I don’t normally discuss controversial items on my blog.  It’s a writer’s forum and helps me connect with readers, but today, I’m going to break my own rule.  Because I’m irritated.

In college, I used Planned Parenthood for my female needs.  They did my Well Woman exams as well as providing me with birth control  Yes, I could have used Student Health, but as a female with poly cystic ovarian syndrome, I found that Student Health wasn’t meeting my needs.  Primarily, they refused to listen to me.  During a year and a couple of months, I had seventeen ovarian cysts to rupture.  I believed that the birth control pill I was taking was losing its effectiveness.  I started on it at 10 years old because my doctor recognized the symptoms long before my first cyst ruptured.  They told me that you didn’t become “immune” to birth control and that obviously, I was taking the medication wrong.

There disinterest in my problem lead me to seek alternative health care for my female needs.  Since I was uninsured, I needed something I could afford.  Planned Parenthood was the answer.  I could afford to go as needed and they listened to me.  They immediately switched me to a different birth control and within a few months, the cysts that had been plaguing me were gone.  Most didn’t even rupture, they just shrank and disappeared.

I’ve been out of college for a while now, but I by the time I graduated, I had developed a rapport with the staff at Planned Parenthood and instead of seeking a doctor, I just adjusted my out-of-pocket costs and continued to use them for all my female needs.  They listen to me.  The staff is nice, understanding and always willing to take a few extra minutes to answer any questions I might have.

Now, I realize that they do things besides well woman exams and birth control.  Today, I had to go in and get my depo-provera shot.  As I’m walking to the building, an older woman is yelling at me about killing babies.  I bit my tongue, but I really wanted to turn on her with a snarky comment.  At thirty-three, going on thirty-four (this month actually), I am never concerned by the protesters.  I’m mature enough to let everyone have their own beliefs.  Pro-Life or Pro-Choice doesn’t figure into my use of Planned Parenthood.  My overall health and experiences with them do.

However, I can’t help but wonder, how it affects less mature women.  Are they shamed by their use of Planned Parenthood for their birth control needs?  What about those there to get tested for STDs?  Or how about the ones that use them for pap smears?  They have a pro-rated scale for medical needs.  We always hear about the “bad”… “Planned Parenthood kills babies,” very few people ever mention the good they do, like preventing pregnancies by offering affordable birth control (and for those that don’t realize it, Obamacare hasn’t really helped with that… This thing with Hobby Lobby has helped even less – and for the record, the depo-provera shot is $378 every three months at Planned Parenthood, it is the only birth control I can take now, at my former gynecologist’s office, it was over $700 every three months… for those that can afford the $700+ every three months for this one shot, they can also afford healthcare.  For those that can’t, well, there has to be an alternative.)

Ok, rant over…

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