I grew up in a shoebox in a very small town. In small towns, news travels fast, and in that small town Planned Parenthood and its patients had reputations. You went to Planned Parenthood for an abortion because you screwed up and got yourself pregnant doing promiscuous thing that probably involved drugs. And if someone found out about your little rendezvous with a more sordid destiny you were marked as a litle skanky MacSkankerpants.
That’s where my brain was going into this little adventure.
I don’t have healthcare. Like many of my fellow 20 something compadres I do not have health insurance, which means the following, for me as a woman.
I had 7 months to find a job that had healthcare so I could get my birth control prescription renewed for less than $500 bucks so I could continue to pay $75 dollars a month to maintain responsible control over my reproductive rights. It’s cheaper than a baby, and far less of a commitment, so I kind of don’t mind. But I DO mind that I have to pay a shit load more to make responsible decisions than men do, but that’s a totally different ball to play with.
Anyway, my 7 months was up and it was time to start doing some research about which places were cheapest- a word that I didn’t really feel all that great about using in reference to my reproductive health, or any segment of my health in any form. Lest my search continued. And I stumbled back to Planned Parenthood.
I cringed a little and verbally slapped myself in the brain- this time I did some research and got my head out of my ass long enough to realize that Planned Parenthood is far more than just an institution where abortions are performed. They’re hope. Hope for scared young women who are suddenly behind the wheel of the strange urges and pressures that come with a vagina. It’s hope for young adults who have no jobs and no healthcare. It’s hope for older women who are worried they may have cancer and don’t have money to see a Doctor to find out. It’s peace of mind, it’s help.
And it’s anything but sketchy.
The business operates like any other medical facility though the wait times are a little bit longer. Who cares- Not me. I checked in like any other Doctors office, and they offered me help immediately to see if I qualified for a few government programs that only required 1/2 of a sheet of paper to apply for. Then walked me through the process, helped me figure out what all the funk-tastic terms meant and were there to high-five me when I ended up receiving coverage for what I count as a basic need for anyone who is sexually active: the freedom to choose to be like, oh, I don’t know, responsible about their choices. I think that’s pretty important.
Everyone was nice, the nurses were cordial and kind, the receptionists weren’t judgmental and they had remarkably well done info graphics on the waiting room T.V. about reproductive health, health care coverage and in-depth information about what the clinic offered.
The Doctor was extremely sensitive and open. In fact, I believe she is the first medical person that I’ve had to see since moving to So Cal- and I am very inclined to continue going to her even when I DO get a job with health care that covers fancy places and fancy physicians.
And you know what else I’m going to do?
Donate. To. This. Cause.
Because it’s not for girls who make stupid and bad choices, it’s for women who want to be in control of their reproductive health and who want to make responsible choices without being charged thousands of dollars in the process.
Thanks Planned Parenthood, sorry you guys have such a weird rep, but keep doing what you’re doing. It’s making a difference.