Charity of the Month | Planned Parenthood
by Sica Schmitz | Posted on February 01 2017
As you know, each month we Give Back a portion of each sale to help a different, wonderful charity. Since it's the 1st of the month that means it's time to introduce a new cause, and I had a really beautiful organization lined up for February that I was excited to share, however the past few weeks have shifted my perspective to the urgent and so I am choosing something different today.
There are a lot of organizations I pondered selecting: ACLU, International Rescue Commission (IRC), American Refugee Committee (ARC), National Immigration Law Center, Karam Foundation, and No One Left Behind. I may yet in future months, and I hope if you are able to support them now you will. But I decided this month to choose Planned Parenthood because it is the organization I have the most experience with, and it is closest to my heart.
I was a bit worried about this choice, and about writing this post. I don't want to be too controversial. I don't want to be too personal. But I started Bead & Reel to deal with uncomfortable topics from sweatshops to animal abuse to environmental destruction and suicide rates among cotton farmers, and I don't want to shy away from the uncomfortable now.
Additionally, Bead & Reel is really founded on protecting women's bodies. My focus has always been on giving women their power back to choose what they want on their bodies (by providing alternatives to pesticides, insecticides, and other carcinogens) and how they want to honor the bodies of other women (by avoiding sweatshops and animal products). So protecting a woman's right to access healthcare seems like not only the right fit but also an obligation. I can't consider Bead & Reel a pro-woman company if I don't use it to support the bodies of women, and so this month I am putting that into action.
WHY I STAND WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD
In college I started volunteering at Planned Parenthood as a Patient Advocate, an experience that launched me into feminism. I sat with many many women throughout their abortion journey and can tell you without any doubt, there was never a single woman who made that choice lightly. The youngest woman - or child - I helped was 14. I sat with women who had become pregnant from rape, women whose pregnancies would put their life at risk, women who couldn't afford another child, or women who simply knew that it wasn't the right time. I sat with women whose birth control had failed, or women who didn't have the appropriate education or resources to get birth control. I sat with women through one of the hardest decisions of their lives, and that experience has stayed with me even to this day.
I also have used Planned Parenthood myself, many times as a younger uninsured woman needing preventive care. I used Planned Parenthood after I was raped. I used Planned Parenthood for the 97% of their services that have nothing to do with abortion, for the 97% of their services that our government was able to help provide to me when I needed it.
Regardless of your stance on abortion, it's important to know that Planned Parenthood doesn't use federal funding for abortions, so the threat to defund them is a threat to take away only general healthcare services from women. It is a threat based on misinformation and lack of compassion which will impact many men and women around our country. Women like my younger self.
When you shop at Bead & Reel this month a portion of each sale will be donated to Planned Parenthood, and if you are able to donate additionally beyond that, please do. In fact, if you email me a copy of your donation receipt along with your address I will send you a special thank you gift from Bead & Reel.
In sisterhood and solidarity,