On Halloween weekend when I was 21 years old, I was date-raped at a house party in my college town. I came home scared, embarrassed, and ashamed of what had happened. After staying up all night, too afraid to tell anyone what had happened to me, I drove to Planned Parenthood. They were calm, supportive, and understanding, and provided me with information on what to do, both from the legal/criminal perspective, and the health perspective. I was a broke college student with little to no income, but they provided me with a preliminary health assessment/STI screening, Plan B, and later after testing, antibiotics for a (thankfully completely curable) STI and information on a counselor to talk to about my traumatizing experience. They were there for me in my darkest moments, and for that I cannot thank or appreciate them enough. I will always stand for Planned Parenthood.
I was 19. I had just moved to a new city for a job. The only people I knew, I worked with and didn’t know well enough to go to with something like this. I got herpes from my boyfriend and only sexual partner of two years. I got sick, was in pain and had no where to turn. Planned Parenthood saw me without judgement on a Sunday, and explained that 80% of Americans have his version of herpes (aka cold sores). I no longer felt dirty or scared.
A year later when I though I was having an other outbreak, again in a new city, I tried to go back to PP only to discover that they had to close from lack of funding. I went to an urgent care clinic inside where the doctor insinuated that PP was closed from lack of need and that kids in New Jersey didn’t need the kind of help I was seeking. He didn’t even examine me, just sent me off with pills. Turns out it was only a UTI. Thanks PP for treating me like a human
I had to get an STD testing done a few months back, and while I did not end up getting testing done with Planned Parenthood, I did go there. … And I am forever grateful that they exist. Just knowing that they are around makes me feel better and safer, especially for when or if I do decide to go on birth control again. Thank you for your presence in my community.
I truly believe Planned Parenthood saved my life. I started going to PP when I was 16 years old. I had very painful and unusual menstrual cycles and my parents did not want me to take the birth control that my doctor recommended. I was not yet sexually active, but knew that if I did have sex I wanted to be protected. A friend took me to PP where I literally was shaking because I was so scared. They treated me with kindness and agreed that birth control would help me.
I continued going to both my regular OBGYN for pap tests so my parents would not know, but I also had to get an annual exam at PP to be able to continue to get birth control.
Cancer is a very real risk in my life; so I take screenings very seriously. My mother died of cancer when I was 17, and several other family members have had various forms.
It’s a good think that I was still going to PP at the age of 20 because my doctor at PP told me I had irregular cells on my pap smear. This was just a few weeks after I had seen my regular OBGYN who said I was fine. PP caught the pre-cancerous cells that doctors later told me had a 90% chance of becoming cervical cancer without surgery. I am now 28 and cancer free, but I still believe that if it wasn’t for that appointment with PP I would have gone a full year without another exam and without getting the much needed surgery to remove those cells and they would have developed into cancer.
I was a first-generation college student, raised by a single mother and determined not to repeat the same mistakes and challenges she faced. I knew with an education I could put myself, and eventually my children, in a much better place in life. Since I didn’t have a full time job and therefore had no health insurance, PP was the affordable choice for gynecological care and birth control. Access to birth control allowed me to finish college, eventually get my Masters degree, and break the cycle of poverty in my family.
I was in my late teens and living with inadequately-treated mental illness, with suicidal thoughts and self-injury and all sorts of other reckless behaviour. I was scared I might be pregnant. I was scared to pee on a stick all alone, because I didn’t know what I might do if I got a positive result. At Planned Parenthood, they talked with me for a good half hour about where I was in my life and what I would do if it turned out I was pregnant. Plus she encouraged me to get in to my psychiatrist ASAP and tell him how bad things really were because how could they get me on the right meds if I just tried to put on a happy face every appointment.
We didn’t actually do the pregnancy test until I was in a headspace that yes, no matter the result, I had a plan and I had support and I could get through whatever was going to happen next. I turned out not to be pregnant. Before I left, she gave me a quick contraceptives refresher course along with helpful hints for remembering to take my pills (both psych and birth control) in the middle of a chaotic life, so I wouldn’t have to be afraid again.
Looking back over a decade later, it seems like a small thing in the grand scheme of my life, but at the time it was huge. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had somewhere to turn that I knew I could trust.
Planned Parenthood helped me stay healthy and able to go to college and graduate (Summa Cum Laude too). I had severe endometriosis that would incapacitate me for at least one week each month. For a few dollars every three months, I was given “the shot”, and my annual exams were done for very low cost. Without affordable birth control/something to stop my “internal” bleeding, I would have missed my classes every month.
I later went on to a successful career, and one with excellent health insurance. I was then able to have the needed surgery for the endometriosis.
I wouldn’t be where I am today (married with a kid, and a great job), without Planned Parenthood.
