Editor’s Note: After discussion among the editors of The Daily Collegian, we have decided to restore Tuesday’s controversial column. Our editors have decided that, while we admit the decision to run was not made in solid judgment for our paper and, more importantly, our readers, we cannot hide that mistake and must own up to our bad decisions. We at The Collegian apologize for the offensive content in this column, but cannot take back what we have published. We will keep this column available as a reminder of what happens when we do not meet the journalistic standards that we strive to meet every day. While we realize that publishing this column has cast a negative light on our staff and publication, we will do our best to regain the trust of our readers and continue to raise our standards to a higher level.
Planned Parenthood, one of the largest health care clinics and the largest abortion provider in the United States, may lose its federal funding. It is a business. It is not, however, a charitable organization, as it is portrayed by its many supporters. Their services are not free, although they may be cheaper than regular hospitals.
According to the American Life League, Planned Parenthood performed 289,750 abortions in 2006. The number rose to 324,008 in 2008. However, the organization’s website misleads in reporting that abortions constitute only 3 percent of its services. In reality, it performs about 23 percent of all abortions performed each year in the U.S. The organization is also engaged in a number of morally questionable practices, such as opposing parental consent laws. They also support prescribing abortion pills without a doctor’s visit as well as the absence of ultrasound before abortion.
The problem, however, does not lie solely with Planned Parenthood or its practices. It lies within the values of contemporary American society where traditional values have widely been replaced with progressive thinking. .
The notion that sex be regarded only within the institution of marriage has nearly disappeared in modern American culture. It has been replaced by an abundance of sexual activity. This was promoted by feminist movements as “female liberation” – women having the freedom to have sex with anyone, anywhere. Ignited by the media and supported by many young females willing to become “liberated,” the trend took off.
Sex has become a service, like any other, but without fiscal exchange or shame. It is no longer associated with love, marriage or a committed relationship. In too many cases there is no expectation of any sort of emotional attachment. This feat was not accomplished by the pressures of a “male-dominated” society, but rather by the women themselves. They strive to keep up with being “modern” and “liberated.” The contemporary American female is advised to collect five or ten lovers, risk sexually transmitted disease, (some of which cannot be prevented by standard protection, like birth control) or, in the worst scenario, get an abortion. With the easy accessibility of noncommittal sex, men have gained or recaptured the upper hand in relationships. Women, instead of acclaiming “sexual liberation” have received, at the least, a bad reputation.
What is worse is that many women seem proud of their exploits. Sexual columnists such as Natalie Krinsky, who wrote “Chloe does Yale” before contributing a sex column to Yale Daily News, have flaunted into the spotlight. This is not exclusive to college campuses. Jessica Cutler, a staffer on Capitol Hill, posted her sexual adventures online and, after being fired, cashed in by posing for “Playboy.”
Today, sex with no strings attached is socially acceptable. If a young woman wears a promiscuous outfit to a party, then proceeds to drink and flirt excessively, she should not blame men for her downfall. She made a decision to dress a certain way, to consume alcohol and should be prepared to deal with the consequences. Far from being a victim of rape, she is a victim of her own choices. This is not to say that rape is inexistent. Sexual crimes should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Furthermore, young women are starting to become sexually active earlier, pressured by the media, peers or psychological convictions. Often, they are not ready to face the consequences. If they cannot be responsible, they should not be having intercourse. But this is not the message they’re exposed to.
Abortion is also viewed in a different way. For many, it is no longer a last resort for victims of rape or in other emergencies. It is simply regarded as “Plan B.” In a Planned Parenthood YouTube advertisement for the “morning after” pill, a woman states the scenarios in which the product may be useful. “Accidents happen,” she starts, and then cites a number of them. These range from carelessness to the grim suggestion that, “maybe you were forced.” The ad ends with, “No matter how old you are if you are sexually active, it’s always a good idea to have some emergency contraception on hand ahead of time.” However, the ad is misleading. It makes virtually no distinction between forgetfulness and rape. These should not be held to the same standard at all.
Furthermore, the ad seems to encourage sexual intercourse at any age; all that is needed is birth control. Throwing condoms at the public, a method often used by Planned Parenthood, is ineffective. More contraception does not translate to fewer abortions. Parents should stop relying on exterior organizations to provide their children with sex education. Instead, they should look within the family structure. If sex is presented to young people in a proper and moral context, then unplanned pregnancy would be less of a problem.
Yevgeniya Lomakina is a Collegian columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.