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Read part 1 of this story here.

Working at a Planned Parenthood health center is hectic, inspiring, exhausting, gratifying — showing up, day after day,  to give each patient the time and care they need and deserve.

I feel lucky to have this job. Lucky to have patients who trust us in some of their most important moments. And lucky to have people who support us every step of the way. 

Since the day I started working for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, that's always been true. But so much changed when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last summer. My health center colleagues and I witness the chaos and devastation of that decision every single day.

Here in Illinois, there are still strong protections for abortion, so we have never stopped providing the full range of care our patients need. We also open our doors to so many people who have to travel long distances through the night just to get care. 

I've met patients from Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky who are afraid of being criminalized in their home states and need to know what their options are. 

Let’s be clear: NOBODY should have to get on a bus, or a plane, or drive hundreds of miles for health care. They deserve to focus on taking care of themselves, not figuring out childcare, travel arrangements, and finding a place to stay. 

Thanks to your support, we have Patient Navigators who can offer patients resources, personal guidance, and clear answers. And we are able to provide financial support for patients who can’t afford to travel for care. 

There is much we can't control — like the Supreme Court's refusal to respect our rights, or lawmakers hellbent on controlling our bodies and futures. But with your help, we can keep our promise: Care, no matter what. 

More and more, the harm of these senseless restrictions go beyond patients who need abortion. As states ban gender-affirming care, health centers like mine are stepping up to welcome trans patients, especially young people. Some states are also ramping up restrictions on birth control through insurance, so we help patients get the birth control method that best fits their needs. 

We get to show up every single day for our patients, because of people like you. And “our patients” extends far beyond our neighbors and local community — it’s anyone who reaches out. 

I won’t pretend it’s ever been easy. But now it's been made even more difficult. But there is no place I would rather be — as a nurse practitioner, and as a person who believes that everyone deserves to get the care they decide is right for them. 

Thank you for being here with us.

Tags: Personal Story