Little Thanks

I'm sure I should direct this to someone who can use it to help others, but for now, I'll start here.

When I was 16, I had a steady boyfriend.  I was educated about sex.  AIDS and HIV were not yet publicized as a threat.  Herpes and genital warts were whispered but not really discussed.  Most of the other STDs were well known and if you had access to a magazine like Cosmo, you could quickly find out anything you needed to know about birth control and detecting STD symptoms.

My mind was made up - I was going to have sex with my boyfriend.  I wanted it, asked for it and he was willing (imagine that).  We tried it with a condom and I was completely unimpressed.  I decided to try it again (and again) because it was touted as the end-all be-all of love and I was in love and damit, I was mature and sophisticated.  Eventually, i discovered what the big deal was (sans condom) but not until sweating out a couple of late periods.  The stress of waiting for a period, seeing my life as a pregnant teenager flash before my eyes, was more than I could take.  I called Planned Parenthood to find out what my options were.  My main concern was privacy.  I did not want my parents to know I was having sex.  I knew getting knocked up would pretty much give that secret away so I was looking for birth control options.  Not an abortion.  I wanted to prevent the pregnancy from happening in the first place.  I was 16 and I understood that concept.  There are people with decades of wisdom and experience that still don't understand that concept.  They think Planned Parenthood means abortion.  It doesn't.  For me, it meant private access to medically supervised and prescribed birth control.  At that time, they refilled the monthly prescription in the clinic - you had to come in, get your weight and blood pressure checked and then they would sell you another pack of pills.  Every 12 months, they required a pelvic exam and pap smear.  They provided that care in the clinic at a really low cost.

 I am extremely thankful that this resource was available to me.  I don't think there was any other legitimate way to obtain birth control at that time.  And again, I want to stress that it was my decision to have sex at that age.  I thought about it, studied it, researched it, and with all of the logic and reason my 16 year old brain could muster, I chose to have sex.  Because PP was available to me, I was able to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.  This is something every girl should have access to.  No argument, no debate.  There is more than one way to prevent an abortion.  Sure, there is abstinance.  And there is protected sex.  And there is birth control.  There is even emergency birth control.  I am so tired of everyone assuming PP is only about abortions.  It is so much more.  I support PP's mission and offer my thanks for being there for me 24 years ago.  Thanks to PP, I didn't need an abortion.

noexcuses noexcuses
36-40, F
7 Responses Dec 20, 2007

no, they didn't. and neither have any of my non PP providers over the last 30 years.<br />
are you a physician?

Did you know that there is really NO SUCH THING AS SAFE SEX. You can still get an STD with a condom. Did you know that taking birth control pill thins the wall of your uterus, making you even MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO CERVICAL CANCER? Did the Planned Parenthood representatives tell you that?

yeah, my mom thought she knew about my sex life, but she didn't know the least of it.

well she hasnt always said exactly what I want to hear.....but...<br />
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I could be nieve...but I do think so far so good. She talks to me and is pretty darn frank about it.<br />
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Like I said before...if at some point she doesnt feel she can come to me...I hope she is as wise as noexcuses seems to have been. Whether it be PP or some other program I hope she seeks proper advice and takes it.

wishful thinking perhaps???<br />
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So far she does though. She is 16 and we have had some pretty frank conversations.<br />
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She has asked some great questions and I always answer them honestly.

I am very glad to hear you were wise enough to protect yourself.<br />
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These stories and the need for such programs scare me though....just a personal thing.<br />
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I hope that if that day comes for my daughter she talks to me!<br />
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If she doesnt though...I hope she is as smart as you were.

OMG, visual aids on the kitchen table? How very modern!<br />
I do subscribe to their newsletter and write letters & emails to legislators when issues come up. Its just so frustrating that no one will listen to reason. I'm glad you commented. This is something I feel very strongly about and I know I need to be more involved. thanks