The Faces of Choice: An Ethnography of the Counseling Department at Planned Parenthood of South Central Michigan
Buese, Joanna Marie
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In this paper I examine the organization of Planned Parenthood through participant observation with the help of the counselors, as I explain in the Methodology. In the Review of Literature, I propose a social evolution of a rationale which deems women as a part of the world's "natural resources." The literature provided at Planned Parenthood reflect the defensive measures women must take in order to avoid the guilt potentially involved in choosing to not be "society's incubator." The Main Findings and Discussion explore the ways in which the counselors conduct abortion counseling sessions as well as how the clients themselves shape the counselor's role. A missing sense of camaraderie and the agency's formula for gaining inter-departmental cohesion in order to strengthen the agency is also discussed. Generalizations made in this paper are not meant to reflect universal verities. The information I have gathered is a result of interviews with ProChoice women, observations at a Pro-Choice agency, and Pro-Choice literature. My goal is to propose a rationale which may shape the ways in which women, who are not necessarily Pro-Choice, respond to deciding to have an abortion and the resulting effects on the women who serve to support, listen, and advocate them.