There's been a lot of talk in the media lately about Planned Parenthood, due to a video regarding their abortion practices being released by an anti-abortion group. This isn't a post to get in any sort of abortion debate (or really any debate) and I'm not normally one to talk about sensitive issues but I feel like in this case I have to share my experience.
Back in middle school we had these weird sex information classes that would last about two weeks. They basically consisted of them telling us that our future boyfriends/girlfriends wouldn't actually love us and were just taking advantage of us. And that we'd get diseases, lots of diseases. After two years of these classes (as well as similar but not as harsh ones in lower grades) I can tell you I was afraid. So irrationally so that whenever I sat next to someone shady I was afraid I could possibly get something, and on my first time donating blood I was happy that I didn't have HIV. Quite funny because I'd never done anything that's associated with getting the disease.
My irrational fears started (I say started because I do still have some of these fears) to lessen after somehow reaching Planned Parenthood's site. They had all kinds of information on STDs, like how to spot them, how they're treated, the symptoms and almost anything else to do with them that you could think of, and the honesty as opposed to whatever my classes in school were giving me, really helped me.
A few years later when I was interested in getting on birth control, I started by talking to a few friends about what they were doing. I then took those suggestions to the internet (I'm a planner what can I say) and again ended up at Planned Parenthood. And let me be the first to tell you that the information is amazingly thorough. It starts with what the specific birth control is, then how it works, followed by the very important "how effective is it?", advantages and disadvantages, and then how much it will cost. They have all kinds of birth control too, from the pill & shot to the cap and even fertility awareness. Actually their information was the deciding factor in me getting Nexaplanon.
From exploring their site I discovered that they also are starting to offer mail in STD tests and getting a birth control prescription written for you online. For people in rural areas, lack transportation, or are shy about their situation (and probably many other reasons I've forgotten) this is an amazing option. However I wish it were available in all of the United States! At their clinics, known for abortions, they not only provide the services listed above but also do low price health screenings, that can be live saving.
So when a politician takes about cutting funding to Planned Parenthood (government monies is already kept from funding abortion services) I think about what Planned Parenthood has done for me, and many others.