What is the first thing you think of when you hear “Planned Parenthood”? Do you REALLY know WHAT they do? Do you really know WHO they serve? I would be willing to bet that most people have misconceptions or simply just bad information about Planned Parenthood.
I have been told that I am a “great” storyteller so please allow me to tell you a story about Planned Parenthood. I hope to open some eyes on why Planned Parenthood is a much needed organization….for many more people than you may think.
This is based on a true story.
Cassie, a 46 year old woman, went to her doctor for her annual check up. Based on her age her doctor had conversations with her about pre menopause and birth control. Cassie informed her doctor that she was not having any symptoms of menopause but that she was concerned about her birth control. Cassie went on to explain that she had an IUD that was put in almost 8 years ago and that it was probably time for a new one but Cassie worked for a Catholic Organization and her insurance did not cover birth control. It would not cover any part of the removal of the current IUD, insertion of a new IUD or the device itself – It covered NOTHING. Cassie had tried to be proactive and called around to see how much it would cost her out of pocket if she had to pay for it. She had found that it would cost between $1000 and $1500. Cassie was frustrated knowing she didn’t have an extra thousand dollars in the bank to pay for it but she also knew that the “cost” of a baby and raising a child would be so much more. Cassie needed a solution. Cassie’s Doctor suggested that she call planned parenthood and assured her that they would be able to help.
Cassie didn’t think Planned Parenthood would help “people like her”. She had preconceived notions and unconscious biases that filled her head with misconceptions. She ultimately decided to take her doctors advice. She looked up Planned Parenthood. She found 3 Planned Parenthood facilities in her surrounding area. As Cassie began to dial the number she was anxious. All she could think to herself was “never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be a 46 year old, educated, professional woman who has a full time job with insurance and have to call Planned Parenthood”. Planned Parenthood was NEVER part of her plan…. until it was.
A kind voice answered the phone. Cassie explained her situation. She told the receptionist that she works full time and has insurance but that she works for a catholic organization and birth control is not covered. The receptionist responded “that’s more common than you think. We get calls like this all the time. The good news is that we should be able to help you”. Immediately Cassie felt a sense of relief. The receptionist asked Cassie a few questions. She then explained that she needed Cassie to bring her insurance card and a copy of a recent pay stub to her appointment. She told her what she needed to do to prepare for the appointment and then she set the appointment. Cassie could breathe a little easier.
The day of Cassie’s appointment came. She was a little anxious. Cassie wasn’t familiar with this doctor. She didn’t know the staff. Would she feel comfortable? She just wanted to get it over with.
Cassie arrived at the facility and went in. She was greeted by a woman with a big smile. Cassie gave her information to the receptionist and again explained her situation. The receptionist asked Cassie to fill out some paperwork and took a copy of her insurance card and pay stub. She then asked Cassie to take a seat until there was a room available for her.
After a short wait Cassie was called back to a room. A nurse practitioner came in and introduced herself and let Cassie know she would be performing the procedure. She thoroughly explained to Cassie what she was going to do. As the nurse started she talked her through every move she made. Every time the nurse noticed that Cassie was having some discomfort she asked if she needed a break. Cassie told the nurse she wanted to just push through. After a few very uncomfortable minutes, it was over. Cassie had some abdominal discomfort but overall was fine. Cassie got dressed and went to check out.
Cassie approached the receptionist to check out. The receptionist looked at Cassie and said “you’re good! Have a great day!” Cassie was confused. She looked at the receptionist and said “I don’t have to pay anything?” “Nope, your insurance wouldn’t cover anything so we put you in a program that covered the costs 100%. You’re good to go” replied the receptionist. Cassie couldn’t believe it. All she could do was smile at the receptionist and say “thank you!”
As Cassie got in her car she felt an immense sense of relief. She felt safe. A heavy weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. She was grateful.
If you have read up to this point…..Kudos to you! This was a long one. You may have figured out by now that Cassie is actually me.
This is MY story.
When my doctor told me to reach out to planned parenthood I didn’t think they helped “people like me”. And then I realized that I had my own preconceived notions and unconscious biases that led me to several misconceptions about this incredible organization. I am still a work in progress.
I’m an advocate at heart. I advocate for social justice. I advocate for equality and equity. I advocate for women’s rights. I advocate for the homeless. I advocate for Veterans and their caregivers. Interestingly enough I feel all of these issues meld together under the umbrella of human rights. I guess that makes me a human rights advocate. I’m ok with that. Actually I’m better than ok with that. I’m GOOD with that.
I am also an educator at heart. The teacher in me wont allow me to “educate” so…..
Here are the services that Planned Parenthood offers:
- General Health care
- Birth control
- HIV Services
- Patient Education
- LGBT services
- Men’s Health services
- STD testing, treatment & vaccines
- Pregnancy testing and services
- Women’s services
- Abortion services
You can find more information about all of these services at their website https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
Thank you Planned Parenthood.
You educated me.
You cared for me.
You supported me.
You made a difference in my life.
#plannedparenthood #unconciousbias #misconceptions #birthcontrol