#FeministFriday No. 14

Indiana has been in the news quite a bit this week. No, this isn’t another take on matters of religious freedom and legal discrimination, or even the fact that Indiana courts just sentenced a woman to 20 years in prison for having a miscarriage — though you’ll probably be reading about that horrendous affront to human rights next week.

I digress. Today’s #FeministFriday is focused on another legislative gaffe in the Hoosier State, with a special guest appearance by the anti-choice movement:

Clinics like Planned Parenthood provide legitimate health care services that are oftentimes necessary to keep people healthy, yet people and political movements are still fighting to shut them down.

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about the detriments of totally outlawing abortions in Ireland? Remember how I explained that I considered the movement anti-choice rather than pro-life because their stances don’t move to promote the welfare and livelihood of all living people, but rather abolish the right for people to make choices for themselves?

The Planned Parenthood in Scott County, a rural community in Indiana, was forced to close its doors in early 2013 due largely to funding cuts to the state’s public health infrastructure in 2011. The cuts came amid GOP campaigns nationally and locally to defund and demonize the health care provider.

The fact that the clinic did not offer abortions as a service did not dampen the celebration among so-called pro-life advocates, who considered the closed clinic a victory for their fight.

The HIV outbreak currently exploding in Scott County, however, may give pause to the celebration.

The clinic – which did not offer abortions as a service – was the only HIV testing center in the county, and now over 80 Scott County residents have tested positive for HIV in the last four months.

Indiana’s GOP-led state legislature passed a bill in 2011 that defunded Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortions as a service. Despite a federal judge later blocking the law from going into effect, Indiana has continued slashing various funding sources as the cost of operating a medical facility continue to rise.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood of Indiana received $1.9 million in funding from government contracts and grants, which is nearly half of the funding they had received just a few years prior. Five of Indiana’s smaller Planned Parenthood clinics were unable to keep up with growing technology costs necessary to remain competitive and competent as a medical provider.

Of the five clinics that were forced to close, all had offered HIV testing. None of them had offered abortions.


As a result, Scott County did not have any HIV testing facilities available until a few weeks ago, which according to Patti Stauffer, the Vice President for Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, “is a glaring example of the kind of public health crisis that results when prevention and testing are left unfunded.”

Indiana is now scrambling to set up temporary clinics to fight an unprecedented HIV epidemic caused by intravenous drug use.

The estimated 11,547 people now infected with HIV or AIDS in Indiana will suffer from this horrific disease for the rest of their lives, and it is estimated that well over 100 people will suffer because so-called pro-lifers tried to shut down clinics that dare to allow women to exercise their right to bodily autonomy.

Nothing about this sounds like it’s promoting life to me.

Leave any questions or comments below, and see you next week.



How an HIV outbreak hit rural Indiana – and why we should be paying attention

Semi-Annual HIV/AIDS, STD, and Hepatitis B & C Data; through December 31, 2014

Indiana shut down its rural Planned Parenthood clinics and got an HIV outbreak


6 responses to “#FeministFriday No. 14

  1. The difference is that the majority of these people made a choice to have unprotected, premarital sex. The human beings that are being murdered by abortions didn’t get to make a choice. They are victims. Planned Parenthood is a facility that is the creation of the devil. Those facilities aid in the loose morals this country seems to be promoting. As a country we have been more focused on eliminating any consequences to the decisions we make rather than excepting responsibility for our actions. Time to grow up.

    • That’s certainly one take on the matter — although in this case the spread of HIV was mainly due to intravenous drug use and sharing needles, not unprotected sex.
      However, to your point of loose morals and consequences, I don’t necessarily think it’s fair to expect everyone to conform to a single set of morals; different people have different beliefs and live their lives in different ways. To me, it boils down to the right to choose for yourself, which is something that should be afforded to everyone.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Dear Lindsay, I like to follow your blog, but am wondering about your pro-abortion stance. Since the law protects the life of a newborn baby, what would you say is the reason for the unborn child to be not worthy of protection? I mean, what quality is the unborn baby lacking, if any? You have referred to autonomy, but that can’t be it because a newborn also lacks autonomy, as does a severely disabled person or brain-injured or mentally ill person. I have never heard a satisfactory answer to this from a pro-choice person.

    • Hi Chris, thanks for reading.
      I would first like to reiterate that none of the shut-down Planned Parenthood clinics mentioned in this post performed abortions, and of all the important health services offered by Planned Parenthood, abortions make up less than 5%.
      As for your questions, the main reason I am pro-choice is because I believe it’s important that every pregnant person is able to choose a solution that is best for their individual and unique situation.
      Laws protect the life of newborn babies, as well as every other born human — including any disabled or mentally ill person. The main difference for fetuses is that they lack autonomy because they fully rely on another human being to survive; therefore, taking away the pregnant person’s choice is forcibly limiting their autonomy.
      By comparison, no born humans are allowed to infringe on the bodily autonomy of another person. If someone was dying of renal failure and found out I was a match, I am under no obligation to donate my kidney.
      There’s no reason pregnant people shouldn’t be afforded that same right.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      • So, for you, lack of bodily autonomy (and you are distinguishing this from the lack of autonomy of a dependent born newborn or disabled person) is the trait the unborn child has that disqualifies it from the legal right the rest of us have not to be killed. But not on a sliding scale of autonomy or dependence – rather, on last day in the womb, no rights; first day after birth, full rights. What about babies who could live outside the womb if simply relocated, rather than dismembered and discarded, to relieve the “impingement” on the mother? I believe in finding nonviolent solutions to difficult pregnancy situations – support for the mother, and the child.

        I appreciate your answer; I think it is arbitrary and sad, but it is more of an answer than I’ve gotten elsewhere.

        Thanks for coming to AHA today to speak at our Celebration Day; it is wonderful of you to do that for us.

  3. Pingback: #FeministFriday No. 31 | Laptop Ginger

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