OKAY SO. I’m back from my very first Planned Parenthood journey, and I have to say, I’m a great mixture of emotions. Ranging from overjoyed and happy and thrilled and grateful to angry and bitter and frightened and downright pissed—very varying degrees of emotions, but don’t worry, I’ll unpack them.
First of all, I want to kick myself for not going to Planned Parenthood sooner. I had NO idea the help I would find, and I’m still just sitting here with an overwhelming sense of gratitude because this place was literally one of the best things to happen in my life.
I’m getting the ParaGard, because it’s the only IUD they offer anywhere nearby (that I can afford!) but it wont be in for a few months, so I was immediately distraught by the fact that I will STILL have to continue buying my monthly Nuva Ring for $70 because my health insurance apparently hates anything to do with my vagina. (Seriously, OBGYN costs skyrocketed, along with my birth control, when we switched insurances. Wtf?) BUT, instead of being forced to pay this continual fee until I could get the IUD, I was instead asked, “Do you want three Nuva Rings?”
I was at a loss for words.
“What, like, free?” I stuttered out. The receptionist nodded, and I nodded back numbly. I mean sure, there’s plenty of men and women who have benefited from this wonderful organization before, so what I’m saying is probably nothing new, but I was just so shocked. That’s $70 a MONTH I am saving! That’s gas! That’s saving back for the apartment! That’s food!
I wasn’t charged a DIME for my visit—since they base it on income, and I make $200/wk, they adjusted everything. I had a breast exam, which I’ve never had before, and was taught how to perform one on myself. They did a minor pelvic exam since I’d been complaining about some pain, and they gave me a boatload of condoms (I don’t use them myself, but I’d like to keep a stock to give out to teens who might not be in the position to buy them themselves) PLUS they hooked me up with Ella—a Plan B pill, just in case, which would save me $50 in case of an emergency.
By the end of my visit, I was in tears, and the nurses were very kind. One even gave me a hug. I was crying because I was overwhelmed with how happy I was, because what they had done for me meant the WORLD to me. Expecting to pay WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than I did, and getting $210 in free birth control, I donated $20, and would like to go back and donate more when I can.
I’m pissed though, that people want to take away these resources from men and women. I am SO pissed, and horrified. Because of my pain, they insisted on doing other tests (STDs—I’m not at risk, but they had to because of the pain and exam, so whatevs) and those still didn’t cost me anything—so for people who DO need the tests, they’re free… and PEOPLE WANT TO TAKE THIS AWAY. The clinic I went to didn’t even perform abortions, simply referrals, and I only saw one pamphlet on the wall about abortion, compared to the dozens of others about pregnancies and how to have a healthy pregnancy, etc. I mean, not that I doubted what I’ve heard in the past, but it was all a reaffirming of the facts I’d been given, now put into real-life experiences.
I got a free pelvic exam, a free breast exam—I got my birth control, and I got precautionary “just in case” methods. Planned Parenthood is a beautiful place, and I want to punch absolutely everyone who hates them for the 3% of what they do in the face!
DON’T GET ME WRONG, I totally understand people who can’t get access to these things—transportation, distance, location, etc. It’s just, for those it helps, and for those who are able to benefit from it, holy FUCK is it awesome.
But if you DO go and you have an AWESOME experience like me, I do request that you make some kind of donation. These places deserve it. And just, goddd.
I’m such a jumbled mix of emotions I can’t sit still, and I’m still crying over how happy I am. OH. And best of all? I probably wont have to pay a dime for my ParaGard when the time comes!
THANK YOU SO MUCH PLANNED PARENTHOOD.