Although I had very generous insurance coverage throughout my late teens and early twenties, I had my annual exams performed at Planned Parenthood so my money and my insurer’s money went toward a mission I fully supported. I never imagined I would need free or low-cost services. That changed when I lost my job, lost my insurance coverage and was sexually assaulted three weeks later. Planned Parenthood provided me with free STI testing and a free replacement NuvaRing. They gave me information on counseling services and peace of mind when I felt I had no where else to turn. I will forever support Planned Parenthood because they supported me when I needed it most.
When I was 18 and scared about starting to have sex, a friend told me, “Go to Planned Parenthood - they help people our age.” The doctor was kind and helped me through my first pelvic exam. I continued to go to the same PP clinic all through nursing school. This was before Roe vs. Wade, and becoming pregnant would have been the end of my nursing career - we had to quit if we became pregnant, married or not.
Fast forward ten years. My first job as a nurse practitioner was at Planned Parenthood, helping people just like me. I was the study clinician for three sites of a national research study that resulted in the FDA approval of the cervical cap in the United States. At the same time, one of my friends worked in the local PP clinic that performed abortions. Because of threats to her life as a PP employee, she had to travel to and from work with an armed escort. One of her patients was the teenage daughter of a very outspoken pro-life advocate. This person had no problem throwing firebombs at the clinic one day and showing up the next day to escort her daughter to her abortion.
Planned Parenthood walks the talk. They have been there throughout the years for all US women, and I will always be there for them.
Although I have never been to Planned Parenthood I have always been a supporter and have donated a fair amount over the past years. I have family members who have benefited greatly from many of the services offered by PP, and I don’t know where they would have turned if it were not available. I am heartened by the outpouring of support that PP has received in response to the Komen debacle.
I went to a Catholic college where they did not prescribe or counsel on birth control methods. That’s their right so I used to head down to the local Planned Parenthood to receive my reproductive care and feminine health screenings. When I was 19, they found a lump in my breast. The physician who found it made sure I had the resources available to get it checked out. I was fortunate. It was a benign tumor. But it took a full lumpectomy to figure that out. I will never be able to express my gratitude for finding that lump and also for the years of quality health care I received from them without judgement.
I’ve finally had a chance to crunch some numbers and look at media hits, and wanted to share some info about this amazing community that you’ve helped develop in the last few days.
We launched on Wednesday morning, and since then — 72 hours later — we’ve gotten:
- About 260 story submissions. That’s about 4 stories an hour, on average. They mostly came in large groups; there were times were I was getting about 15-20 submissions an hour. Y’all are prolific! <3
- Just over 1,000 followers on Tumblr, and 28,000 unique visitors to the site. More than half of those came from social media. Which means: telling and sharing our stories matters.
- Mentioned on tons of media. Rachel Maddow, CBC Connect, Washington Post, Colorlines.com, Feministing, AlterNet, Salon.com (x2!), The Nation, American Prospect, Our Bodies Ourselves, Daily Kos, The Guardian, Utne, RH Reality Check and more. (Did I miss any? @me on Twitter or submit it.)
You might think our crazy traffic came from those media mentions. Shockingly, no— most of the hits came before the major media. So, to repeat: telling and sharing our stories matters.
I can’t thank you enough for being here with me. When I started this, it was a bit of a lark— I just kept thinking about women and their stories, and how we could show what a difference Planned Parenthood has made. You did the rest. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Years ago, I married a Canadian man, and moved from the US to Canada with him. I knew I wouldn’t have health insurance, so before I lost my insurance (quit my job) I made sure to get a prescription for birth control, (we weren’t ready to be parents.) That Rx would last me the first year or so of marriage. After that, I wasn’t sure what I’d do.
