It was freshman year in college, and just after winter break I started to have awful stomach pains. I couldn’t keep food down, yet my pants were a little tight. I thought maybe the freshman 15, but I played a sport and didn’t drink, so what was the deal?
I finally felt so sick and weak that a friend brought me to the ER. I had a pelvic scan and they found a huge cyst in my uterus. “The size of a grapefruit” the doctor told me, as if it were a thing to behold. They removed the cyst, and prescribed birth control pills to help keep a new cyst from forming. There’s where the trouble started.
I went to the local Walgreens to fill the prescription. I was on my parent’s insurance, and didn’t know the ins and outs of what was and wasn’t covered. When I went to pick up the prescription, it rang up at $80. For a one month supply. “What about insurance?” I asked. The heinous woman behind the counter said, as loudly and as self-righteously has she could, “insurance doesn’t cover BIRTH CONTROL!!!!” She didn’t say “you SLUT” but I know that she was thinking it.
There was no way I could afford to spend over $800 a year on this prescription. I was horrified by the way the woman spoke to me. I was going to just have to take my chances that the cysts didn’t return. Thankfully, someone, I don’t know who, told me that there was a Planned Parenthood on campus.
I went there, and the people were so kind that I cried with relief. The pills to help keep me from getting cysts— which also happen to keep me from getting pregnant if I were sexually active— were free.
I will never forget that experience. It taught me a lot about the importance of having access to women’s health care, for my whole body. It taught me first hand about the stupidity of self-righteousness.
Thank you PP!