Crystal has relied on PPMM for health care since she was a teenager, years ago. She remembers a particular visit in Sacramento, not long after her high school prom:
“At my school, we called the prom the ‘Senior Ball.’ And I had way too much fun at mine. I decided to have sex with my partner that night, and would you believe he only brought one condom?
It was during all the senior activities a couple months later, at the end of the year – Senior Skip Day, Senior Ball photo day, awards ceremonies– that I realized I was probably pregnant. I was pregnant when I walked up on stage to get my high school diploma.
I went to Planned Parenthood to get tested because I knew I would be safe there. I was devastated when I heard the result. But I knew what it would be. I also knew that I could not have a child at that point in my life. The nurse I spoke to carefully told me all my options. I wanted to hear them all even though I knew I what I wanted to do. I also didn’t want to be on my parents’ insurance. I just couldn’t let them know.
I made an appointment to have an abortion. My partner dropped me off at Planned Parenthood that day and he didn’t stay. I felt very alone. But the doctor and the nurses were so kind to me. I felt protected. I felt supported.
All these years later, I know I made the right decision for myself at that time. I’m sure of it. I was so thankful that I had a place to go, a place I could trust. A place where I had gone for years, to take care of myself.
Crystal is now married with three children. She has a master’s degree in social work and has helped launch pioneering public health projects in Sacramento, focusing on families, youth and children of color.