Red State: Wisconsin
Focus: Women’s Health & Reproductive Rights
Wait…there are many more red states between Idaho and Wisconsin…
Since I’m already riffing on Catholic tradition to do this entire project, I picked today to donate to an organization near-and-dear to my own heart because it’s a weird one. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates Mary being born/conceived without sin so that she would be pure enough to later have Jesus — untainted not only by her virginity but she somehow avoiding “catching” Original Sin through her earthly parents boning. (Must’ve been a real wild night).
TL;DR: it’s another weird religious tradition that stigmatizes sexuality and perpetuates the myth that women are fucking awful unless they keep their legs and mouths shut.
Thankfully my parents didn’t ascribe to this, so it wasn’t baked into my psyche when I attended Catholic high school and university. However, the repercussions of beliefs like this definitely impacted me and led me to the true miracle that is Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
Although I was lucky enough to have health insurance in college, it was a Catholic insurer which back then did not cover the cost of birth control. $50+ month for a college student is not small change. Unlike my peers at secular universities, they didn’t hand out ortho-tricyclen like candy in the girl’s dorm. In fact, there was a controversy my sophomore year when those “welcome boxes” in the residence halls didn’t have the condoms removed before delivery. So where was a broke girl to go? Up Wisconsin Avenue to the wonderful folks at Planned Parenthood.
Even more seriously, at least in the late ’90s, student “health” services at my Catholic university wasn’t real keen on asking questions about sexual activity, beyond asking “are you sexually active?” and then giving you a dirty look. So when I started getting chronic UTIs, they misdiagnosed them, leading me to end up in the ER (pee after sex, ladies). The folks there recommended I start going to PP for any of those future issues. Patron saint of nasty women, Samantha Bee, recently NAILED IT on the problem of Catholic hospitals and women’s health. I suggest you watch and share over and over.
Since Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin saved my wallet and my kidneys, I’ve made sure to give back to them as much as I can. Especially since they’re under constant attack by the GOP, including reason-I-left-Wisconsin, Scott Walker.
Happy Immaculate Conception!
What you can do:
Join me in making a donation today.
Put pressure on your representatives to protect Planned Parenthood funding.