You know that point in adulthood when you finally start to feel like an adult? You have your own place, friends, paying rent and learning about the upkeep costs of cars. Right when I was actually starting to feel grown up and thought of myself as an adult, I also found myself out of work. As if it wasn’t a scary enough place to be, none of my part time jobs offered health insurance. For the first time in my life I was scared of getting sick, of getting in a car accident, or anything happening to me. I had a prescription for birth control that was essentially useless to me. I couldn’t afford to pay for all of it each month.
I have long remembered the wise words of a co-worker from my first job (also without health insurance). She told me if I ever found myself working without health insurance, I was to go to Planned Parenthood. I could check ups, exams, birth control all right there. So I found the Planned Parenthood closest to me, had my annual exam, got a prescription for birth control, and pick it up on my way out. I think my cost the appointment and prescription was about $90. A hefty fee for me at the time, but it seemed so worth it. And each month I happily handed over my $18 for birth control pills.
After several months I found a better job, that again did not offer health insurance. I had enough to buy my own catastrophic health insurance. A woman at Planned Parenthood helped me figure out what would be covered and how much it would cost me. She also let me know I made so little money I was better off getting my prescription from them still.
As long as lived in the area, I continued to go to Planned Parenthood – I never found a private PCP, and couldn’t have afforded it if I wanted to. Anything I needed I could get at Planned Parenthood.
Years later, in a regular job with much better pay, I regularly give to Planned Parenthood, because I know there are still people who need their services. And it may not always be the who you think it is or for what you think. I’m grateful they were there for me then, and as long as I am able I will stand with them and donate to them.