Every year, Planned Parenthood provides high-quality, affordable and compassionate care to 2.7 million women, men and young people. There is no organization that does more than we do to provide and advocate for family planning, preventive care and sex education. As the most trusted nonprofit, reproductive health care provider in the country, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients.
Many of our supporters are equally passionate about the work we do in their communities and have chosen to share their experiences. This is a story from a high school student and Planned Parenthood volunteer named Isabel who wanted to share her experience as a patient so others can understand the importance of creating safe spaces for reproductive care.
When I was younger, my mother told me stories about her experiences in college. She was enrolled in college in the mid-1980s, and in every story, Planned Parenthood was somehow involved. They were there for her nearly thirty years ago, and they are there for me today.
I went to the First Avenue clinic for the first time about a month ago for STD tests. I had never had any symptoms, but I was worried that I could possibly have something and not realize it. My last sexual partner hadn’t been completely honest with me and that just enforced my worries. So to ease my worries, I made an appointment. It turned out that I had nothing to worry about after all.
I was so relieved, but I would have never gotten that sense of relief without Planned Parenthood. I chose Planned Parenthood because I did not have much money, and I wanted to keep my test results confidential. Though I was open to talking about my experience, I wanted to keep certain results to myself, just like anybody would.
When I went into the Planned Parenthood clinic, I filled out one sheet of paper and received my Family Pact card, which would give me access to all preventive measures for no cost. How amazing! I did not have to pay for the tests that had been done or the Plan B that I left with. I did not have to go to a pharmacy to get it. The doctor handed it right to me in the exam room.
That was something I had never imagined could happen. That wasn’t how other doctors’ offices worked. They make you go to a pharmacy to obtain medications. And a pill that would have been $30 or more was free. I understood then that Planned Parenthood was making it easier for me to prepare for my future. This visit was not “after the fact” treatment. It was for me, and just in case.
All of the staff I interacted with were kind and helpful. I could tell that no one judged me because of my age or the treatment I came to get. I felt safe inside and outside of the building, and I want it to stay that way for everyone. Everyone should have the opportunity to receive the kind of service I did.
This is why we need Planned Parenthood around for the sake of high school students like myself, and for everyone who needs a safe place to go. Someplace to give you comfort and peace of mind, and Planned Parenthood definitely fits that description.
Read more stories from Planned Parenthood supporters like Isabel who are volunteers, employees and patients at the Humans of Planned Parenthood page, which is a celebration and a movement to honor the important work we do every day. You can also join the movement by sharing your Planned Parenthood story.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or an endorsement by Planned Parenthood. Check with your health care provider to discuss what is best for you.