There is nothing more compelling than people's stories told in their own words. The stories in this online journal show just how important it is for individuals to have access to high-quality reproductive healthcare services.
My first experience with Planned Parenthood was when I was 5 or 6 years old. My mom was Pro-Choice and had me, my younger sister & herself join a rally in Annapolis, MD that marched to the Statehouse in support of a right to choose. Now I am Pro-Choice. I had an abortion when I was 23. I am now 28. I went to your organization. Your staff were so nice to me and supported me throughout the whole experience. It was such a tough decision to make but I knew then that it was the right one and still feel this way. I believe in women receiving the health care they need and I believe that women, men and teens, especially, need to have access to reproductive education and health care, such as forms of birth control, STD education and testing, pregnancy testing and gynecological examinations. With 46 million Americans without health benefits, there needs to be somewhere that women can go to get the care they need and others can go to receive what they need, such as birth control and STD testing.
I am a father of 2 and I thank Planned Parenthood every day for making childhood so easy.
It is good to know that there are people kind enough to work for the empowerment of women and girls. Everyone needs to help the fight against the discrimination of women that has been going on for far too long, and the wonderful people at Planned Parenthood really are working hard on the behalf of women everywhere. Thank you.
Not only does Planned Parenthood make it easy to stay on birth control when I move to different states, it also has given me better care than private practice gynecologists or primary care physicians. I trust Planned Parenthood clinics more than I trust my other health care facilities - and I've been to a lot of places to receive family planning care! Thank you for all that you do.
When I was 28 years old, newly married and fresh out of graduate school, I took a stupid risk and went without health insurance for about a month while I was between school and my first real job. Naturally, that same month I skipped my period. I took a home pregnancy test but refused to believe the result. I was in shock. I was planning to have children, of course I was, but not for a year or so. I had a new job beginning in a few weeks! How could my pills fail me so dramatically?
The nurse practitioner who met with me asked, with a neutrality I would not have thought possible, what I wanted to do. By asking the question that way she gave me permission to do what I wanted to do. It was fine to have a baby if I wanted one; it was also fine to not have a baby if I didn't. Again, to no one's surprise but my own, it turned out that I did want to have the baby. I did, and she's five now. Of course I can't imagine my life any other way. Another woman would have had different circumstances, and might have made another decision. And, at Planned Parenthood, that would have been fine.
I think we paid $20 for that visit, which, to put it mildly, changed my life. It sometimes seems to me that, in the understandable heat of the abortion debate, we lose sight of the more mundane but no less critical services Planned Parenthood provides: affordable, accessible health care and non-judgmental counseling. Planned Parenthood was there for me, and I will always be grateful.
-Kira H. H.
I believe every child should be a wanted child - to be raised in a loving, caring world but this is not always reality. I have chosen not to have children - a decision that two generations ago would not have been possible. I applaud Planned Parenthood for always treating their clients with dignity and respect. I am able to enjoy a fully active adult lifestyle unencumbered by children because this was my personal choice. Most of all thank you to the staff at Planned Parenthood of Owings Mills for bringing women's healthcare services and educating everyone of us which in turn empowers us all.
I love Planned Parenthood. When I first started having sex I didn't want my parents to know - ever - but I wanted to be safe about it. Without Planned Parenthood I would not have been able to do that. Now that I have my own insurance & my parents won't find out I still came here for my early visit. Thank you so much for the service you provide it made a huge difference in my life!
My first visit to Planned Parenthood was at 18 to obtain information and contraceptives before I became sexually active. The knowledge was invaluable and I was conscientious about birth control. My sister, two years younger, did the same. She became a nurse and worked at Planned Parenthood for a few years because she strongly believed in their mission. About four years ago I was date raped. Terrified of pregnancy, I went to the nearest Planned Parenthood and obtained Plan B to ensure I would not become pregnant. I cannot stress the importance of your existence; my life could have been very different without access to a Planned Parenthood clinic.
-Anonymous female, 45 years old.
