Planned Parenthood of Montana celebrates pride month

2014-06-26T08:00:00Z Planned Parenthood of Montana celebrates pride monthGuest column by MARTHA STAHL
June 26, 2014 8:00 am  • 

In the 45 years since the Stonewall riots – where the modern LGBTQ movement was born – we’ve seen extraordinary progress on LGBTQ rights in this country, including last year’s overturning of part of the Defense of Marriage Act and the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

In Montana we have been making great strides also – with the passage of nondiscrimination ordinances in Missoula, Helena, Butte and Bozeman, as well as one in the works for Billings, we are on the path to protect all our citizens. The ACLU of Montana is representing four couples in a lawsuit that challenges Montana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. We believe that the courts will interpret the same-sex marriage ban as a violation of the 14th Amendment, and Montana will be a role model for other states moving forward.

This progress is rooted in the same principles that underlie reproductive rights: Politicians should not get to decide what you do with your body or what your family looks like, and rights in this country should not depend on the state you live in.

We at Planned Parenthood of Montana believe that reproductive rights are deeply connected to civil rights for all Americans. We have long stood with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the struggle for full equality – many of whom turn to Planned Parenthood for health care, information and education.

Members of the LGBTQ community face greater obstacles to obtaining and benefiting from sexual and reproductive health services than non-LGBTQ people. In addition to high rates of stress due to systematic harassment and discrimination – which has been shown to affect physical and mental health – LGBTQ people face low rates of health insurance coverage, high rates of HIV/AIDS and cancer, and high rates of discrimination from medical providers. LGBTQ people of color are at an even higher risk for these disparities.

This is why each of our five health centers welcomes LGBTQ patients.

PPMT also delivers sex education that covers the full range of topics affecting sexual health, and we provide sensitive and accurate information, education and resources on sexual orientation, gender and gender identity to youth, parents, and men and women of all ages every day.

While this country has seen significant strides in the LGBTQ movement in recent years, there is still work to be done. PPMT vows continued support for any future legislative efforts that will allow for greater access to health care and information for the LGBTQ community in our state.

At PPMT, we realize our incredible patients and supporters don’t comprise any one identity, and we’re grateful for the many volunteers, staff and supporters of all genders and identities who work every day to ensure that people in Montana get the health care and information they need.

This year, 45 years after the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement at Stonewall, we are committed now more than ever to fighting for LGBTQ rights. We know the only way we can move forward – all of us together – is by standing side by side and caring, no matter what.

Martha Stahl is president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Montana.

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. yawn
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    yawn - June 27, 2014 2:32 pm
  2. JustEd
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    JustEd - June 27, 2014 1:56 pm
    MTNimrod - and you have no agenda? ROTFLMAO! Too bad your god won't protect those "babies". Or do a better design job at creation.
  3. Run - A- Mook
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    Run - A- Mook - June 26, 2014 11:38 pm
    Give it a rest Greg. You lost in the primary.
  4. Greg Strandberg
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    Greg Strandberg - June 26, 2014 8:27 pm
    I'm glad Planned Parenthood continues to provide needed healthcare to low-income and other hardworking families around the state.
  5. Kate55
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    Kate55 - June 26, 2014 8:09 pm
    In the modern world abortion and birth control are humane, medically safe procedures. Men who oppose birth control and abortion should make sure they never impregnate a woman who might have to choose. Beyond that? Butt out. You have no inherent right to control. Fortunately, women who oppose abortion and birth control (or make those noises for political reasons) are a tiny minority, although they are given disproportionate covereage. These ladies and their little sisters have probably never found themselves emotionally manipulated, physically dominated, unwed, and pregnant.

    An ecological viewpoint is that young women see, either directly or instinctively, that there will be no healthy economic habitat available where they might raise their offspring. They see that they will be dragging themselves and potential children through a life of stress and poverty. Fatherless.
  6. claudius
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    claudius - June 26, 2014 4:43 pm
    @MTNumrod - Planned Parenthood has been providing health care, screenings, contraception, and family planning for over 70 years, long before Roe v Wade. Since that Supreme Court Decision, yes, they also provide abortions as a very small part of their overall mission of providing health services to women that, in many cases they just can't get anywhere else.

    Given all those equal rights that people like you keep claiming are already protected for LGBTQ people, why would they have to depend on PP more than any other people? Are you saying they really are discriminated against? That we really do need to pass specific ordinances and laws to protect their rights? Well, good for you! I didn't think you were that liberal.

    As for Planned Parenthood's "bottom line", their financial affairs are entirely public. If you think that's the case, provide a source and a few facts to support your bluster.

    There is a zygote, then an embryo, then a fetus, then a baby. Trying to claim that an embryo is a "pre-born baby" may feel like your making an argument, but you're just trying to obfuscate the truth. And, no, I don't think you're deceiving yourself. I think you're trying to deceive others.

    Get real.
  7. MTNimrod
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    MTNimrod - June 26, 2014 2:34 pm
    No agenda here, folks. We've been told time and again that PP has more to do with promoting overall health than it does with "post-conception birth control". Oh, but it's not just that. PP also has to stand up for the sorely oppressed LGBTQ community because they just can't get medical care anywhere else.

    Do you suppose that fewer women seeking abortions and less federal funding has cut into their bottom line enough that they have to re-brand themselves in order to stay afloat?

    And Claudius - You can try to obfuscate the truth, but it won't work. If you think a baby only becomes a baby (or a person or a non-fetus, etc.) because he or she is on the other end of the birth canal, then I'd say you are probably deceiving yourself about other things in your life. Get real.
  8. claudius
    Report Abuse
    claudius - June 26, 2014 11:50 am
    "unborn babies". That's like the used-car dealer's "pre-owned vehicles". Same effort at deception, same motives.
  9. Larry Lewis
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    Larry Lewis - June 26, 2014 9:03 am
    "and caring, no matter what." Except for unborn babies.
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