Can Social Media Make Political Change with Planned Parenthood?

The topic of Planned Parenthood has been highlighted heavily in the news for quite some time. While there is no doubt women's health rights bring out intense emotions, can positing feelings about the topic on social media really change someone's opinion and make change?


  1. Because of the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, Planned Parenthood has been in the spotlight more than usual. Politicians, actors, comedians, college students, feminists, Christians, and liberals (just to name a few!) have felt the need to make their opinions known on this hot button topic on various social media outlets. In this assignment, I chose to deeper research not only the demographics who speak the loudest about Planned Parenthood, but also the effectiveness of said posts. My research comes from both sides of the spectrum, and my main research Twitter hashtags were "#IStandWithPlannedParenthood," and "#IStandAgainstPlannedParenthood." The most useful information I discovered came from the unscholarly sources--most pulled directly from Twitter. Below, you will read my findings.
  2. The above article, "The Personalization of Politics," introduces a framework for gathering and examining collected data from social and digital media. Author Lance Bennet discusses "social fragmentation" and the fact that the majority of people in society read what one person says, and base their personal opinions about a topic off of what said person stated. Bennet says this trend can be seen on a bigger scale, as well as small communities and individual and independant groups. This group-based, “identity politics” of the “new social movements” he calls it, started back in the 60's, but recent issues (not mentioned in the article, but such as Planned Parenthood) have seen more diverse change than past years. Issues brought to light in social media include inequality (#BlackLivesMatter or equal pay), general human rights issues and stories, enviornmental arguements, and worker rights just to name a few.
  3. The above article, written in 2013 by Kavanaugh; Jermen; Ethier; and Moskosky, is very data driven and highly focused on numbers and percentages. The authors focus of the use of contraceptives and present data proving usage has risen in recent years. Within the contraceptive usage research, they focus on young women's need for the prescriptions. This article leans very heavily in favor of Planned Parenthood and clearly supports the company's mission. All four authors imply that if coorporations such as Planned Parenthood keep making improvements on their facilities and carrying youth-friendly medications, more young women will be likely to visit to recieve the appropriate contraceptives for their needs. Their bottom line is that the more young women that are properly covered and protected, the safer we all are.
  4. This articles comes out of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. This article questions how far we have come on an activism level since Roe vs Wade was passed. The consequences of discrimation on women from recieving abortions is looked deeper into, as well as threats and the struggle that still exists to make abortion a right for all women in everyone's eyes. The research shown here narrows in on women's age, race, and social status when it comes to discrimination because of abortion. Nearing the end of the article, they point out positive ascepts of how ideas about abortion are slowly changing because of media attention. Activists are constantly in the limelight (although some have stayed far out of the spotlight), which produces broader opinions and feelings shown more frequently.
  5. The above atricle, published in 2013 by the American Journal of Public Health under author Carole Joffe, focuses on the abortion rights movement of the 1970's. The piece focues on the shift from the 70's to present day--specifically zeroing in on more light in the media; stigma of abortion; and current challanges that still stem from legalizing abortion. Carole Joffe touches on how abortion counsling has bee naffected over the years by the needs of patients changing, also with anti-abortion statues. This article is fairly data heavy and provides statistics comparing abortion rates from the 1970's to today. She explains that the needs of patients today are generally the same as back when the abortion law was passed, but there have been some major changes, no doubt. The article states that one major innovation, "head and heart counseling," derails in pretty huge ways from previous conventions of the field. The new ways illustrates the complex and changing political meanings of abortion and therefore the challenges to abortion providers in the years following Roe v Wade.
  6. This article, written by Fiala and Arthur--published by Science direct--dives into something called "concious objection" (CO for short.) The piece argues that concious objective in reproductive health is not actually CO, but "dishonorable disobedience" to laws and ethical codes. Healthcare professionals who exercise "CO" are using their position of trust and authority to impose their personal beliefs on patients, who are completely dependent on them for essential healthcare. The article states that health systems, hospitals, private practices, and any other medical institution that refuses to provide abortion or contraception services are being discriminatory by denying healthcare services to vunerable citizens. The article explains CO in military use, laws in western medicine vs worldwide healthcare, and discusses impacts and consequences of abolishment.
