It all started on a cold and snowy Saturday morning in New York. I was waking up with a slight hangover and hookup regret. The night before I just slept with a stranger I met on Tinder without any form of protection. I felt embarrassed because I never knew that kind of situation would happen to me, but I was upset about a recent breakup and could not think straight.
Thoughts were racing through my head. I slowly walked into my kitchen to see that I missed three birth control pills because I stopped taking them regularly after my breakup. I needed to get Plan B as soon as possible but I did not know how or where to get it so I looked up locations. My Google search came up with local pharmacies but since I live in a small town, those pharmacies were up to 20 miles away. Then I came across a link for Planned Parenthood. I did not want to click it. As a conservative, pro-life woman, I thought that I could not benefit from their services. I went back into bed and realized that I had to go because I needed to protect myself.
A few hours later, I called Planned Parenthood and they set up an appointment for me the next day. The lady asked, “When we remind you about your appointment, can we say it’s for Planned Parenthood or do you want us to say Lucy?” I told the lady that it was okay to say it Planned Parenthood in the call. I finally got out of bed again and drove 20 miles to the nearest pharmacy to buy Plan B. I slowly walked to the counter and asked for it and the pharmacist handed it to me with no questions asked.
That next Monday, I drove to Planned Parenthood. I walked into the entrance and went up to the counter and told them I had an appointment. The lady at the front desk handed me a clipboard with a form and pressed a button to unlock the second entrance. I felt very tense when I walked in but immediately felt comforted as I took my seat. I had a safe space where nobody was going to judge me about my personal life. The room was full of women of all ages and some even brought their kids with them.
As I sat in the waiting room, I looked at signs about women’s health, how you should get regular check ups, and information about preventative screenings for breast and cervical cancer. I thought I was going to see signs about abortions, but there was not one sign that mentioned it. I waited for about fifteen minutes until my name was called and the doctor was ready to see me.
The doctor went into an extensive medical history questionnaire and told me to be honest about my sex life because it was only going to benefit me being honest. I told her the truth about how I had unprotected sex with a complete stranger and cried. She put her hand on my shoulder and told me I was going to be okay. That day I had a pregnancy test done and tested for STDs. The doctor asked me if my current birth control was working for me and I told her it wasn’t. Before I left that office, I had hormone implant in my arm and was ready to go.
When I went to check out of the office, I stopped by the front desk and asked what my co-pay was going to be. The lady at the front desk told me that my insurance covered everything and even if I didn’t have insurance, they would cover the cost or do a payment plan. This really surprised me because we never hear anything good about Planned Parenthood in the news. The location I went to was in a lower income area and it made me feel better knowing that the local community was being taken care of.
Yes, Planned Parenthood performs abortions but that is such a menial number compared to the preventative treatment, testing, and birth control options they offer to women. I benefited from Planned Parenthood in such a positive way. I just moved to the area and did not have a doctor under my new insurance and Planned Parenthood took me in. They were friendly, caring, and I felt so safe in their clinic. I come back regularly now and I think everyone should look at what good they can offer to their communities instead of what the news tells us.