10 Women Share Their Moving, Personal Stories About Planned Parenthood
The fight to keep Planned Parenthood's doors open — and its services available — remains as crucial as ever. So, we've teamed up with Planned Parenthood to share powerful, personal stories from women who have benefited from the nonprofit's services, which include cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, and providing birth control.
Despite efforts to "defund" the nonprofit and erode access to health care, millions of citizens across the country are standing with Planned Parenthood. In fact, a March report by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals that 75 percent of Americans — including the majority of Republican men and women — support federal Medicaid reimbursement for Planned Parenthood.
Ahead are 10 testimonials from women who have witnessed the power of Planned Parenthood firsthand. Their stories were captured by Storyvine, a platform that allows users to create short video projects on their phone. If you want to lend your support to Planned Parenthood, visit the I Stand With PP website to find out more. You can also text the word STAND TO 22422 to find out how you can help stand up for the more than 2.5 million people who depend on Planned Parenthood for health care every year. Standard data and message rates may apply. Text STOP to quit at any time and HELP for more info.
Marisa in Missouri
Marisa was inspired to become a women's health practitioner at Planned Parenthood after seeing how a lack of access to affordable birth control affected young women in her community.
Christy in Wisconsin
Christy was diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 24 after her very first Pap smear at Planned Parenthood came back with abnormal results. She credits the organization for helping her spot the cancer early and saving her life.
Colleen in Pennsylvania
Colleen has spent most of her career with Planned Parenthood, where she has helped women navigate breast cancer diagnoses, alerted them to ectopic pregnancies, and helped those lacking health insurance find ways to access health care. "I have helped people find the right birth control method for them and have helped them with unplanned pregnancy when they had not yet found the right birth control," Colleen says. "Mostly, I have truly cared for my patients and have found a rewarding life’s work in the process."
Donna in Nevada
Donna visited Planned Parenthood at age 18 to get birth control. She had such a positive experience that, years later, she sent her own college-age daughter to the very same location for her own birth control needs.
Cat in Idaho
Cat came out as transgender less than two years ago. "Health care when you transition in my state of Idaho is extremely inaccessible for trans individuals," she says. "But Planned Parenthood actually being there in Boise and Meridian and back in Idaho told me there were people there who could provide me with some form of health care that could save me from major medical issues." Cat decided to transition in 2015 and thanks Planned Parenthood for providing the support she needed during that critical time.
Daneya in Pennsylvania
At just 15 years old, Daneya found herself unexpectedly pregnant. Her mother kicked her out of their home, and the father was not involved in Daneya's life. Daneya turned to Planned Parenthood for help at the urging of a teacher. "I was greeted by women who treated me with care and respect," she says. "They treated me as the woman that I was, capable of making decisions for myself and my baby despite my age." Daneya spoke with staff at her local Planned Parenthood health center and was given information about her options. She decided to place her child for adoption. "Planned Parenthood cared for me and my child when I felt like no one else did," she says.
Courtney in Illinois
Courtney, who suffers from endometriosis, relied on Planned Parenthood as a young woman at a time when she'd otherwise have difficulty affording the birth control that helped control her pain. Not only that, but birth control helped protect her fertility, enabling her to become a mother when she was ready.
Kelly in California
Kelly turned to Planned Parenthood when she was without insurance in her 20s for services like breast exams and birth control. She also tested positive for HIV during a visit to Planned Parenthood. "Although that day is now a blur to me, I remember the staff being incredibly compassionate in helping me figure out my next steps," she says. "I honestly don’t think there could have been a better place to receive the news." Kelly's own positive experiences at Planned Parenthood inspired her to work as a youth leader to help other young people facing similar diagnoses and raise awareness about Planned Parenthood's services.
Sally in California
As a clinical provider, Sally says she's humbled by the opportunity to serve women through Planned Parenthood. "By virtue of our admirable organization, I can continue to maintain my calling," Sally says, "to selflessly and conscientiously serve the healthcare needs of our nation."
Grecia in Tennessee
Grecia went to Planned Parenthood for reproductive health care as an uninsured college student, where she says she felt "comforted" by the staff. Now, the openly gay activist works as a community organizer for the organization. "I'm proud of who I am," she says. "And I'm working hard to make sure that we can increase access for all people of color, no matter their citizenship status, no matter what their income looks like, no matter what their sexual orientation is, to make sure they received proper and professional health care."