Getting a PhD is hard work, don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. I always had trouble balancing my life with my work, one consequence of this was inability to keep a true schedule with my birth control pills. I had expressed concerns about this to my OBGYN and expressed interest in an IUD as an alternative and was quickly denied, making cold calls to other OBGYNs I received similar responses - I was in my early 20s, I have no children - I couldn’t get an IUD. A year later, I found myself accidentally pregnant - something I was in no position in life to handle with my eighty plus hour per week work schedule and lack of a local support system. Planned Parenthood provided me with the abortion I needed to continue with my dissertation research and was the first organization willing to provide me with the IUD allowing me to fully take control of reproductive health in light of my hectic lifestyle. Planned Parenthood enabled me to continue participating in biomedical research, something I couldn’t of handled with a young child so early in my career.
When I was 21, just out of college, I had a wonderful job that, unfortunately, didn’t provide me with health insurance. I had never before considered Planned Parenthood for gynecological services because I had always been insured under my parents. Now, I had no other options for routine care. I made peanuts, and couldn’t afford a doctor’s visit.
During my visit to the PP in Richmond Va., I was shocked when the nurse practitioner discovered a breast lump. She told me it was probably harmless, but that I would need to follow up with a doctor. I realized the long-term implications of this. So, I got a new job, with health insurance, got a doctor, got a sonogram, and got surgery. I would never have discovered what was hiding just beneath the surface of my skin if I hadn’t been able to access inexpensive health care services provided by Planned Parenthood.
I’m incredibly lucky that I’m 100% healthy. I know that many many other men and women are out there right now, with no access to the nurses, doctors and tests that could catch this cancer early.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t care about how much money you make, where you grew up, how much education you had, or what you look like. They will treat you the same as everyone else.
I will always be grateful for the services they provide, and will show my support with my donations.
Without having health insurance in college, I was 20 when I first went to a local Planned Parenthood in my town for low-cost reproductive health care. They found pre-cancerous cells in my cervix and at the time could not perform the procedure to remove the irregular cells after they performed a biopsy. Lucky for me, they referred me to a specialist Dr. nearby who was able to remove the cells free of charge. THANK YOU Planned Parenthood!
I am so thankful that I will be able to come to PP for healthcare when I lose my insurance from my dad. I will be paying for insurance through the county, but it’s $100/month, and the prescription copay is high. I am working as hard as I can to pay for school, and can’t spare much. THANK YOU FOR EXISTING, PLANNED PARENTHOOD.
I walked through the doors, a waitress, newlywed, just back from Africa and no health insurance in my rural Ohio hometown. I had a pap smear at planned parenthood which resulted in atypia. I had abnormal cells. Turned out I had an infection that the pap smear detected.
A year later, my husband and I were pregnant with our daughter. She’s 18 now and the planned parenthood clinic is still open, serving the needs of women in my rural hometown. I don’t know if I’d have been able to have my daughter if it were not for planned parenthood. I contribute to PP every year because I know the money I give saves women, women just like me.
My mother became unexpectedly pregnant at 21, much to the dismay of her parents. She was in love with my father but was no longer welcome in her home. She went to Planned Parenthood who told her that they would help her in any way. She wanted me but was not sure that she could raise me. They went through adoption plans together, but reinforced that her choice was her own.
Guess what? My parents were married a few months later. My Dad’s family took them in and I was born in the ‘unwed/uninsured mother’s section’ of the local hospital. My parents have now been married for almost 40 years and they chose to have another child when they were ready. When women are scared and don’t have a lot of options - Planned Parenthood supports them. I am living proof of that.
From my first visit to a Planned Parenthood clinic as a teenager for my first exam and prescription of birth control pills, thru two cervical cancer situations, to yes, an abortion (thank God they were there), to annual exams I have grown to love and support this organization in anyway possible. The recent war raged against them by a certain small group of people in this country is shameful. I hope the situation caused by the Susan G. Koman Foundation will truly make the women of this country stand up and shout out regarding their health care issues. I have had so many times and reasons to give thanks for Planned Parenthood that it hurts my heart that they are being so targets. Let’s stand together Women of America for our own reproductive and health care rights. Thanks for this site. Kristine
I didn’t have health insurance for about eight years from age 15 to around 22. Planned Parenthood was there for me. They gave me my annual exams and supplied me with birth control. I don’t know where I’d be without Planned Parenthood. I will always support them.
In 1989, when I was 19 years old, I was living in a large city and fully supporting myself for the first time in my life — just barely. I was so poor that I lived in a room slightly larger than a walk-in closet (with a door that wouldn’t shut entirely), slept on the boxspring mattress that had come with the room, and made the hard choice between buying juice and buying cheese at the grocery store because I could never afford both at the same time.
I constantly felt despair back then. My retail job was awful and oppressively boring. My boyfriend mistreated me, and, having grown up in an abusive environment, my self-esteem was so low that I didn’t think I could ever be loved by someone who genuinely cared about me and was kind.
When I found myself with symptoms of a urinary tract infection, my first reaction was denial. I simply couldn’t afford to see a doctor or to pay for any medication. A coworker suggested that I visit Planned Parenthood because it was “subsidized.” I hadn’t realized that it was even possible to visit Planned Parenthood for regular (i.e., non-reproductive related) medical problems.