I got my Rx filled at a pharmacy, and it cost $30.00, which I paid for a few months too. Until I found out that Planned Parenthood was in Canada as well. I happily hopped on the subway, and rode downtown to my appointment, where they asked NUMEROUS questions about my health, migraines, and we came up with a birth control solution for me. Their monthly supply was only $10.00, which as an unemployed housewife, I was very excited about. And the free exams were heaven-sent as well. My (now ex) husband never got a job outside of our home-based eBay business until after I left him. He was verbally abusive, and physically abusive once.
I can not imagine having children with him. Years later, I can look back and only feel sorry for the woman I used to be, but I’m not her anymore. Planned Parenthood gave me all the tools I needed to make proper decisions about my future. If I’d had children with him, we would have been one of those couples who stay together for the kids, hating each other the entire time.
I’m so thankful that their organization is as wide spread and as international as it is. That meager $10 I managed to come up with every month has been the best return on investment I could ever imagine.
I don’t have children with him, and that has probably saved my life. I owe everything I am and everything I have to Planned Parenthood. You have my undying gratitude and support.
I had just graduated with my degree, and I had a job lined up that would begin three months after graduation. However, I had no insurance coverage until that new job began and no income. I purchased the cheapest insurance in case of a major accident, but it would not cover my annual exam or most non-life threatening events.
I had had two bouts of pre-cervical cancer because of an HPV infection that just would not go away. I had col-pops and a LEEP. I wasn’t about to wait three months to find out if I was heading down that road again.
I made an appointment at PP for an annual exam. When I got there, I waited in the lobby with men and women who looked equally anxious as I did (this PP did not provide abortion services). When I saw the doctor, she was really warm and nice. She even called to follow up with me about my BCP script. And thankfully, the pap smear came back normal.
I think I paid $20 for the visit. I would fight tooth and nail for the right of other women to receive such vital health care.
I was out of college a couple years before I had my first pap smear, first check up. And it was at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Kenosha, Wisconsin. My best friend, who was studying to be a nurse, volunteered there and I went in when she working, and she convinced me to get checked out. I was so nervous, but the nurses were wonderful. Down to earth, gentle, and so patient with a nervous ninny who’d never had an exam until then! I paid the sliding scale rate, since I was not making very much money…unless you have been in that place, where you can’t afford to even visit a doctor, you will never know what a blessing a place like PP is to women. I will always support them. Always. I am not one for the latest fad/cause, but PP isn’t the latest fad. It was there for me when I was 24, and I will be there for it now.
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.
I was 20 and a scholarship student at a small liberal arts college. My boyfriend and I had been having sex for a few months and using condoms, but one month my period was late. I FREAKED OUT! I knew that a pregnancy would mean I would be forced to drop out of college and lose my scholarship. Without the scholarship, there was no way I could finish college.
Back then you couldn’t get a pregnancy test at the drug store, you had to go to a doctor’s office. I had no money to do that and didn’t want to use my parents’ insurance, of course. I knew my mother would yank me out of college if she found out I was having sex. So I looked in the yellow pages under “pregnancy.” There were so many cheesy ads like, “Pregnant? Need help?” I had heard there were fake clinics that would try to convince you to not get an abortion. But I had heard Planned Parenthood was not like that, so I went there.
I told the nurse I knew I was pregnant and that I would have to have an abortion…I was very upset! But she reassured me and told me to take a test and then we could discuss my options afterwards if I really was pregnant. The results came back negative! What a relief! But the nurse said that if I wanted to avoid having another pregnancy scare, I would have to find a reliable birth control method like the pill. I told her there was no way I could afford that. She told me that Planned Parenthood could provide me with an exam and a 3-month supply of pills for just $10! Even I could afford that!
I kept going to Planned Parenthood through boyfriend #2 and grad school. When I graduated and got a real job with insurance, I went to a private gynecologist. I was shocked to learn that my birth control pills would not be covered and would cost $50 a month! I then realized what a great deal Planned Parenthood had been all those years. The Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses also never made sexist and judgmental comments about how I shouldn’t have sex outside of marriage or why didn’t I just settle down and have babies? (Both unsolicited comments made to me by MDs).
