, I believe abortion should remain safe, legal, and rare.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Jack:

abortions of "convenience?" How the hell do you know they are abortions of "convenience?" Do you sit in on every pre-abortion consultation? Didn't think so. Also, the funds PP recieves from the government are not used to provide abortions so you should be just fine with PP.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Well stated Old Mole. The photos that the protesters parade around are of late term abortions which PP does NOT perform. Legally, late term abortions can only be done to protect the welfare of the mother. As you said, the protesters are being dishonest by trying to present these photos as some kind of evidence of what PP does.


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:17 pm

smmmmmm -

Gee, and here I thought that when you provide a link as you did, that it would direct me to your reference. I didn't know that you wanted me to do all of your work for you. Silly me!

But even so, the citation you provided DID NOT PROVE YOUR POINT. We are talking about ACTS of violence (like murder or bombings - YOUR POINT, not mine), not just planning or conspiracies which are too numerous to mention.

So, again, are there more than "a handful" of violent acts from either side? I only know of three against contraceptive providers and one against pro-life protesters. Both are equally abhorrent.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Ethan - wonderful post. I'd love to have heard what that exorcist had to say. It sure would be more interesting than the dreck that the pro-life protesters shout. Maybe living in the OC is much more challenging than it appears on TV...


Posted by pat, a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Does it matter how many violent acts on either side? Even one is too many!

That's why it's disturbing to hear people like Ross Foti call Planned Parenthood "inherently immoral" and claim it "corrupts young people" through its sex education programs.

While many protest against Planned Parenthood for religious reasons, a recent report from the Guttmacher Institute says about 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church. Web Link




Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 1, 2011 at 7:26 pm

pat -

Yes, one violent act is too many. I think we are in violent agreement - that's why I called them "disturbing," "insane" and "idiots."

My point is that there have been violent acts on BOTH SIDES. We shouldn't smear one side because there is an idiot in their midst.

While disturbing and disgusting, Mr. Foti's protests have always been non-violent and his right to protest is protected by the first amendment. Freedom of speech is always easy when you agree with it. It's most important, however, when we don't agree with it.

For what it's worth, I couldn't disagree with Mr. Foti more.


Posted by pat, a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2011 at 8:38 pm

POGO, yes I understand your point about violent acts on both sides. And yes, Foti has the right to free speech. What I find disturbing is free speech that incites violence.

No, I do not suggest limiting free speech, no matter how I might disagree with it.

My overriding concern is that there is a war on women, seemingly led by Republicans, who are working overtime in many states to deny women the right to choose. See for example, "Defunding Planned Parenthood, The Battle Turns Uglier" at Web Link

Some will use any excuse – religious, political, biological – to deny women their rights. The 15th Amendment in 1870 gave black men the right to vote. Women didn't get the vote for another 50 years.

Switzerland, which we consider an enlightened country, didn't give women the vote until 1971.

Here we are in the 21st century and women are still fighting for the right to control their own reproductive health!


Posted by POGO, a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Pat -

I don't disagree with anything in your thoughtful post.

My principal objection is to people on this thread who continue to smear people who disagree with their position and call them violent, when they are not.


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