Despite being in enormous pain, I had to walk the few miles to the Planned Parenthood clinic because I couldn’t afford the bus ride there. (I was that poor.) The entirely female staff was so kind and respectful to me that I almost cried. I wasn’t used to being treated well by anyone. The doctors examined me and gave me the medication I needed for free. They also gave me birth control pills, which were crucial because my selfish boyfriend refused to use condoms. The birth control pills — despite Planned Parenthood’s reputation — was almost an afterthought because the real reason I was there was to treat my infection.
What impacted me the most of the entire experience was after I’d told one of the doctors that I had walked to the clinic because I couldn’t afford the bus and that I wasn’t looking forward to walking back home. She reached into her pocket and pulled out enough change for bus fare and handed it to me and smiled.
In the years since then, I’ve changed my life significantly. I developed a real career, made money, and bought a brand-new car. I dumped the awful boyfriend a long time ago and ended up marrying a wonderful man who treats me well to this day. He and I both donate to Planned Parenthood on a regular basis.
When I was (like most of my friends) un- and under-insured in my early 20s, Planned Parenthood was where I went for my annual exams and pretty much all my healthcare was through those visits. They hooked me up with birth control when needed, and were just generally an awesome resource.
When I started having sex with my new but serious boyfriend, I had a pregnancy scare the first month. I was on the pill, but my period was over a week late and I was FREAKING. OUT. My guy had just left a job he hated in the military and gone back to college full-time. I was temping. We had been friends for fifteen years but had only been dating about two months. We knew we wanted to be together long-term, and wanted kids someday, but it was just way too soon. I knew if we had a kid at that stage of our relationship, we would try to stay together but face a LOT of challenges. I was pro-choice, but had always assumed I would never personally choose to have an abortion. Well, once I started contemplating what that meant for our lives and the lifestyle our kids would have, I realized that if I was pregnant, I would not feel right carrying that pregnancy to term. To complicate things, my guy was in the throes of his first finals week in ten years and I didn’t want to stress him out further until I knew for sure what we were dealing with.
I was too scared to take a pregnancy test alone, so I went down to my local Planned Parenthood so that I could discuss options with someone honestly and right then. The staff were super supportive and dealt with my emotional meltdown like champs. It turned out I wasn’t pregnant, and after I stopped laughing and crying with joy, they made sure I didn’t have any questions or need anything else and sent me on my way.
A year later, I was engaged to my guy and we had decided we didn’t want to try for kids for several years, so I went down to Planned Parenthood to have an IUD put in. At that point I had private health insurance that would have covered it at my own doctor’s office, but wanted to leave it to the pros. They did a great job and it went very smoothly. A few months later, my insurance decided to deny to pay for the IUD. After going round and round with them, I finally called the PP clinic. They listened to the story and very nicely informed me that if I had come in without insurance, they had another program that would have paid for it, so they just switched the bill over to that program and wrote off the bill. So simple, but such a relief to cash-strapped me!
Fast forward to present day, my husband has finished school and we both have good jobs. We are in the process of buying a house in a good neighborhood. I have an appointment next week to have my IUD removed so that I can try to get pregnant. As I look at the blessings in my life, I am so happy I’m scared sometimes, and I know none of these good things would likely be in my life if I had been pregnant and parenting several years ago. I will always be proud to stand with Planned Parenthood and the largely thankless work they have done to improve my life and the lives of other women.
I am a married 36yo. I started coming to Planned Parenthood for my routine checkups as a 19yo college student, living out on my own & away from my parents for the first time without health insurance. From then on, until I got the first job that offered me health benefits at 28, I was a regular PP client. When I was ready to become sexually active their nurses counseled me on sexual health and walked me through my options for birth control. When they detected bladder infection during a routine exam, they took care of me. I have never had any unintended pregnancy thanks to Planned Parenthood. You see all kinds of clients at Planned Parenthood - single women & men, married couples, parents. I know so many people, including friends & families, who have benefited from the services offered by their clinics. I have never received anything but courteous, attentive service and good quality care at any of the clinics I have visited, and I will always be grateful to Planned Parenthood.
I got pregnant on the night I graduated high school. I was scared, confused and knew nothing about the world, if it was past the tip of my own nose. When I thought I was pregnant, I went to Planned Parenthood and got educated. I was not told to go get an abortion, which is what these nuts think Planned Parenthood is all about. I was educated about birth, the adoption process, an abortion and birth control for the future. I was educated and that is the POINT of Planned Parenthood…..to EDUCATE people so that they can move forward with their lives on what EVER decision that may be. ON THEIR DECISION!! I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for being there for me and giving me an education that I can now pass on to my children so that they do not make the same mistakes that I have made. It is not for the public to decide anything that I may do to myself, to my body. What decisions I do with my body is between me and God….NO ONE ELSE! I will never forget that day and the decision that changed my life forever.