2013 Winter Appeal

Without access to reproductive health care, how can women ever be equal to men?

Throughout the nation, Planned Parenthoods are under attack. Too often, our opponents use the law as a weapon to close health centers and deny patients care.

That's why standing up and supporting Planned Parenthood is more important now than ever! Without people like you and me, Planned Parenthood wouldn't have the funds or the power to fight back, and the people who need Planned Parenthood's care most would suffer.

Thanks to my parents, I've always understood the importance of equality and access to professional health care. My mother is a Registered Nurse, and my father is a lab technologist. Seeing health care in action and reading children's books about human anatomy fed my fascination with the human body.

I first came to Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood as a patient. While studying biology and graphic design at RPI, I decided to get an IUD (Intrauterine Device), but for privacy reason, I didn't want to use my parents' health insurance. I was amazed by how many patients UHPP's Troy health center serves. And I was grateful to qualify for free and confidential services.

Getting an IUD was such a blessing. Thanks to UHPP and to your support, I won't worry about pregnancy for my entire eight years of medical training!

I was so impressed with the care I received that I decided to volunteer as a patient escort at the Troy health center. I didn't want to sit on the sidelines; I wanted to actively support Planned Parenthood. Speaking with other volunteers about how reproductive health care and rights have changed, and haven't changed, was eye opening.

My next step was to launch the RPI VOX chapter during my senior year. College students have a real need for peer-led sex education. VOX is the Latin word for 'voice' and stands for Voices of Planned Parenthood.

Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood Federation of America are great partners for RPI's VOX chapter. The most successful VOX events included screening and discussing the movie Let's Talk About Sex, a birth control consultation with UHPP's Education and Patient Services staff, an STI Trivia Night, and a pub crawl in Troy. VOX members annually reach out to thousands of classmates, answering their questions and keeping the conversation flowing. Now my sister and one of her friends lead the chapter, and I couldn't be prouder!

Today I'm a medical student at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. I was chosen to serve as one of four student leaders of the Pritzker chapter of Medical Students for Choice, which has been a tremendous honor. I'm deeply committed to ensuring that my future colleagues are as informed as I am about contraceptive options, no matter what type of medicine they practice. And it's inspiring to be part of a movement with growing momentum!

I aspire to be an OB/GYN; one who is politically active, using my voice and credibility as a physician, and who is engaged in community education. I look forward to starting conversations and dispelling myths about women's health topics that are often ignored or deemed "taboo," like menarche and menopause, abortion and contraception. And I would love to work at Planned Parenthood!

Please continue to join me in standing with Planned Parenthood by making the most generous donation you can manage. Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood is here for New York's Capital Region because we are here for them. Thank you!


Nita Padavil

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