Good morning! For those of you that read my post yesterday thank you for your sweet and supportive comments. I am excited to reintroduce myself to the type of blogging I started this space for to begin with. I want to be open and honest discussing topics that are important to me. Today I want to talk about birth control (insert cheesy joke asking my Grandma to stop reading here…except all of my grandparents are totally cool and would be happy I’m having an adult discussion about birth control).
Okay, let’s begin.
My Experience with Planned Parenthood
When I was in high school I was active in my church’s youth group. I volunteered to help with vacation bible school for kids, I worked in the church preschool, I went on a mission trip to Mexico. My first serious boyfriend and I bonded over spending time playing games with seniors at retirement communities. We attended youth group every Wednesday not just for free food and games but because we both cared about what we perceived as “doing and being good”.
Despite a strong religious influence in my life we had sex like so many other “good Christian girls” choose to do. Loosing my virginity was special to me, I never felt guilty and I felt loved before during and after. I didn’t tell my parents out of embarrassment but I did tell my aunt because I was a major nerd and thought I should tell an adult I could trust. She asked if I needed help getting on birth control but I told her I had it covered. Even though my boyfriend and I wouldn’t have sex again for over a year (turns out he felt guilty even though I didn’t) I wanted to be responsible.
At 17 I turned to Planned Parenthood because I wanted to be responsible and protected. Whether I was having sex or not I wanted to know I could protect myself. So I made an appointment at my local Planned Parenthood and started out with “the shot” before getting a mirena iud a couple months later.
All through college I had the IUD. I went through periods of having sex and periods of not having sex. I was in love and out of love. I focused on school and working as a nanny. I focused on my sorority and my dog. I never once had to consider motherhood because I was able to preemptively protect myself.
I’m sharing this story not because I want to change anyone’s mind about Planned Parenthood or politics but because I think it is important that a variety of perspectives are shared. Teenagers and young adults will choose for themselves whether or not they want to have sex. I believe Planned Parenthood allows young people to make safe, educated decisions regarding their bodies and futures whether they’re insured or not. I’ve never faced the scare of an unwanted pregnancy and I have my nifty little IUD and Planned Parenthood to thank for my semi-stable adult life.
When it was time for a new IUD I didn’t have medical insurance. I was 22 years old and had my IUD replaced at my regular gynecologist. I paid over $1200, a price that was well worth it for four years of birth control but a hefty price tag nonetheless. I was able to break the payment down into smaller payments over the course of a year and for that I am so thankful. I know that all women don’t have this option though. Birth control is expensive and all too often the responsibilty is left solely to the woman.
Maybe I’ve dated a bunch of slobs (entirely possible read here for a few wtf dating moments) but the responsibility of birth control and “safe sex” has always fallen back on me. I’m the one who has left work early to go to Planned Parenthood. I’m the one who has paid monthly for my IUD. I’m the one who has had to say “By the way I’m on birth control in case you weren’t going to ever ask and by the way I’d still like you to use a condom”. I’ve had my share of girl talk with friends and I’m not alone. The responsibility of safe sex often falls back on women.
Woman to woman I don’t want any woman to ever have to choose between abortion and an unwanted pregnancy. It’s unrealistic but I wish every woman could prevent unwanted pregnancies and choose motherhood if and when she is ready. I think most pro choice advocates have the same idealistic dream. Wouldn’t it be great if every pregnancy could be a happy one? Isn’t the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies through protective measures like the pill, the shot, the ring, the IUD?
Gosh guys birth control can be expensive. Without health insurance I was stuck paying $100 a month. I was happy to pay that money but not everyone can. I certainly couldn’t have afford that cost as an unemployed college freshman! Planned Parenthood was a wonderful educational health service for me as a young adult and I know I am not alone.
Wherever you fall on the political spectrum I urge you to look at Planned Parenthood for all it accomplishes. My story isn’t unique or grand or moving. My story is a story of someone who never had to have an abortion, who never was forced to become a teen mother, who never felt like she couldn’t control her own body…my story is seemingly “boring” and for that I am thankful.
I would love to hear your experience with birth control or Planned Parenthood if you have ever used their services. This post was actually inspire s by Katy Perry who recently took time to share her own experience with Planned Parenthood via Instagram. I’ve always been #TeamTaylor in any relevant celebrity dispute but…I think Katy’s choice to vocalize her beliefs was pretty cool. If you want to follow her lead and donate to Planned Parenthood (or a local charity that offers health services) think it would be pretty cool too (:
P.S. Don’t forget to link up with Kristin & I for Tutu Tuesday!