I am a Mom because of Planned Parenthood

I grew up in a very poor and LARGE family in a rural setting. We didn't get to see doctors very often and when we did, it was because we were extremely ill but more often than not- my mom did what she could to treat us at home. I had chronic lung problems due to a long-term viral pneumonia and asthma, so I spent more time with doctors than my siblings did. I never even knew that you should see a doctor for a regular check-up! 

I know that when my parents were able to get insurance for us (I am assuming it was Medicaid), my mom was so excited to take my siblings and me to the dentist. She was so very proud of the fact that none of us had any dental issues- not a single cavity.  The dentist gave her serious kudos! 

Fast forward to becoming an adult

I had no clue about well-women exams and pap smears. A friend of mine was telling me about this being a part of her check ups. Her jaw dropped when I expressed my shock at her seeing a doctor when she wasn't sick and I had NO idea about pelvic exams and pap smears. She was so adamant that I needed to make sure I was healthy and my response was "I'm not sick, that means I am healthy". Needless to say, she wasn't having it and scheduled an appointment for me, this 20-year-old naive hick, to see someone at Planned Parenthood.   

At my Planned Parenthood appointment, I learned the importance of having a pap smear and breast self-exams.  I was provided with more education about safe sex and why family planning is important.   I was provided with emotional support as it was quite obvious that I was horrified, ashamed and embarrassed about my lack of knowledge.   

I was treated with dignity and respect.  My fears were alleviated and I felt safe.  

Fast forward a few years and I was able to experience a healthy pregnancy thanks to the family-planning services available at Planned Parenthood.   I have had three pregnancies.  My first two resulted in premature births (due to the babies having severe health conditions) and my baby girls passing shortly after birth.

My third pregnancy was full of fear and anxiety.  I sought support at Planned Parenthood again to help make an informed choice.  I walked in unsure if I would continue the pregnancy because of my history but ended up continuing because of "what if".

I made a statement "What if this baby has the same health conditions as my other two? My heart can't take another loss"

I was met with a question "What if the baby doesn't?"

After Em's birth, I made the choice to not have any more children.  The pregnancy was too high of a risk for me to try and carry another baby to term.

What if.... we didn't have access to screenings that are life-saving?  

What if... we didn't have access to educational resources about family planning services? STDs? 

I don't typically share anything related to politics on my blog but women's healthcare is so important to me and I want all women to have access to services such as well-women checkups, cancer screenings, family planning services and more.  These services are absolutely vital.

Watch this video from Joss Whedon (PS I am a total Joss Fangirl and this makes me love him even more!)

What can you do? Easy. 

This post is made possible with support from the Mission List. All opinions are my own. 

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