Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Planned Parenthood

In telling this story, it will make it very obvious to all of you, how very ignorant I was, fresh out of college and newly married.

It was the first year we were married and we just weren't ready for children.  I had heard from a co-worker that there was a place just down the street from where I worked that would give you a prescription for birth control for free, this service was for low income women.  Where I was working at the time did not provide health insurance, so this would save me a lot of money.  I didn't have to pay for an office visit.

At the time I was not aware of what Planned Parenthood was, I literally had no clue.

I walked up to the building where my co-worker told me to go and I saw the name and thought, catchy, that's a catchy name.  I got to the front door where I had to be buzzed in.  I remember thinking, that's sort of strange.  Never been to a doctor's office with so much security, but I guess they are just really trying to protect our privacy.

I also remember thinking, I wonder how this big beautiful building stays open just providing birth control.  

I sat there in the waiting room smiling to all the other women there, happy in my ignorance.  Not knowing that I very likely was looking into the face of women in crisis, potentially there to end their child's life. 

I went in to my consultation and walked away with a prescription.  It was for a full year, so I was good to go.

Very soon a year had come and gone and I had filled my last month at the pharmacy, I had to go back.  This time my husband and I were a little closer to wanting to start our family, but I was still uninsured.  So again, completely naive, I was checking in and I said "it is so great that you provide this service, when we decide to start our family and get pregnant do you provide prenatal care?"

I was seriously expecting a "yes of course".  They are called Planned Parenthood after all.

Instead her response was "no we don't, but that would be a good idea."  

I walked away puzzled.  In life's busyness I didn't think of it again, not until the day I found out what Planned Parenthood is really all about.  Now her response to my innocent question just haunts me. 

Thinking back to this conversation and the people I saw on those days makes me so sad.  I don't really like telling this story because it's not fun shining a spot light on how naive I was.  I can only imagine how much harder it is for the women who walk in unaware and scared and then get told, it's just a clump of cells.  They aren't informed that it's a baby, they aren't told how far along they are, they don't get to hear it's heart beat.  They are deceived.  It is Planned Parenthood's money making business after all.  They have their quotas to meet.
I have been told that I am naive to think that Planned Parenthood has quotas.  I will find an article as soon as I can that shows the other side to this story.  I would like to read it myself because I think it's a good idea to be well read from both perspectives of an argument.  However, I think my point still stands.  If they are in the business of planning parenthood and providing free women's health care, then they should at the very least provide prenatal care.

I wish the staff person I spoke to would have just been honest with me when I asked about prenatal care and said "no, that's not the business we are in.  Silly girl."

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  1. I have pretty much always known what Planned Parenthood is, but I have still gone a few times, while feeling pretty guilty for going. But I called numerous places trying to find somewhere else that gives it to you for free (in Dallas and where I lived in Idaho the health department provided birth control for poor people, but I couldn't find anyone in Salem that knew of a place that did that, even when I called the health department!) I sucked it up and went to Planned Parenthood. I thought it was the weirdest place, I don't know about when/where you went, but where I went, on the forms you fill out it asked what gender you were (leaving an option for "other") AND what pronoun you wanted to be refered to as. I really, REALLY wanted to put something absurd just to be obnoxious. I had not had an exam for a couple years, so they told me they would give me one prescription, but if I wanted more I would need to come get an exam. I scheduled one, then when it was almost time for the appointment, I had a horrible thought. They probably kill babies in the same room they were going to examine me in. I called, and asked them point blank if they did exams in the same room they murdered babies (pretty sure this was my exact word choice) and when they said they did, I canceled my appointment and drove to Dallas next time I needed birth control. I hate Planned Parenthood, and I think they should be required to change their name, or start providing services that involve fertility treatments, prenatal, and infant care. Because they are NOT helping plan parenthood, they are helping destroy it...

  2. Wow. I am impressed by you. That takes a lot of guts to ask that as you did. Makes me even more upset that I most likely was in one of those very rooms. Although I did not have to get an exam. I remember seeing carts in the hallways with a lot of medical equipment on them. Again, I didn't really think much about it then, I was so unaware. I appreciate you sharing your story Rachel. Their name truly is deceiving.