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Why Planned Parenthood Is a Crucial Resource for People With Health Conditions

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I wasn’t going to share this beyond my friend group, but silencing my opinions just doesn’t feel right anymore. I’m supposed to be an advocate, so it’s time to start speaking up.

I’m a graduate student and was an unpaid intern for the majority of the past year. I did not have a full-time job (not because I’m lazy — because I won’t ever let someone question how damn hard I work.) I chose to go back to school to further my career and reach my professional goals, but as a result, I could not work a full-time job. And I’m over 26 years old. Due to these factors (my employment status and age) I lost access to basic healthcare rights that I had for my entire life. Growing up on my father‘s insurance, I never had a problem going to the doctor. I had access to some of the best doctors. I was always well taken care of, and every cent was covered too.

I have been on birth control for 10 years for ovarian cysts and complications due to ovarian cysts. And with particular female cancers running through my family history now, it is super important for me to have access to regular checkups. When I lost my health insurance, I was at a loss for what I was going to do.

I made an appointment with Planned Parenthood and I was seen in their office the next day. The process was super secure, and easy and I felt safe and cared for every step of the way. Their employees were kind and their services were thorough. I raved to my friends about how phenomenal the services were. They gave me my medication right at the clinic. They talked to me, like actually got to know me and my history. This is rare compared to the thousands of doctors who bill for a full appointment but really only see a patient for under five minutes. I am so grateful for my experience with Planned Parenthood, and for such a phenomenal, free service being there for me when I needed it the most.

It starts with taking away the right to abortion. From there, they will make Planned Parenthoods less accessible. They will get rid of free services for low-income families. They will take away birth control, just so they feel more in control. I am having such a hard time wrapping my head around who these actions are benefiting. Because it sure as hell is not women. And it sure as hell is not babies. Or the families of these women and babies.

Just like I never understood how someone else gets to decide who gets to love who, I am disgusted that someone else got to decide what women and others with a uterus can and cannot do with their bodies. Disappointed isn’t even close to the word I want to use to capture the intensity of what I am feeling. I am heartbroken for the disservice this will cause, the lives that this will impact, and our “land of the free” country that will forever be changed.

Originally published: June 27, 2022
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