April 2005, a late evening, in a large, scantily furnished living room, a 24 year old young woman shook with fear and began to cry. She had just taken her first ever pregnancy test and was in literal shock that her life story now included pregnancy. Certainly not how she had scripted it.
Flash forward 10 years and here that young woman sits, aged and no longer jaded by that portion of the life story. In fact, about as far from jaded as I could get. And while I remain attached to the notion that a young soul awaits me in the next world, I was clear that shock like that meant I was in no way ready to be a mother. There were economic factors, emotional factors and all other manner of life factors that added up to - Fear. Fear is not a place to start a life story from, and this young soul, well, he wasn't going to start here.
I called a local Planned Parenthood location, made an appointment and went for information. Another day laced with fear, I had my first ever vaginal ultrasound. I literally did not even know it was a thing prior to that day. The doctor showed me on the screen what looked like a sprouting seed inside a fuzzy circle. She said it confirmed I was indeed pregnant and was about five weeks along. She said they only offer one method of aborting the pregnancy prior to 7 weeks of gestation and that is a medical termination. No surgery. 1 pill, one suppository, and your body does the rest on its own - again, something I had no idea was even a thing.
Overall, my sex education was limited, my reproductive education was limited as well. I didn't have the benefit of a body book to explain things in plain detail and I had no long conversations with my mother about what she went through and what it all really is like. And you know what, I'm certainly not alone with that level of education on the human condition - but that's why an organization like Planned Parenthood is important. So. Important. Someone has to be there to educate, to assist, and to give care to young women who don't have the circumstances to make healthy choices - whether it is to make yourself ready to be a parent, or to take healthy steps to continue your life without the path of parenthood. It's important work. And it cannot be underestimated.
Today's world is polarized, and the topics which put icy water between the polar caps are all human needs related. Humans have a need to be treated with compassion. Humans have a need to receive educated, professional services for any human condition that besets them -whether they are with disease or with child. The fact that I was able to walk in to this office, not question if my insurance was an issue, not question if I was in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing, and be given all of the facts and information I needed to adequately take care of my body and what was going on with it at the time - is no mere gift - it's a right that should be afforded to all. I believe that YOU, and you alone, decide what is right for YOU - but without the ability to walk into that office, I would not have had the information to make a healthy decision. Ultimately no government, no parent, no church, no organization can decide for YOU what is right. But we cannot as a society stand to attack a place like Planned Parenthood that helps facilitate health and planning.
I have a Planned Parenthood Story. I #standwithPP for the needs they fulfill for young girls and women every day.