PP, thank you for giving me a quiet, confidential place to get birth control before I had sex for the first time. I wasn’t even sure about losing my virginity but I sure as hell wasn’t ready for a baby and you knew that. You held my nervous hand and gave me much-needed education as well as birth control. Thank you.
I was 24, working at a low-paying job and barely getting by. I hadn’t had a gynecological exam since I was in college. My friend T. told me to go to Planned Parenthood because they didn’t cost much, and would work with me on what I could afford. I went in, got my exam, and thought that was the end of it.
I got a call a few days later to come back into the office for an appointment. The results of my PAP were back, and it was abnormal. Subsequent tests confirmed that I had cervical cancer, and I was panicked. The people at Planned Parenthood got me into a treatment program and referred to an oncologist, they had counselors who talked to me and helped me, and ultimately, saved my life.
Now that I have a career, I give generously, so that other women who are in the same place I was - not enough money, no insurance, no doctor - can get the health care that might save THEIR lives.
Planned Parenthood didn’t save my life…but they did save me from a world of pain. Thanks to their referral I was able to get treatment for a very painful condition at a cost I, an unemployed student with no healthcare, could afford. They also provided me with affordable birth control and reliable, objective, information about my health and my reproductive rights. I can never repay them for the help they gave me, and continue to give me (and millions of other women).
When I was first living on my own in a new city, far from family, I was brutally poor. The only way I could continue to get regular gynecological exams, cancer screening, and birth control pills was through Planned Parenthood, on their sliding fee scale. Thank God! I desperately needed the Pill, not just for birth control, but to help control debilitating dysmenorrhea. If I hadn’t been able to get my prescription, I would have missed a lot of work and I’m sure I probably would have been fired and ended up even poorer.
I remember the so-called Christians who stood outside PP, holding signs and harassing everyone who went inside, even though they had NO IDEA what any of us was there for. But I also remember the brave people who volunteered as escorts, and helped all of us feel safe and protected as we made our way into the clinic.
Thank you, Planned Parenthood. I will ALWAYS support you.
When I was 27, I discovered that I had something where there should not be anything. I was living with my dad, my parents had just split up, I was unemployed and there was something wrong in probably the scariest place for a woman to have something wrong. My mother sent me to Planned Parenthood where their gynecologist examined me and confirmed that there was indeed something there that shouldn’t be there. The clinic made an appointment for me the same day at a private OB/GYN’s office where they removed the offending article. A few days later, they let me know that everything was fine.
I was scared and broke and convinced that I was going to die a horrible, cancerous death, but Planned Parenthood was there. They made sure I was taken care of when I didn’t have the slightest idea what to do beyond go to the clinic. I’ve thought of that time a lot over the last year as the attacks on PP have escalated. Planned Parenthood had my back then and from now on I’ll have theirs.
In 1988 I was a 17 year old whose period was late. I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend a few times but I thought you needed to have sex alot in order to get pregnant so I hadn’t considered pregnancy as a reason that I was late. I was driving around with a friend on a Saturday, we were going shopping. I mentioned that my period was a few weeks late and she became alarmed. She said she knew that Planned Parenthood had an office about 5 minutes from the mall and that they might be open. We drove there and she accompanied me inside. I was very nervous that I would need an appointment or that they would want ID and then call my mom. They were very nice and didn’t question me when I shared that I was there to get a pregnancy test. (At that time they weren’t easily available in drug stores) I was asked to give a urine sample within minutes. I was then called into a room where I was told that my test was positive. I thought that meant I wasn’t pregnant so I got really excited and proclaimed that I would never have sex again. The lady quickly figured out that I didn’t realize what she told me so she explained that I was in fact pregnant. I then started crying instantly as my world crashed down around me. She comforted me and just listened as I shared all the reasons why I couldn’t have this baby, insisting that I needed an abortion. She didn’t judge me or lecture me. Instead she urged me to consider all of my options before making any decisions. She encouraged me to talk my parents or other adults in my life who cared about me. I didn’t tell my parents that day, but I did stop drinking and smoking. It was the most difficult decision of my life, but I decided to keep my baby. A few weeks later I told my mom and began receiving prenatal care when I was about 8-10 weeks pregnant. If I hadn’t received free help at Planned Parenthood that day, I know I wouldn’t have figured out that I was pregnant so soon. I know that I would have continued to abuse drugs & alcohol and I would not have received prenantal care so early. As a result my son was born full term and healthy. Planned Parenthood made a tremendous difference in my life, and I’ve never forgotten the supportive ear and great advice I received from their staff. Thank you Planned Parenthood!
My mother was a young newlywed in the mid-1970s. She was in graduate school, and my father was just starting his career. Planned Parenthood was the only place she could go when she needed an abortion. (I would go into the reasons why, but ultimately, they don’t matter. She needed one; PP gave her one.)
I was born a few years later to a mother who was physically healthy and professionally capable. She defended her dissertation while 8 months pregnant with me. When my father left her for another woman 7 years later, she had the education and skills to pursue a financially and emotionally gratifying career and give me a stable home in the midst of family upheaval. None of this would have been possible had she not been able to get an abortion when she needed one. She is the most loving, amazing, supportive mother I could ever hope for.
Every year on Mother’s Day, I make a donation to Planned Parenthood in her honor. It’s a tradition that makes us both happy.
Mine is not an exceptional story. Due to struggles finding gainful employment, I have been on and off private health insurance since 2009. Planned Parenthood has been my lifeline for accessing critical basics like annual pap smears, birth control, and other healthcare needs. Thank you Planned Parenthood!
I was 48 years old when I started perimenopause, the main symptom of which was constant heavy bleeding, up to baseball sized clots. I have no insurance. L.A. County gyno clininc refused to answer their phone after instructing me to call them for e.r. follow up. Planned Parenthood provided me with check-ups and birth control pills to control the bleeding. I lived to happily remarry, and am now a grandmother.