I really didn't know what I was supposed to do.
- Veronica, legal assistant
When I was about 18, I was working two jobs and going to a local university here. My parents are immigrants and my mom suggested that I go to one of the Spanish speaking doctors in town. They were private physicians so it was extremely expensive to go to them. Usually the co-pay is around $300 and I did not have that money to spare. I didn’t have any information available and we didn’t have any information on campus and it’s kind of an awkward subject to ask someone about.
I googled “service providers near me” and Planned Parenthood was one of the options, but I wasn’t sure if it was just for abortions. I was kind of nervous going in. I didn’t know what to expect. But when I got there, there were people outside and they had no idea why I was there. So as I’m walking into the building, this guy comes up to me and he was like, “You’re going to regret this.” I was just going there to get a pap smear, but apparently I was going to regret that. But I do not actually regret my pap smear!
When I got there, I was thinking that I was going to be bombarded with questions, but I wasn’t. I waited for a couple of minutes and then saw the doctor and she was great. I got the sense that I wasn’t being judged, that she wasn’t taking anything personal, she wasn’t shocked. I could really talk to her about certain things that maybe I would not have felt comfortable talking to a male doctor about. I think the great thing was that I didn’t feel judged at all the entire time I was there.
I would love to see Planned Parenthood at different locations here locally. I know that we don’t have a center geared towards immigrant women, but I think that there’s a lot of work we could do with the immigrant community, especially when it comes to education. I come from an extremely conservative background and I was lucky enough to have parents who are very supportive of what I do, who respect my choices, but not a lot of people are that lucky. So I would love to see more information out there for immigrant women, and for them to have a place to go where they won’t have to worry if they’ll be judged for their choices.
I think it’s easy to say that you support something without really donating or without really doing something active. If you really believe in something, you have to help them out in whatever way possible. And if we want to stand with Planned Parenthood and make a difference, then we’re going to have to actively do that.
The only positive experience of my abortion story was that Planned Parenthood was with me the whole time.
- Rachel, graduate student & volunteer
I was able to get my life back together at a really scary time when my family wasn’t supporting me. Planned Parenthood didn’t let me down. And they don’t.
It seems to be a fun activity for pro-life advocates to scream at young women walking into the doors of Planned Parenthood. But you have a bunch of Planned Parenthood employees, who are there to be like, “We will walk you through this.” I didn’t feel stigmatized or like I was having some sort of shameful experience. I was in to have a medical procedure and I was treated the same way I’ve been treated in any other doctor’s office.
I’m volunteering in the health center offices, just entering data and doing some filing. So I love to be able to help out that way because I know how to do it and it’s a real need. But I’m also starting to get involved with a hand-holding program to support abortion patients at Planned Parenthood, so I’m really excited to be starting on that. I’m really inspired to be the hand that I didn’t have to hold all those years ago.
Giving money to Planned Parenthood is pushing us towards appropriate and worthwhile family planning. So many people think that Planned Parenthood is for abortions. But it’s for everything that prevents them. The women and men who are coming through Planned Parenthood’s doors need your support.
What We Do Now
- 7,191 patients in 12,832 visits
- 1,089 well-woman exams
- 4,368 HIV and other STD tests
- 1,060 clinical breast exams
- 7,531 cycles of oral contraception
- 1,001 long-acting contraceptive methods, including IUDs, implants, and the shot
- 840 emergency contraception kits dispensed
- 3,313 medication and surgical abortions