A Girl Walks Into A Planned Parenthood... And Is Listened To And Respected

A Girl Walks Into A Planned Parenthood... And Is Listened To And Respected

I feel it's important that we clear the air about the nonprofit.

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With all the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood in the last few years, and with a new supreme court judge with right-leaning tendencies, I feel as though it's important that we clear the air about the nonprofit.

So, here is my experience with Planned Parenthood as a patient. I won't tell you the purpose of my visit, but instead, I will discuss the quality of care and my overall experience.

The day of my appointment, I walked through the entrance (once I finally realized that it was a pull door, not a push one), and I received a warm greeting from the woman at the desk.

I gave her my information, and she asked if I would wait in the waiting room — which does, in fact, have free condoms in a bowl next to the mostly out-of-date tabloids and informational brochures. How unbelievably misguided of them to provide free access to birth control, so that there aren't a bunch more unwanted babies being born.

Anyway, let's get back to it. I waited less than five minutes before I was called by a nurse. The nurse walked me to the exam room. She took my weight and the usual vitals.

Then she asked the nature of my visit, and as I was answering, I noticed something unusual.

This woman was looking at me while I spoke and appeared to be nodding occasionally.

Could it be, I thought, was she actually listening to me? What?!?

I explained the symptoms I was having to her, the same symptoms I previously divulged to my regular physician. But this time, I was given a very real answer. She even called a doctor in to confirm.

What was this place? Who did these people think they were? I was listened to and presented with thoughtful responses, solutions and options.

How dare they. It's like they wanted me to feel in control of my healthcare and my own body — completely inappropriate!

So, sarcasm aside, as a woman, I have a gynecologist I see for various things. But every time I mention a symptom I am having, my doctor stares at her computer screen and says that it's normal.

Not everything is normal, folks. And I know my body pretty well at this point, considering that I have lived in it for 25 years. When I voice a concern about something, I want it to be taken seriously.

I know that part of the problem when it comes to birth control is just that there's a lack of research, particularly where women's health is concerned; but institutionalized sexism isn't a valid excuse for ignoring my needs as a patient.

So, those are the bullet points, folks. Take it as you will, but my visit was a refreshing experience.

Being a woman, it feels good to be heard and given whatever information I need without pulling teeth — especially when it comes to healthcare,

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A Solution To The Abortion Debate

We need to tackle the problem at its core.
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There are very few political issues that are as controversial as abortion. Pro-life vs. Pro-choice seem to be the smack down of the year, every year. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion years ago, but people from all sides of the political spectrum still focus on it.

I'm not going to give you a pro-choice argument. Yes, I am pro-choice, and yes I have very firm beliefs, but I don't think the argument should focus on whether or not women should have access to abortion.

The argument needs to tackle this "issue" of abortion at a much deeper level. It's not about pregnant women wanting abortions — it's about unwanted pregnancies.

There are many reasons a woman chooses to have an abortion. Maybe they can't afford a pregnancy and a child. Maybe they have health problems. Maybe they are not in a place in their lives where they can properly care for a child. Or maybe, they just don't want to have the baby.

Regardless of their reasons, the core cause of abortion is an unwanted pregnancy. Naturally, the way to end abortion is to stop unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place. If a woman never becomes pregnant without wanting to be pregnant, there would be no need for abortion, and the divisive debate could finally end.

How do we do this, you ask? Well, you've come to the right place.

There are two things that need to happen in order to stop unwanted pregnancies and abortions.

1. Comprehensive sexual education

27 states currently have abstinence-only education. This means students in 27 states are never taught about birth control. They never learn the realities of sex and sexual experiences because they are taught not to have sex until marriage.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with practicing abstinence until marriage — or even in marriage if that's what you decide. But the truth is, not everyone is going to be abstinent, and by teaching a curriculum that stresses abstinence, students lack a knowledge base necessary to prevent pregnancies and STDs. Some people won't know anything about sex alone, let alone about condoms, the birth control pill, the birth control patch, shot, ring, IUD, or other forms of birth control that could prevent pregnancies.

Statistically, states with abstinence-only education have a much higher rate of teenage pregnancy or STD transmission, while states with more comprehensive education have seen a drastic decrease in these cases.

People seem to think that including comprehensive sex ed in schools will encourage teenagers and young adults to have premarital sex. But lets face it: they're going to do it anyway. So lets make sure they are educations and that they practice safe-sex so no unwanted pregnancies occur.

2. Access to birth control

Education is all fine and dandy, but unless people have access to birth control, they can't really practice safe sex.

The discourse around birth control needs to be less taboo. Young women should not be embarrassed to talk to their healthcare provider about different options. Both men and women who plan to be sexually active, even if they have the smallest inkling that they will be sexually active, should have condoms so that they are never in a position to "risk it."

Birth control needs to be covered by all health insurance. Not only does it prevent pregnancies, but it also helps regulate women's menstrual cycles and treat endometriosis, along with other health problems women may have. But most importantly, it prevents unwanted pregnancies. Birth control needs to be available to every one, both men and women and genderfluid and genderqueer and everything else on the gender spectrum.


Even people who are pro-choice are not pro-abortion. Whether it is because of morals, medical reasons, or any other reason, no one wants abortions to happen.

Making abortion illegal will not stop abortions from happening. People will resort to dangerous methods to get abortions if they are outlawed, but they will not stop completely. The only way to stop abortions is to solve the core of the problem through comprehensive sex ed and access to birth control.

In order to make that happen, the discussion needs to move away from "Should abortion be legal or not?" to "Let's stop unwanted pregnancies from happening in the first place." Stopping unwanted pregnancies is the only way to stop abortions.

Cover Image Credit: The New Yorker

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Sexual Education Needs To Be Taught In Middle School

No, porn does not teach you sex.

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Sex education is supported widely and even by parents, however, we are not teaching it effectively. In middle school, I didn't learn sexual education, let alone learn anything about puberty and what a menstrual cycle even is. In middle school, I learned more from my friends than from health class or my parents.

If parents supposedly support sexual education, why are we not creating a curriculum to teach it more effectively? These teenagers are 'learning' more from their friends than their parents or adults and learning from porn. No, porn does not teach realistic sexual expectations. Teens don't see the side of where the pornstars are posing in sex positions or take multiple takes. Teens don't see that pornstars get tested for HIV and STDs very often. Most teens say they never received any sexual education at all.

These topics we need to focus on teaching should range from menstruating, puberty, self-touching, and all the way to sex and diseases, as well as pregnancy. we teach girls that they need to be on birth control but what about these young men needing to wear condoms. Many girls don't even know the difference between tampons or how to even insert a tampon. Lots of teens are told that they shouldn't be touching themselves, but we should be teaching them that it is ok to explore your body. I've come across many young men that think that just because they don't feel like they have a disease that they don't have to get tested.

Everyone needs to get tested and everyone needs to learn an excessive amount of information about sex because no one else is teaching it.

I have a passion for teaching sexual health to middle schoolers for the sake of their sexual health and for future generations.

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