It would be difficult to name all the ways Planned Parenthood has helped me or saved my life. No, I’ve never had an abortion—because I never had to. Because I was given excellent education and free birth control. By Planned Parenthood.
I am 30 years old, a college-educated woman from an upper class family. And Planned Parenthood is the only doctor’s office I have been in my entire adult life because it was the only one I could afford when I was in high school (free!) and college (cheap!) and it was so awesome back in those days that I never had any reason to go anywhere else.
Planned Parenthood has walked me through HPV with love and care and respect. It has walked me through an abnormal pap that turned out to be nothing. It has given me birth control pills and an IUD. It has tested every long-term sexual partner I have ever had for STDs, and for an extremely affordable price. My doctor there has written down the titles of books I might like to read to learn more about my health. He let me old roommate sit in on a pelvic exam while she was considering becoming a midwife. He taught us both all about our anatomy, even though we were both college graduates and should have known all that stuff already. He was patient, funny, and kind.
I have lived in umpteen rental houses and had two million jobs in three states and had six boyfriends and have driven four cars and two bicycles and my life is one big complicated hullabaloo—I don’t think I could put a biography together if I tried. And yet I have fourteen years of medical history in one place: in my files at Planned Parenthood. Because it was just always so darn awesome and respectful and empowering, I just kept going back. Because taking care of yourself is good and necessary and cool.