This post is sponsored and made possible with support from the Mission List. All opinions are my own. Sometimes I look back and wonder, what if…
My life hasn’t always gone as expected, despite being responsible, organized, and a meticulous planner. I was thirteen years old the first time I was raped. I mean, just thirteen, because the guy who did it considered waiting for me to “not be twelve anymore” a birthday gift, to show how much he loved me. Even when he broke the lock on the door of the room I was hiding in, he declared his love for me as he dragged me across the house into a bedroom.
It wasn’t long after that when I began taking birth control. I had no intention of being sexually active at that age, but that choice, my choice, was taken from me. I had no one to turn to and was hurt and angry. Mostly, I was afraid. It wasn’t even my choice to start taking birth control. From the moment I confessed what happened, I was made to feel dirty. I was manipulated into believing it was somehow my fault. When the adults didn’t believe me, I told a 12-year-old friend. He also called me a liar. He said if I had sex, I’d be pregnant. I wasn’t. So, my young friend taunted and teased me. No one believed me.
That is, until I arrived at Planned Parenthood. It was the first time I shared that story with an adult and was not made to feel at fault. I was counseled and given resources. They made me feel safe and in charge. I really thought that going to Planned Parenthood was the worst thing in the world. Maybe I thought only easy-girls went there. As far as I knew, that’s where people had abortions. I cried the whole way there, in the lobby, and in the room. As scary as that first appointment was, it was an even bigger blessing. It was the start of my road to healing. What if Planned Parenthood hadn’t been an option? Sometimes, I look back and wonder, but I can’t imagine what that would have been like.
You rarely, if ever, see political posts or discussions on this site. I had to make an exception because I care about women’s health issues. I care about the services that are provided by Planned Parenthood. It’s not okay that Planned Parenthood is under attack.
The American Health Care Act is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation.
- Blocks low-income patients from receiving health care at Planned Parenthood health centers.
- Eliminates protections for the millions with pre-existing conditions.
- Discriminates against women.
- Eliminates maternity coverage, newborn care and other Essential Health Benefits (EHB) coverage standards.
- Forces new mothers with Medicaid coverage to find work shortly after giving birth.
- Kicks millions of women and men off their insurance. The CBO reports that 24 million people will lose coverage over the next 10 years, 14 million of which will lose Medicaid coverage due to the bill’s measures to kick people off of Medicaid.
- Ends Medicaid expansion.
- Guts the Medicaid program.
- Imposing Additional Costs on Women.
- Reduces women’s access to no-copay birth control.
- Creates a nationwide ban on abortion coverage.
Check out the expanded details, here! Did you know that even being a victim of domestic violence could be considered a “pre-existing condition?” Can you believe that?!
What If you could do something to help? Well, you CAN!
In my early twenties, I was told that I would probably never be able to get pregnant. Well, I’ve been pregnant four times. The “planned” pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. The other pregnancies made me who I am today. My pregnancies didn’t happen when I thought they would. I guess they happened when they were meant to! Planned Parenthood was there, for every one. Sometimes it was just to confirm the pregnancy, and sometimes it was for more, but it was a place I could trust. But, what if they hadn’t been there? Despite all my plans, things happened as they did. That’s how life goes sometimes, not just for me, but for everyone.
Pressure the Senate to vote against the AHCA and the “defunding” of Planned Parenthood.
I #StandWithPP and hope you’ll Vote NO. I hope you’ll speak up.
By: Alicia Gonzalez