Anybody who knows me knows that I am a Christian who is against abortion and pro-life. I am a Christian who supports Planned Parenthood and who is against federal funding being removed from Planned Parenthood. I cannot condemn them because back when I was 24, Planned Parenthood help me diagnose and remove my ovarian cysts FOR FREE.
I also know though that some of my viewpoints can be perceived as controversial because I refuse to embrace racism, xenophobia, sexism, misogyny, or bigotry just to adhere to what others perceive as policies which support Christian values. Racism, xenophobia, sexism, misogyny, and bigotry, have been embraced by the Trump administration since he was inaugurated. This is one topic where I refuse to keep my mouth shut. I cannot be silent. I must speak.
Back in my 20s, I was living a different lifestyle. At 24, I found myself unemployed and kicked off my parent’s medical insurance. One day, I had some serious pain around my abdomen area. I was dizzy and really in a lot of pain. My friend in medical school didn’t think it sounded like appendicitis. I had the feeling that it might have something to do with my reproductive organs but I was too embarrassed to ask my parents for help. A friend advised me to go to Planned Parenthood. At my first appointment I discovered I wouldn’t have to pay a dime since I was unemployed. I found out I had ovarian cysts. Planned Parenthood arranged to have my ovarian cysts removed FOR FREE.
I’m not sure what I would have done if Planned Parenthood hadn’t removed my ovarian cysts for free. I probably would have asked my parents for help and they would have helped me pay an astronomical bill. But I cannot condemn Planned Parenthood for one simple reason. When I needed help, they were there for me.
Let me be clear. I do not support abortion. I am very pro-life. I do not like that Planned Parenthood does abortions. However, I also know that NOT ONE PENNY OF FEDERAL FUNDING IS ALLOWED TO BE USED FOR ABORTIONS. If Planned Parenthood is defunded, then programs, like the one that allowed them to cover the diagnosis and removal of my ovarian cysts could cease to exist. That’s a frightening thought. It is frightening especially because, there are many people out there who don’t have the resources to pay for reproductive health services. I fail to see another reproductive health provider which provides free services which can take the place of Planned Parenthood.
A Guttmacher Institude study of women seeking contraceptive care at publicly funded clinics show that 63% of women reported birth control had allowed them to take better care of themselves or their families. (1)This same study showed that 56% said it allowed them to take care of themselves financially.(2) More than half reported that it helped them stay in school and complete their education and that it helped them get or keep a job and advance their careers. (3) 72% of Pennsylvania voters said a woman’s ability to control the timing and size of her family impacts her financial stability. The state of New York had similar results. (4)
Of the 20 million women in need of publicly funded services in 2014, 15.5 million were adults living below 250% of the federal poverty level; 6.2 million of these women were poor (with a family income less than 100% of the federal poverty level) and the other 9.3 million were low-income (with a family income at 100–249% of the federal poverty level). (5) Among the 20 million women in need of publicly funded contraceptive care, 77% (15.5 million) were poor or low-income adults, and 23% (4.7 million) were younger than 20. (6) Between 2010 and 2014, the number of women in need of publicly funded services increased by 5%, representing one million additional women. (7) This growth in need was primarily among poor and low-income women; the number of teens in need declined during this period.
In the year 2010, the U.S. government spent 21 billion on expenditures on births, abortions and miscarriages resulting from unintended pregnancies nationwide. During the year 2010, in 19 states public expenditures related to unintended pregnancies exceeded $400 million. (8)
So it is clear that reproductive healthcare is something that is clearly beneficial to women and their families as well as the U.S. economy. It is also clear that low income and poor (less than 100% of federal poverty level) women will suffer greatly if they do not have access to free reproductive healthcare.
I will continue to fight to preserve federal funding for Planned Parenthood. I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing, no matter how many people try to tell me that federal funding for Planned Parenthood making more abortions happen. It’s just not true. Planned Parenthood really does change people’s lives in a positive manner and I am walking proof of that. And I will continue to pray for the state of our nation, which is being led by a narcissistic and discriminatory man that there is no way is a true Christian.
1) Frost JJ and Duberstein Lindberg L, Reasons for using contraception: perspectives of US women seeking care at specialized family planning clinics, Contraception, 2012, 87(4):465–472, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/journals/j.contraception.2012.08.012.pdf.
2) Frost JJ and Duberstein Lindberg L, Reasons for using contraception: perspectives of US women seeking care at specialized family planning clinics, Contraception, 2012, 87(4):465–472, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/journals/j.contraception.2012.08.012.pdf.
3) Frost JJ and Duberstein Lindberg L, Reasons for using contraception: perspectives of US women seeking care at specialized family planning clinics, Contraception, 2012, 87(4):465–472, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/journals/j.contraception.2012.08.012.pdf.
4) Frost JJ and Duberstein Lindberg L, Reasons for using contraception: perspectives of US women seeking care at specialized family planning clinics, Contraception, 2012, 87(4):465–472, https://www.guttmacher.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/pubs/journals/j.contraception.2012.08.012.pdf.
5) Frost JJ, Frohwirth L and Zolna MR, Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2014 Update, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016
6) Frost JJ, Frohwirth L and Zolna MR, Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2014 Update, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016
7) Frost JJ, Frohwirth L and Zolna MR, Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2014 Update, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2016
Dr. Jacqueline Cheung, also known as Jax, grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles blog & adoption ministry. She also works as a Freelance Writer and writes for Sacramento4Kids, the Elk Grove Laguna News, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. You can follow her journey on Instagram @jaxchronicles, her Jax Chronicles Facebook page , or her Jax Chronicles blog.