Most people know my story. I tell it regularly: I grew up in a conservative state, without comprehensive, medically accurate sex education being taught in schools. I worked to educate myself and then my peers. I sat on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood Arizona. I pushed for change, I spoke up, I made a difference.
Most people know that story, the one in which I am a spokesperson and supporter. But there’s one I don’t tell as often, as well; one in which I am a patient and a student.
My relationship with Planned Parenthood started when I was 16, scared, alone, and searching for answers. My relationship with Planned Parenthood is every STD test I have ever taken, every time I’ve ever thought I was pregnant. It’s the birth control I take every night, the plan B I’ve bought numerous times, the condoms I freely pass out. My relationship with Planned Parenthood is bleeding for 6 months, inserting and removing an IUD, crying in waiting rooms and doctors offices. It’s tests, ultrasounds, antibiotics, and support. My relationship with Planned Parenthood extends far beyond what my resumé states. I am a patient before everything else. And I am so eternally grateful.
So happy birthday, Planned Parenthood. Thank you for the nonjudgmental support, kind words, listening ears, and endless love you have given, and continue to give to me. Thank you for being my primary medical practitioner for the past 5 years. Thank you for making me realize what I want, and need, to do with my life. Thank you for trusting me enough to represent you for a whole year. Thank you, thank you, thank you. #StandWithPP #100YearsStrong