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Tuesday
May302017

What if Planned Parenthood Didn't Exist?

This post is made possible with support from the Mission List. All opinions are my own. 

There was a time in my life when Planned Parenthood came through for me in ways that other places didnt. That time was in my teens when I became a teen parent myself. Instantly, I was off my mother's health insurance and signing up for things to help me as I raised a baby alone. Luckily, that didn't last too long because I attended college immediately following high school graduation and had health care through the university.

 

That didn't last long, either. At the time there was a battle about parents keeping their college-age children on their insurance and the universities were also fighting it. It was as if no one wanted us to have coverage.

Here we are in 2017 and that debate, about the right to health care, rages on still.

 

Having already gotten pregnant, I knew I needed birth control that would work for me as well as other health services that my college didn't (couldn't? wouldn't?) provide for me and a host of other young women. In fact, I remember that being a banner year for the number of girls enrolled at my university because we outpaced the boys in enrollment.

Think about that for a moment: more young women were going to be educated yet there was, in the political sphere, so much constant controlling over the very women who would be educated and in the work force soon. 

That's something I've never forgotten and it colors my politics to this day. 

In the small college town where I lived, I stopped in at Planned Parenthood one day after talking to a classmate. She knew I'd had a recent urinary tract infection that health service couldn't get to for the sheer volume of students who were ahead of me so she drove me uptown to Planned Parenthood where they got me in quickly, diagnosed me, and sent me on my way with the proper care. (And then we stopped at the grocery store for a lot of cranberry juice!)

After that, I used Planned Parenthood for a whole host of things I wouldn't have gotten without them.

Breast exams, pap smears, counseling about my sexual and reproductive health, and affordable birth control. These were all things I wasn't getting under my mom's insurance when they dropped me. They weren't things that I was getting elsewhere and I appreciated using the health care provider of my choice.

And yet...what if it didn't exist when I needed it?

What kind of pain would I have to endure with a UTI if Planned Parenthood wasn't there to care for me?

What dangers would I not have been able to avoid without a yearly pap smear from Planned Parenthood? I can tell you that I likely would not have continued to get those and found that they were abnormal to the point of having 2 surgeries in my life later on. 

When I did have that next baby, where would I have gotten prenatal care?

Where would my own daughter, after graduating college herself, have gotten affordable birth control if it wasn't for Planned Parenthood

It's devastating to think about all those things missing from my physical and reproductive health. These are things I cherish when talking to friends and family about the effects of the ACHA. 

College is when I started paying attention, not just to my own health and choices, but to politics and policies that aim at removing those choices. That's what the AHCA aims to do: remove choices and harm women. It would deny this to the 2.7 million men and women who use Planned Parenthood. 

YES. MEN, TOO.

Which is why it is SO important we all raise our voices and remind the senate that we stand with Planned Parenthood and against the AHCA. Here are some things I'm hoping you'll do:

Here's another fact for you: Planned Parenthood uses federal money for preventive healthcare. That means healthier adults, families, and children. 

But wait! Here are some more facts:

Here's an overview of services provided each year (in case you didn't know)

Here's how you can fact check some of those politicians (because some of us might need this)

Here are 4 groups that will be hurt the most by “defunding” (it's unconscionable, really)

 

You can help right now. Politics are personal and this one is really important if you care about, you know, the health of your fellow community members. Your friends. Your family. Yourself. 

Go here and join us in the fight ahead to protect us against the worst bill for women's health IN A GENERATION. The work starts today.

 

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