Mothers Don’t Need Planned Parenthood: An Open Letter to the President of NOW

Dear NOW President Terry O’Neill,

I heard your comments on MSNBC.

“Moms loved Planned Parenthood- independent moms, Republican moms, and Democratic moms because high schoolers and college students, their daughters get excellent service. They get honest services and they get services they trust. So- so, to the degree that Hillary Clinton is saying that somehow, Planned Parenthood has done anything wrong, I would take issue and disagree extremely strongly with her. Planned Parenthood has nothing to apologize for, nothing. I have only admiration for her…”

Speaking as a mom, I don’t know where to begin. I do agree with you that pictures of aborted babies are inappropriate. As a pro-lifer, I’m embarrassed by my co-activists that use such images. These children were horribly abused and disrespected in life, why are we further disrespecting them in death? Setting aside the fact that the images only serve to shock, they don’t add anything to the debate. So that is one thing we agree on.

What we don’t agree on is how “honest” and “excellent” the service is at Planned Parenthood. Over 300,000 abortions were performed at Planned Parenthood in 2011. Assuming that just over half of them were girls, you can say that at least 150,000 girls were slaughtered at Planned Parenthood. These were 150,000 potential friends for my child, 150,000 classmates, 150,000 teammates, roommates, housemates, later on co-workers, parishioners, in-laws…


These girls were robbed of their most fundamental right, the right to life, before they would ever have the opportunity to date, vote, get a college education, to run a business. Sure, they may have been born in poverty, but they could’ve worked their way out. They could have given us the opportunity to really help them.

This is completely ignoring, however, the mother. The mother who was lied to, told their child was nothing more than tissue. Everyone knows that is a lie, but when you’re desperate and alone, you will believe whatever will help you get through. Now, these videos are helping to further prove the lie.

So, Planned Parenthood can give my future daughter pills to prevent pregnancy? These pills and other devices can have horrible side effects. They can even kill her. Instead of controlling her body like a dictator, like her body was the enemy, wouldn’t it be better for her to learn about her body like she can through methods of Natural Family Planning. Sure, she will have to control her sexual urges when they are at their strongest, but this will help her ultimately be a better person. It has been shown time and again that self-control in one area in your life improves the rest of your life.

And don’t you dare give me that line about all the other basic services she can get at Planned Parenthood:


So, please act like what you claim to be, a group dedicated to the advancement of women, not a lobbying group for Planned Parenthood. Trust me, they have plenty of money and lobbyists. They don’t need you. Women need you.


Bethanie Ryan

A concerned mother and feminist activist


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