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!