I Need Planned Parenthood

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

I’m pro-choice and I’m in control of my body.

I first went to Planned Parenthood over two years ago for medical reasons. After prolonged pelvic pain, which at the time I thought was being caused by ovarian cysts, I finally had a consultation with my doctor. I was sent away with no definite answers, but a suggestion to get on birth control pills to see if the symptoms went away.

The next step was Planned Parenthood. It was the best option for me since I had no health insurance, and since it uses a sliding-fee scale based on one’s income. I was extremely nervous about getting on birth control. I was terrified that the pills would make me nauseous, and I would have other side effects. I was reluctant, but the women at the clinic were patient with me and listened to my concerns.

The women at Planned Parenthood were sympathetic, unlike the doctor who pressed my aching abdomen and sent me on my way, charging me $1,000 for his “help.”

Now, more than two years after first going there, I am a loyal supporter of Planned Parenthood. I need the income-based care. Planned Parenthood is able to provide me with the care that I need. I can get a prescription the same day as seeing a doctor. There was no need to wait for the pharmacy to finish filling the prescription. I go there because I know I will get immediate relief.

According to an article on thinkprogress.org, 24 states have tried to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. The author, Laurel Raymond, states that the Obama administration is sending letters warning that stripping Medicaid funding from the health centers is likely illegal. One paragraph reads, “The letter, sent to each state’s Medicaid director, cautions lawmakers that ‘providing the full range of women’s health services…shall not be grounds for a state’s action against a provider in the Medicaid program.’” In other words, the fact that Planned Parenthood provides abortion services in addition to other women’s health services is not legal grounds to cut it off from Medicaid funding.

The last time I was there, I was disappointed to learn that Planned Parenthood no longer provides free condoms. A woman behind the desk said this was a result of the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015.

There are many women who need Planned Parenthood. Not only women who need birth control or abortion services, but those who need medical care or STD and STI testing. Planned Parenthood also provides breast exams and pap smear tests, both of which scan for cancer. We need to drop the stigma that all women who go to Planned Parenthood are pro-abortion.

Planned Parenthood allows women to choose when they become parents. This allows them to wait for a time in their lives when they are financially and emotionally prepared to be the best parents possible.