My First Planned Parenthood Experience: Part 1
I have been a supporter of Planned Parenthood for a long time now. I give donations whenever I can, and I firmly believe in their mission of providing affordable reproductive health care to men and women. I often send emails to my representatives through the Planned Parenthood website when a particular piece of legislation is brought to my attention.
I went to an actual Planned Parenthood office for the first time last week.
I have been experiencing some unusual bleeding that is outside of my normal menstruation cycle. I’ve never experienced something like this before. I haven’t changed my birth control, and both Boyfriend and I have been sexually monogamous for a year and a half. That ruled out several options that could have been the reason behind the bleeding. I turned to WebMD’s symptom checker, and well, this was pretty much my experience:
Although I have a new job, I don’t have health insurance through the job yet. I had been pretty alarmed about this for a couple of days, and I knew that I needed to see a doctor. I had two options:
In San Francisco and most of the Bay Area, we have a free program for people who are uninsured. It’s called Healthy SF, and you can sign up for it at any time. It’s a sliding scale insurance that is available to anyone who lives or works in San Francisco. I ruled out Healthy SF because so many people use it that the clinics are often overrun. I figured that I would be triaged to the lowest priority, and I would probably not be seen at all for weeks.
Then there’s Planned Parenthood. I almost walked right by the office, even though I was looking for it. I walked inside, and was asked to fill out a small form explaining why I was there and disclosing my income. I had a conversation with the nurse, and I now have an appointment for Thursday this week.
I witnessed a man come in, and he was asking a lot of questions of the nurse at the window next to mine. She was giving answers as quickly as he was firing them at her. He was clearly concerned about his partner’s health, and he was trying to understand options for birth control.
This is just part of why I support Planned Parenthood. Informed and compassionate care available for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.
As soon as I have a little extra income, you can bet that I’ll start donating to Planned Parenthood on a regular basis again. If you would like to help provide reproductive health care, you can donate at this link.