How Planned Parenthood Saved Me From Political Birth Control Wars
Once upon a time I was twelve years old and a few weeks away from starting the seventh grade. I was having serious pain in my lower abdomen, I was vomiting, crying and had a high fever. I was admitted to the hospital for three days. Despite a sonogram, ultrasound and catheter, the doctors at the ER couldn’t figure what was wrong. I was transferred to a children’s hospital on the chance of appendicitis and was quickly scheduled for surgery. Right before the procedure my doctors took a last look at my ultrasound and spotted something. Cancelling surgery, they went to find my mom… it turns out I had an ovarian cyst that had ruptured, causing me all this terrible pain. The doctors decided that the best way to ensure I wouldn’t have a repeat of this episode was to put me on birth control. I have been on it ever since.
I have been taking the pill for the past seven years. It’s never been a big deal to me, just like taking a vitamin. Everything was going great until recently.
I’m sure most of you have heard about the controversy surrounding healthcare, birth control and Planned Parenthood. I heard about it too, and didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t until the Catholic Church got involved that it actually affected me. My mother works for a Catholic school, which provides my family with health insurance. About a month ago my mom and I were at the drugstore when they informed us that my birth control was no longer covered, and the cost was $100. A huge lump formed in my throat. I thought, How could this be happening to me? Petty politics and tough talk and partisan hoopla were now affecting my health.
A week after that shocking news I found myself in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood. A nurse listened to my story, then I met with a doctor who wrote me a prescription for birth control that would be filled at the clinic. She told me the price, but also said that it was a donation and that I should give what I can. I handed her twenty dollars and she acted like I had given her a thousand.
I almost cried because they had been so nice to me. After feeling like I had been betrayed by my insurance company and by Washington D.C., these people still wanted to help me. I can never accurately express my gratitude to the people at Planned Parenthood and clinics like it. They help women regardless of race, creed and financial ability. Everybody has a story, and the insurance company didn’t take mine into account, the Church didn’t take it into account, politicians didn’t take it into account, but Planned Parenthood did.
This debates in Washington D.C. are sure to continue, but you can do something to help women like me. Stand by Planned Parenthood, because without the help of the community they couldn’t give mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and birth control prescriptions to those who need them. One day politicians could turn their backs on you, but Planned Parenthood won’t. Planned Parenthood makes sure that all women have a chance at a healthy happily ever after. Let’s make sure that they will have one, too.
Header image courtesy of Dimitri Vervitsiotis, Getty Images