Planned Parenthood is a wonderful gift to the women of America. I want it to continue to be there for generations to come for all the women and girls like me!
Through college and after, I have visited Planned Parenthood for access to low-cost birth control and routine gynecological exams and cancer screening. It was Planned Parenthood that did my 6-month and 1-year follow up exams after I tested positive for HPV and had an abnormality on my cervix removed. Both follow-up tests performed at Planned Parenthood came back negative. This gave me indescribable relief after the scary pre-cancer ordeal, and wouldn’t have experienced that peace of mind without Planned Parenthood’s help.
Directly because of Planned Parenthood, even during rough times I was able to receive routine care and annual cancer screenings - including breast exams, HPV testing and pap smears.
Now that I am covered by insurance, I still choose Planned Parenthood as my provider (my insurance covers most of the cost of care and I pay a reasonable copay). That is how wonderful and high-quality their care is. The Planned Parenthood nurses and doctors are always patient, caring, understanding and, most importantly, they never judge my health care decisions. They help me to become well-informed about the choices that are out there and, once I have made my choice, they support me in acquiring what I need to stay safe and healthy.
I am forever grateful to Planned Parenthood for the care they provide. Truly, few things get me as riled me up as the many political assaults on OUR Planned Parenthood! I can’t wait until I am in a position to make significant annual donations to PP. I will be a supporter and a donor for life. Thank you, PP, for being there for me when I had no other means to provide routine care for myself.
My ex left when I was pregnant. I was devastated, confused and had no idea what to do. My job paid next to nothing (less than minimum wage, not quite sure how they got away with that) and was so active I didn’t know what would happen if they found out. I called Planned Parenthood and spent a long time speaking to a counselor. Thank God for her! She gave me options I didn’t know existed as well as truthful and factual information about what my employer could and could not do. Just a little, straight forward conversation gave me the power and confidence to do what I needed to do and make some difficult decisions. All I really needed was a map and a flashlight to find my way through the dark, and Planned Parenthood had plenty to give! I will forever be grateful to the counselor who gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. I wish I remembered her name so I could send that location a message and properly thank her. She saved two lives that day.
When I became pregnant with my son, I had no one in my life. I lived about 1,500 miles away from home, and my family was upset and hurt that I was unmarried and pregnant. The child’s father wanted nothing to do with me, which was like a knife in the heart. I did not have many friends outside of the people I worked with. I was beyond depressed. I went to Planned Parenthood for counseling and just to have someone to talk to. The nurses and counselors were non-judgmental, answered all my questions about different options and NEVER ONCE PUSHED THE IDEA OF ABORTION ON ME. They were very supportive of my ultimate decision to keep my baby. Unfortunatly, my son’s birth was traumatic, and he is severely disabled as a result of his birth. Because of this, I have been unable to see a private, clinical physician since giving birth because I cannot trust doctors and the idea of being seen makes me anxious to the point I can barely function. I have been able to go back to Planned Parenthood for care as needed, and have been treated with respect every time. THANK YOU, PLANNED PARENTHOOD!
During most of my twenties I had no health insurance, and so I relied on Planned Parenthood as my primary health care provider. In 2006 I had a pap smear done at the PP clinic in Bloomington, IL. It came back abnormal. Another test, also performed at the clinic, revealed that I was just a hair away from developing cervical cancer! PP put me in touch with the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (IBCCP), who then put me in touch with a gynecologist, and paid for part of the operation I needed to remove the pre cancerous cells. If there was no PP, I would not have gone to the doctor regularly and would have likely developed cancer. It could have killed me.
Even though I have insurance now through my job, it does not mean I have forgotten what it is like to be without. I think of women who have died needless deaths due to lack of access to health care. I think of women like me, whose lives have been saved by Planned Parenthood. I also think of young girls and hope that PP is still there to help them when they are in need. This is why even though my insurance plan does not cover visits to PP, I get my annual exam done there every year anyway, and I pay for the full cost of the exam out of pocket. This year I plan on writing the check for over the amount, because I can. I feel like I should give Planned Parenthood my business since they saved my life.
