In Which I Promise To Get Personal And Then Don’t

It’s time to talk about Planned Parenthood. The other day, the House of Representatives voted to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal money. It’s a mind-boggling political move because current law already prevents Planned Parenthood from using any federal money to pay for abortions. So withholding federal money means withholding money to pay for everything else: STD testing, cancer screenings, birth control, etc.

It’s apparent to me that this is happening because Planned Parenthood has become a dirty word, synonymous with abortions. I feel like personal stories can change this. So I feel like people who know that it is not need to speak up and show people that they rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health care. This isn’t fair. It’s horribly unfair that people feel forced to reveal the intimate bodily details to preserve their access to health care. But personal stories change minds. Cecily’s personal story changed my mind about the D&X abortion procedure. She also shared her thoughts about this new bill, as did Simone. Their stories affected me and showed me that mine also might make a difference.

I’m not going to share the details of my story here. I haven’t yet decided how personal or public this blog will be yet and, as any story that ends with a trip to a free clinic, the details are personal. But the ending is what matters, and I can share that: Good Mormon girls need Planned Parenthood, too. They need it when they don’t have money, insurance, information, time, or somebody to talk to. Or any combination of those things. I needed it. My trip to Planned Parenthood had nothing to do with pregnancy or birth control, but it had everything to do with my health and, relatedly, my psychological well-being. Ask somebody why a twenty-year-old girl would need to go to Planned Parenthood and they will think of one thing. Ask again, and this time ask any woman who’s ever been concerned about her reproductive health and she can imagine the myriad reasons a twenty-year-old girl would need to go to Planned Parenthood. If you are a woman who’s ever been to the doctor or worried about her health, you should let your representatives in the House and Senate know what you think about those vote. The day will come when the Senate will not be controlled by the Democrats and legislation like this will pass, unless people get informed now.

Also, because nobody likes a soapbox unless they are also on the soapbox, I’ll share an amusing anecdote: When I posted the above link on my facebook, I wrote “Do You Stand With Plant Parenthood?” Um, what? I’m grateful that my friends, who are good liberals, “liked” the post without commenting on my display of extreme fuzzyheadedness and also that my brother, who is a good conservative, restricted his commentary to mocking my grammar [can you even call that a grammar mistake? it seems like something much worse] and not my politics.

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2 Responses to In Which I Promise To Get Personal And Then Don’t

  1. nikki04 says:

    Thank you for speaking out! You’re absolutely right – so many need to be reminded of why PP is available, why it is so important. They provide basic health care for so millions of Americans, many who can’t afford to go any where else. I am glad you bring up the support that PP strives to provide too. My mom is a FNP for PP, and she definitely works as an unpaid counselor as part of her job – a part she loves!

    Further, one of their slogans is “a world of wanted children would do a world of good.” PP is about PLANNING your pregnancy so it fits into your world when you’re ready. No one wants abortions – it would be amazing if we never needed them! Can you imagine what that would mean we’ve changed? Women and men would be having children they wanted, pregnancies would no longer mean the death of the mother, there would be no rape, abuse, or uneducated sex.

    Thanks for this great post! :D

  2. Melanie Carbine says:

    When no one else would answer my questions without embarassment, I was glad that I had a place to go. And, the truth is I still felt embarassed when the health care provider wondered how as a 25 year old I could have so many questions. The extent of my mom’s counsel was that birth control pills made her sick so they used condoms. My sister never mentioned anything till after I was 27! I didn’t have questions after that. And, when I mentioned that I was getting the HPV vaccination before I turned 27, people asked jokingly (but awkwardly) if I planned on having sex. I looked at them and said “if you expect me to get married, why don’t you also expect me to be having sex someday?” When I repeated what the Catholic doctor on the informational panel said (a woman can chose to be celibate until she’s married but she can’t be certain about her husband), the response I still got was “well, ideally, you still wouldn’t have to worry about it.” I said, “Even the Mormon guys I like aren’t perfect. That’s what the atonement is for.” I wish I had known what an HIV test was like before I was required to get one for a job. Didn’t matter that I knew I didn’t have HIV. I still wish I had known what the test would be like. My point is probably two-fold. My religion failed me here, and I needed someone who would answer my questions. And, because I took care of all of that before I left the country, I was able to answer questions when I really needed to (for students in a country with an STD rate of 30%). I hope our government realizes that’s what will happen to our country if we take away access to sexual health information.

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