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[personal profile] tylik
A lot of people are posting their Planned Parenthood stories, and my initial thought is that I don't really have any, or that mine are just too boring. But then, thinking about it, in some ways, that's kind of the point.

When I was seventeen, and living on my own (or at least, renting a house with a number of friends, as I had been since I was fifteen) I thought I didn't have health insurance because I had been told that my father had removed me from his plan when I moved out.* So when I decided that I wanted to go on birth control pills, I went to the local planned parenthood.

And the people were just so sweet. They listened to me. They were really glad and encouraging that I was informed and proactive about my own sexual health. They answered all my questions. (That particular branch was only sometimes picketed, but the contrast between the sweet and encouraging people inside, and the really mean and nasty ones outside - who tended to make assumptions about me and call me names - is the kind of thing that stays with you.)

I worked out my insurance situation while I was back at the university, but then returned to Planned Parenthood soon after I left, before I'd figured out my new insurance (having been with Group Health all my life, Microsoft insurance was pretty confusing.) And I stayed with them from all my gynecological care for several years, just because I liked the people so much and I preferred to receive it in such a supportive environment - and I liked to be paying them full rates when I could afford it, having maxed out their sliding scale at the other end when I was younger.

So... it's really boring. And moreso because I was privileged enough to have other options (even when I didn't know it.) But an awful lot of what Planned Parenthood does is that kind of boring absolutely essential kind of stuff - and often for people who don't have other options.

* Actually, this turned out not to be true - he wasn't actually able to do that, but it's not like I tried to use health insurance I didn't think I had.
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