This week I’m throwing it back to an article that popped up on my Facebook last September. This article, written and published by the New York Times website, read with the headline “Lemony Snicket, the Author, and His Wife Donate $1 Million to Planned Parenthood”. As some YA enthuasists may know, Lemony Snicket is the pen name (pseudonym) for author Daniel Handler’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Although I’m sure no one could forget these lovely (read miserable) books, to jog your memory this is what they look like.
…and these are the poor miserable wretches who the story features.
If you haven’t already read them, go do it… but grab a box of donuts first because these books are hard on the emotions (go ahead, eat your feelings).
Back to the NYT article. Daniel Handler and his wife Lisa Brown released their public support of Planned Parenthood by tweeting it to their followers.
So, why is this important?
In recent American politics, Congressional Republicans have made a push to defund Planned Parenthood by accusing the health clinic of selling fetus tissue to science and research centers. While these claims are largely skeptical, “offensive and categorically untrue” in the words of Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, these claims are besides the point. Planned Parenthood supplies women all over America with health services that they could otherwise not afford. By defunding Planned Parenthood, the republican party is defunding the basic human right for a woman to govern her own body. Basically, the defunding of Planned Parenthood in cause of outrageous rumors and the projection of religious ideals is a way of declaring that a woman’s opinion regarding her own body is invalid.
When young readers see the decisions made by the authors of their favourite books, they are influenced by them. Daniel Handler and his wife have just inspired the masses of YA readers, and made clear his stance on the equality of healthcare. No longer should the unfortunate events of fiction be a reality within the lives of the reader. With help from authors like Daniel Handler, the series of unfortunate events that have befallen Planned Parenthood may soon be a thing of fiction.