As you all know, we avoided a government shutdown this weekend.

(To Chris:  See, I TOLD YOU they wouldn’t shut down the government.)

Though, perhaps, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea.  Maybe a 2-3 day government shutdown would show some of these anti-government folks that, yes, the government does provide useful and essential services, and maybe we should be funding them?  I fully believe that, as a citizenry, it is as important to look out for one another and the greater good as it is to look out for oneself.  A country as a whole is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and if our weakest links have full access to quality education an healthcare, it’s not so weak anymore, is it?

But, that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about Planned Parenthood.

There is a campaign called “Raise Your Hand,” which I spotted on Twitter.  1 in 5 American women have used Planned Parenthood for healthcare services.  Not necessarily abortions, but yearly examinations.  Contraceptives.  STD screening.  Pregnancy tests.  Prenatal care.  I used it while I was in graduate school and did not have health insurance, and I remember seeing a lot of very pregnant ladies coming in for checkups.

My mother used Planned Parenthood when she was pregnant with me, and for years afterward.  When I started asking questions about sex, Planned Parenthood supplied her with an education kit for me.

Actually, come to think of it, it was inside a Planned Parenthood that my mother decided NOT to have an abortion.  Yes, you read that correctly: 30 years ago, my mother made a very difficult but very active choice that she wanted to have me.  There was no shaming, no trying to talk her into or out of any decision.  Just support, education, and resources for whatever decision she did make.  She chose to have me, and she has no regrets.  Obviously, I’m glad that she made this choice, but I’m even more glad that it was a CHOICE.

So, yes, I raised my hand.  Planned Parenthood has helped me in more ways than I can count.

Will you?