  7. This essay, "The Value of Choice and the Choice toValue: Expanding the Discussion about Fetal Life within Prochoice Advocacy" comes from Hypathia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Author Bertha Alvarez Manninen, provides evidence that the new generation of prochoice advocates wants to disassioate themselves from defending abortion rights via the view that "fetal life has little or no value" and toward a different more complex, current view. This newer view on abortion feels that unborn babies--fetuses-- are more than just “clumps of cells,” that they are entities that possess some degree of value to some extent. Although a slightly different view, Alaverez Manninen says the new generation still strongly believes that women still have the right to decide whether or not they wish to continue a pregnancy.
  8. Much like the previous atricle by Alaverez Manninen, this piece expands on new ideas of what abortion views truly mean. Unlike Alaverez Manninen, however, Tomasz Żuradzki presents a new interpretation of the pro-life view on the status of early human embryos. From the reading, his position is based not on presumptions about the living status of embryos and their developmental capabilities, but on the specific criteria of rational decisions under uncertainty and on a cautious response to the ambiguous status of embryos. This complicated view promises to reconcile the uncertainty about the living status of embryos with the certainty about obligations that appear to be the norm. The article demonstrates that Zuradki's interpretation of the pro-life view, although seeming to be stronger than the standard one, has limited scope and cannot be used to limit destructive research on human embryos.
  9. The above article, published by USA Today, is the most recent I have here on Storify. Because this was just written on October 19, 2015, the information is as up to date as it gets. Written by Rick Jervis, "Texas Cuts Off Medicaid Money to Planned Parenthood" is a depressing read that focuses on our most current Planned Parenthood debate. The move by Texas to cut off funding comes from the latest series of budget cuts. Over the past few years, Texas lawmakers have slashed more than $70 million from the state Family Planning Program, resulting in the closings of 155 abortion clinics across the state, and created stricter regulations on the clinics that make it tougher to operate them in Texas. This article includes several quotes from Texas governer, Gregg Abbott. A quote from Planned Parenthood's executive director, Yvonne Gutierrez, states how little Texan politicans care about women's health closes out the article.
  10. Like the USA Today article, this piece by Bustle is only two weeks old. Kylie Cheung wrote the article titled, "Attacks Against Planned Parenthood Remain Outside Of Congress' Scope, Even Though NARAL Calls Them Acts Of Domestic Terrorism." Cheung explains that Pro-Choice America's leader, Ilyse Hogue, is furious that the media doed not cover terrorism acts of abortion clinics being lit in flames from protestors. She questions why a shoulder is turned on such a serious issue of arson and why this is acceptable. Cheung states that the media skewes the information they present to come across however they want while ignoring the true facts. The poece states that it's certainly disappointing that, as Hogue points out, Congress has investigated Planned Parenthood but not outright violent acts against the organization. She ends by saying until we begin to take violence and arson against abortion clinics more seriously and place greater focus on this issue, it's likely these acts will only continue.
  11. Although this next article, "Planned Parenthood's Social-Media Magic" was published in 2012, it is still relevant to the issues of social media and social issues today. This article explains how easily influenced the public in on social media when they see their favorite celebrities, athletes, comedians, movie stars, etc boldly present their political views on such a public outlet. Planned Parenthood and the Susan G. Koman foundation both have very strong media presences that hope to draw supporters in and change minds. Both branches have official "digital-media" employees whose sole jobs are to promote their companies mission statements and goals online through social media. Perry writes that Planned Parenthood created a “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” graphic and sent a pink bus on a “Truth Tour” to organize rallies across the country. Its travels were publicized on Facebook and Twitter and through videos on YouTube of people attending the events.
  12. Author Roy Anderson, of CP Entertainment (Christian Post), writes from the #IStandAgainst PP point of view. As soon as you enter the website, it is very obvious it is a prolife outlet. A cartoon with people that have "life" taped over ther mouths is the first image you see. He writes about a protest against Planned Parenthood that includes 70,000 pro-life Christians in Pasdadena, California. This short article directly links viewers to a longer, more expanded version to read more about this particular protest. The protest involved Christians taping red masking tape over their mouths with "red" written in bold black letters.
  13. Michael Keegan, of the Huffington Post, writes about how 99% of women have used contraceptives at some point in the lives. This political article discusses how the GOP is trying to win the votes of that 1% of women who hav never used contraceptives. He talks about companies providing health care and health insirance. The article closes out with saying the GOP, in pursuing the agenda of the most extreme factions of its base, has left moderates within its own party and American common sense behind. This is clearly a very liberal source since it comes from the Huffington Post and attacks the GOP. This article gives great statistics and data to use for an infographic.