I have supported Planned Parenthood through the years because I was a single and pregnant 18-year old in 1961. The pregnancy could have been prevented because birth control pills were available at the time, but only to married women. I support Planned Parenthood so that none of our daughters will encounter societal and institutionalized discrimination. I support the work of Planned Parenthood so that our daughters will continue to have the right to make their own moral decisions about their reproductive lives. I support Planned Parenthood so that we may continue to fight for these rights for all of the women of the world.
The women here are great! They gave me info on everything. But I am leading towards having an abortion. I thought I'd never have one but I am thinking about what is best for me and my unborn child. I want my child to have a father around. I am not ready. No matter what happens I have to face my choice 'til the day I die and I thank Planned Parenthood for all their support. Please have safe sex!
-Anonymous female, 20 years old.
I just found out I have an STD. I rushed here to take care of it, although extremely embarrassed because I never wanted to get an STD. Now I must confront my soul mate and get him treatment. Thank God we can be treated and it will go away. The personnel here are wonderful. If you have a problem, come here and get it fixed! I highly recommend it. These people are helping more than you can imagine so no matter tough your situation is- make sure you let them know how much they are appreciated!
I am a male sitting here waiting for my girlfriend who I love dearly to come out of the examination room. We are here for birth control. We made this decision together to come here. I am nervous more than I show her. You see, I am not sure if it is the right time for me to be sexually active, but she is ready.
-Anonymous male, 21 years old.
I am here today as moral support, not a patient. My boyfriend is getting tested for STDs- mostly because of my insistence. I've never had unprotected sex before, but I've never been in a relationship where I wanted to, either. Now the two of us are taking steps in that direction, baby steps, mind you. Testing, birth control, and lots of reassurance.
- Anonymous female.
Planned Parenthood has never made me uncomfortable the two times I've been here.
-Anonymous female, 20 years old.
I am here with my best friend in the world, she's getting on the pill because she had a little "oopsy" on New Years Eve and lost her virginity to this guy and the condom ripped. We were here a couple days ago so she could get the 72 hour pill. I would just like to say I am very proud of her, I think PPM is awesome for being here for girls to help them be safe and healthy and make the right decisions while being sexually active. All the women here are super nice and easy to talk to.
-Anonymous female, 18 years old.
I've been a patient here for 10 years and sincerely appreciate all of the wonderful people that work here. In a very real way they risk their lives to provide safe reproductive counseling for men and women.
-Anonymous female, 34 years old.
I am here today with my best friend. She's getting STD tested (good for her). I did the same thing about 6 months ago and it's always a huge weight off your shoulders when you know for sure. I'm glad she is here and I know that she will feel more at ease when she is finished. Peace of mind is really important.
-Anonymous female, 21 years old.
I am here with my daughter who is 17. She started having sex with her boyfriend about a year ago. I am glad that she trusted me enough to tell me so I could bring her to Planned Parenthood. I see a bright future for her. I myself have been a patient on and off since 1981.
-Anonymous female, 42 years old.
I just want to praise Planned Parenthood for everything they do for women across America. They offer a choice. I have been on birth control for a year now and I would never go off of it until I'm ready for a child. Without Planned Parenthood I would have never had that choice.
-Krystle, 20 years old.
Look at the educational material that Planned Parenthood has to offer you. Be thankful there are organizations like Planned Parenthood, NOW, NARAL pro-choice, and the Women's League of America who are lobbying congress, working on public policy to not only protect your rights as a woman but your general and reproductive health. Without their advocacy the only decisions we would have would be what day to plan our baby showers. Congress and the religious sect are waiting in the wings to revoke your rights. Thank you Planned Parenthood, for looking out for us.
I am here today because my 18 year old daughter needed a ride for her annual checkup. She is here by her own choice. I am so grateful she has been educated about how to take care of herself and to practice safe sex and use birth control. I am also grateful she is comfortable enough to have me accompany her. When I was her age I would not have been comfortable having my family involved in any way. I had an abortion when I was 16. Although it had saddened me to have to make a choice I look back now with gratitude for Planned Parenthood to counsel me, allow me to make my own decision, and to help me and educate me so I wouldn't have to make that decision again. Today I have 3 wonderful children that I cherish, and no regrets. Thanks for letting me share.
-Anonymous female, 41 years old.
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