Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dear Evansville: Ignorance and disinformation don't stop abortions.

Women in Evansville have it pretty rough where affordable family planning is concerned. It's probably fine if you have insurance and/or can afford to go get checkups at a general practitioner, so long as you don't wind up with a douche who will only prescribe you BC if you're married. Or a Catholic douche who won't prescribe you BC at all. This is, though, if you can afford the skyrocketing prices of mainstream health care.

However, Evansville's economic makeup is such that those who cannot afford healthcare probably outnumber those who can. What's out there for people like this? We do have ONE Planned Parenthood clinic on the East Side, on Weinbach near UE. There desperately needs to be one on the West Side somewhere. Tri-Cap does birth control and women's health services too, but they're also on the East Side. East Side/Newburgh is where the rich live. The financially disadvantaged are scattered all over the urban-sprawl nightmare known our city, thoroughly out of reach if you don't have a car or a few dollars for the bus (Dollar a ride, usually a transfer or two involved, quite unreliable to boot.)

I know a lot of USI students who live on campus, don't have a car, and would have a HELL of a time getting to the East Side. Ditto for West Side and downtown-ish area folks who just plain can't afford to own cars.

But I'm already digressing from the actual point of my post.

Even the damn PHONE BOOK company is biased against us being able to have control over our bodily functions.

I was looking up something in the Yellow Pages for my boss and came across an advertisement for the annoying Pregnancy Resource Center over on Pearl Drive. (Yep, USI has near access to a CPC, but not affordable birth control except through the student health center which is pretty quiet about the fact it offers BC.)

I got curious. So I tried to look up Family Planning. Nothing. It goes straight from "Fairs and Festivals" to "Fans Industrial and Commercial."

So then I tried Birth Control and got only one result, under "Birth Control Information & Services." Wanna venture a guess whether Tri-Cap or Planned Parenthood were listed here?

No. The information box was bigger than the entire listing. Said info box reads thusly: "Advertisers listed at this heading provide information and/or services for the prevention of pregnancy, such as, contraceptives, male and female sterilization, etc. They also provide information and counseling in family planning, such as planned pregnancies (or the term "Parenting" in place of "Pregnancies), adoption centers, teen awareness."

But Holy Family Center for Life is! Pretty sure the last time I checked, Catholic groups don't take kindly to family planning any further than "Please God don't let me be pregnant."

So then, what the hey, I looked up Abortion.

Abortion Alternatives, 7 listings. Adoption attorneys, Birthright, Catholic Charities, some adoption agencies and attorneys, Pregnancy Resource Center (somehow without the Holy Family part added on.), and Vanderburgh County Right to Life. There are also 3 ads for Right to Life, Pregnancy Resource Center, and Birthright.

No idea if PP just doesn't have the budget to advertise, if the phone book won't advertise them, or what. I do remember that when I was in like middle school, Planned Parenthood had radio ads here, but I haven't heard one of those in a long time.

Back to my search. Abortion Services, 5 listings. And, again, no mention of the Planned Parenthood over on Weinbach in the Evansville city limits. Which I'm sure gives referrals.

Let's see, we've got Indianapolis Women's Center, Affiliated Women's Services also 4 hours away in Indy, Hope Clinic for Women in GRANITE CITY, ILLINOIS, Family Planning Associates SEVEN HOURS AWAY in Chicago, and Planned Parenthood of Indiana in Bloomington, which is about 3 hours from here.

Methinks either AT&T Yellowpages is a damn stupid company, or they're caving to some pressure from the zillion rabid conservative Catholics around here to provide absolutely no useful information.

What is our recourse when the damn phone company itself is actively withholding the information we need to make informed choices?

When, for all appearances from the book, birth-control resources DON'T EXIST? And the nearest abortion clinic, for when the ignorance-campaign inevitably sticks women with an unwanted pregnancy, is THREE HOURS AWAY?

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