“Without Planned Parenthood, I don't even know where I would be now.”
With Republicans in Congress waging war on Planned Parenthood by threatening to shut down the U.S. Government over its funding, one woman commented with a simple gesture on Facebook and it has captured a lot of attention. On September 18, 2015, Ambarie Stacey Schiefer of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania posted a photo of herself in a hospital gown holding up her middle finger as a big F-U to anyone that stands between women and their access to lifesaving health care.
In her post she said:
November 7th 2013. At the age of 23, I had surgery to remove part of my cervix to avoid my abnormal cells becoming cancerous. The middle finger I proudly hold high here was a preemptive “fuck you” to any and all who want to make it damn near impossible for someone such as myself, without insurance, to find out that I needed such a surgery and then make it possible for me to get that very important surgery. Without Planned Parenthood, I don't even know where I would be now. I thank them, and thank everyone who supports and believes in them. Thank you. #IStandWithPP #MageeWomensHospital
Ten days later, Schiefer’s post has been shared over 18,000 times and has rallied support to Planned Parenthood’s cause. Schiefer can’t believe the response to her post, today she wrote on Facebook:
The past few days have been incredible. So many people have reached out to thank me for sharing my story, and been awesome enough to share their own stories with me. It has been truly amazing. So many kind words and good wishes. Thank you all...not just for your words, but also for your stories. For the feeling of togetherness over something we all share, or atleast share feelings in. Keep it up. SPEAK UP! Share your stories! Reach out to others! Let them know they have someone to listen to them! We are not alone as long we don't choose to be alone.
Planned Parenthood came under fire from conservatives after a widely-circulated video showed the non-profit organization “selling the body parts of aborted fetuses.” Although the video has been heavily scrutinized for being an anti-abortion propaganda piece that was edited in a misleading way, in the aftermath of its release, Planned Parenthood has been a major topic of presidential debates. Although a non-government-subsidized portion of Planned Parenthood’s funding goes to abortion services, most government funding provides pap smears, STD testing, HIV testing, birth control, pelvic, and breast cancer screenings for nearly three million women.