Sunday, April 5, 2009

Planned Parenthood

If you are a supporter of Planned Parenthood, I assure you in advance that this post is not meant to be an invective toward you and your belief system. Until we straighten out our collective abortion ethics in this country through logical and rational discussion, we need to have institutions on both sides of the argument that keep the pro- and anti- groups checked and balanced. That balance is important to me because it ensures (with respect to all social issues) that we preserve the most freedom for the most people until such time as there is overwhelmingly compelling evidence to change our political policies through law.

That disclaimer aside, I'm getting pretty peeved. I don't know how or why I got on the mailing list for Planned Parenthood. I can only guess that somehow I am on some list because I voted for Obama and against Prop 8---and made both of these positions known on Facestalker. :-) Still, I don't have my address public on Facebook, so how PP would have found that...well, it would take a bit of effort.

I have received my third solicitation from the PP lobby in three months. The first one, I threw away and ignored. The mailer made me roll my eyes, not because I disagree with its agenda (which I do) but because the rhetoric in the mailer was meant to be so manipulative but was so transparent...and if there is one thing that always chews me, it is having my intelligence insulted directly or indirectly. I respond much better to straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is, here's-what-we-want-and-why rhetoric. But, hey, I thought. Free country. Just ignore it.

Then I received another one. This time I noticed that, in their quest for monetary contribution, they had provided a return envelope which I could return at no cost to myself. I wrote a polite note on their donation card and requested not to be solicited anymore (and removed from their mailing lists) since I don't support their mission.

However, I have just received a third mailer. My note this time was a bit more biting and to the point: they should remove me, I explained, because they should not be wasting other donation money on me or on having to pay for the postage required of them when I mail my mailer back.

We'll see what happens.

I usually have no grey feelings about solicitation mailers, I guess. I either grow irritated fairly quickly or feel guilty for I do with those children's hospital mailers and the like that come with the free address labels and stickers. I used to throw them away because not donating made me feel too guilty to use them. Then my mom pointed out that I have every right to use them because I didn't ask for them and the stickers are a form of manipulation, too, and so I can stand up for myself and not feel guilty.

So now I use those.

I come from the old-fashioned line of thinking that if I want to support a cause or charity or find a service, I will search it out on my own. I am the kind of person that makes vows never to engage the service of a person who has left a flier on my front gate. I don't like invasions of my space that way. I will seek out the causes, charities, and services I feel I want to support or need to purchase.

What a curmudgeon, huh?