Trigger Warning: This post discusses multiple survivors’ sexual assault experiences and may be triggering for others who have also experienced sexual assault.
If you have been keeping up with the University of Idaho news lately, you will notice the attention a 2013 sexual assault case is getting. The Idaho Statesman recently discovered a survivor’s testimony on a blog site, and ran a story that covered the investigation. (Read here). Long story short, the survivors did not receive the help from the athletic department they needed. Both people involved were athletes at UI, but the athletic department only protected the assaulter. The survivors then went to the Women’s Center, and the staff there took the case to the Dean of Students for an investigation. The assaulter was no longer allowed to play football at UI. However, he is now playing for a team in New York (which I do not agree with, but that is a conversation for another day).
Throughout all of this buzz, I have heard some comments questioning why the survivor did not go directly to the Dean of Students. Some of these comments were in poor taste. Others were genuinely curious. Even though the two women who were sexually assaulted at UI chose to report their assault to the police and the athletic department, it is common for survivors to never report. But why?
For this weeks blogpost I decided to take the streets and campus of U of Idaho and interview people on their opinions of Planned Parenthood. I hope this video will help people understand how a handful of UI students and Moscow citizens feel about the organization!
There are many myths about Planned Parenthood, and there are people who believe their clinics should not be established because they perform abortions. Before we continue, abortion is legal in the United States. It has been since the 1973 Roe v. Wade case. Planned Parenthood provides women with legal abortions. Do you want women to die from coat hanger abortions? No? Neither do I, let’s move on. Some of the clinics only provide a medication abortion, a pill taken up to 10 weeks that blocks progesterone and causes the fetus to detach from the uterine wall, but other clinics provide surgical abortions. In case you were wondering, the Planned Parenthood in Pullman only provides a medication abortion. However, abortions are only a small piece of the services that Planned Parenthood provides. The most common reason people access Planned Parenthood is to receive STI testing/treatment.
What makes Planned Parenthood so amazing is that it provides a wide variety of health-related services, and not all of them are related to sexual health. Fun Fact: you can go receive a sports physical at the Planned Parenthood in Pullman, WA. Then again, if you do need some “down there” assistance, Planned Parenthood is a fantastic resource. They provide STI tests, pap smears, pregnancy tests, UTI treatment, and even vasectomies. That’s right, men, Planned Parenthood can be your health center as well! And it is starting to be. In 2014, PP clinics served 250,000 men, which is a 76% increase from a decade ago. The Pullman Planned Parenthood helps men with erectile dysfunction, male infertility, premature ejaculation, and routine physicals. Other Planned Parenthood Clinics can screen men for testicular and prostate cancer.
Before we can talk about the resources of Planned Parenthood, I think it is important to understand the history of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood started at a time when sex education and birth control was not permitted in the USA. A woman by the name of Margaret Sanger would soon change all that. She was raised in Corning, New York in 1916. After seeing her mother suffer from seven miscarriages, Margaret Sanger decided to study birth control. She later traveled to Europe where she would learn about not only birth control but sex education. As a huge advocate for Women’s rights, she would soon see restrictions from opponents.
Her first birth control clinic was shut down by police. (However, the clinic was still able to offer information about birth control.) Margaret Sanger spent 30 days in jail for refusing to pay the fine. This experience led her to travel the country and talk about birth control. Eventually, two organizations named Birth Control Clinical Bureau and American Birth Control League, joined to become Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A 1936 court ruling established that birth control and the information given about it would not be seen as immoral. This was one of many barriers birth control and its education has broken through to reach the public prominence it has today.
What are the resources of Planned Parenthood?
When looking at the website of Planned Parenthood, I found it to have easy to find tabs and info for women or anyone wanting resources. Topics cover: Pregnancy Prevention, to Health and Wellness, Sex and Relationships, and Sexually Transmitted
Infections (STDs). Additionally, there are guides for high school students and information about sex education. All this I believe is vital to not only women but men as well. In Idaho, there are three centers of Planned Parenthood: Boise Health Center, Meridian Health Center, and Twin Falls Health Center. Therefore, if you wanted to go to one in Idaho from Moscow, it would be about a six-hour drive. That is a long distance. Luckily, there is one across the border in Pullman, Washington.
A dozen University of Idaho students in the Planned Parenthood Generation Action group drove nearly 300 miles to the Idaho State Capitol to lobby a bill allowing women to receive up to a 12-month supply of prescribed birth control and promote better sex education on college campuses, according to the New York Times. However, when the students arrived Republican State Senator, Dan Foreman, canceled the scheduled meeting and yelled at the students.
“I’m a Roman Catholic and a conservative Republican. I think what you guys are doing stinks,” Foreman said in a video taken by a Generation Action member, according to The Argonaut.
One more post about breast cancer and I swear I am done until next October. Today I wrap up all that we have covered with some common questionable facts about breast cancer that may or may not be true. These questionable facts are going to come from breastcancer.org. I will go over a few that I think need a little extra attention but there are more. Please talk to a medical professional for more information if you have questions, and know that I am not a professional and I could very well be wrong and at the end of the day it is your body to run how you want.
1: Breast cancer runs in families.
Now this is not entirely false, John Hopkins says that it can run in families but that does not mean that it will. Anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers run in families. So, while a family member may have breast cancer, that fact alone does not mean that you will for sure get it. Most breast cancers are not inherited but come about from a change in genes due to age or environmental factors. Continue reading “Questionable Facts: Breast cancer edition”→
How many of you are interested in talking about sex? How many of you are interested in discussing safe sex? Whether you are clueless, knowledgeable curious, or just interested, Generation Action (GA) is a great place to start. It is a voice of Planned Parenthood; a private organization on campus promoting sexual health and education for both men and women from general health care to birth control. GA advocates for promoting sex education among students.
The main goal of this club; according to the President Emily Carter who I spoke with before writing this post, is to make sex education visible and accessible and let people know that Planned Parenthood is there for any sexual related questions or problems: general health, birth control, STD testing or abortion. Carter, who is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with criminal emphasis and minoring in Women and Gender Studies, joined this club because of her passion for Planned Parenthood. She joined as a general member in her freshman year, but when she noticed the club was not getting enough attention she decided to be in-charge. And as a recent new member of the club, I can tell you that she is good at her job. Continue reading “Generation Action: The Voice for Planned Parenthood on Campus”→