Planned Parenthood has been in the media a lot lately, and lots of people have written lots of things. I am writing this to let you know that whatever you read, whatever you write or say; when you are talking about PP and the women it serves, you never know who you are talking about.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a conservative! This first time I had to walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood I did not know what they really did. I went there out of desperation I could not find a doctor who would take my insurance. I had yet another infection and needed to get my depo shot. I started depo to save my life and have stayed on for that very reason. I could not believe that I had to go to an “abortion clinic!” I had no clue what really happened inside a Planned Parenthood! That day I began to find out.
I had beaten Cervical Cancer once the year before. But my doctor had not won her fight with Cervical Cancer only months after I had won my fight. The doctor that had stepped in was only here part time. When he told me the cancer was back he also told me our next appointment would be at Planned Parenthood. They would be doing the treatments and day-to-day care. I am now Cancer Free! I am cancer free because of Planned Parenthood. No matter where I move or what insurance I have I plan to always be a patience of Planned Parenthood!
Abortion is only 2% of what they do at Planned Parenthood!!!
I started going to Planned Parenthood in my early twenties. I did not have health insurance, and need low cost contraception and annual exams.
I also have Endometriosis. Because of the Endo, I would have horrible cramps that would keep me home from work. The pill provided much relief from the pain of Endometriosis.
I also had pre-cancerous cells on my cervix. Thanks to Planned Parenthood, I was able to have them removed. I have had regular pap smears since having them removed. Planned Parenthood saved me from potentially developing cervical cancer.
I now have health insurance, and no longer go to their clinics, but I continue to support them financially. I always will support them financially.
The summer before I went off to an Ivy League University, the condom broke. My parents highly disapproved of my boyfriend and any premarital sex, so I turned to my friends for help and support instead. One of them drove me to Planned Parenthood the next day so I could get Plan B, and lo and behold, no baby! PP also arranged my birth control prescription so that I could be in control of my reproductive health.
Planned Parenthood saved me from ruining the opportunity of a lifetime. Because of their compassion, I have a great education, career, and husband (who I would never have met if I didn’t go to college). PP has my support!
At 19 I had a pap test that detected precancerous cells. After minor surgery, no issues…..My Mother died of this cancer and I thank PP for saving me.
My story may surprise you. My friend is alive today because of Planned Parenthood. My friend beat Testicular cancer by keeping up with his annuals. He could not afford to go to a regular doctor at the time. A very experienced and wise practitioner at Planned Parenthood examined him, and gave him the advice to change some of his lifestyle around. She said “let’s see you back here in a few months and see if there are any changes.” He was lucky. Things were changing. The growths went away on their own. That is definitely not typical. But I know that practitioner would have been willing to give him referrals for treatment for Testicular Cancer, if that situation had gotten worse. It was precarious indeed when he had a preliminary diagnosis.
During the time period in which last year’s Title X funding was up on the chopping block, I’d written to both of my Senators here Kerry and Brown, and told them this story - that Planned Parenthood is *not* just for women - and would you believe, both of those Senators (one conservative!) wrote me back personally and with great empathy towards my friend and low-income males. I really wish Planned Parenthood could find a way to promote itself better to Male reproductive and general health needs. Perhaps together we can get the word out.
Then it will be nice to have some support on the street when our gentlemen find they have something to stand up for, too.
6 months after the birth of my son,in 1985, I had intense pain. Several doctors had no clue, although I lost 20 lbs in 3 weeks, and could barely walk for 2 months. A year later I moved and my new town had a Planned Parenthood which I chose for my health care. Apparently I had chlamydia, easily treatable. If treated in time I wouldn’t have had painful scarring that prevented pregnancy. I did not have many partners, but still caught it. Planned Parenthood was more useful than all the professionals I went to.