I need to take a second to tell y’all about how amazing Planned Parenthood is.
I don’t have a doctor in my new city, I don’t have health insurance right now, and I don’t have any income right now.
So Thursday morning when the UTI I’d been hoping would go away started giving me a fever and causing me to piss blood (spoiler, I have a kidney infection at this point), I took a bus down to the PP clinic.
I got screamed at on my way in: “Don’t kill your baby!!!”
They couldn’t see me at that location today, so they checked around for every clinic with transit access to get me seen today. I took the train.
On the intake form, there are a bunch of questions about confidentiality they ask (phone, aliases, etc) for women who will get beaten if their partners or family find out their on birth control or getting STD tests. Makes me want to cry, but awesome that they’re with it.
On the intake form, there is also a statement about Planned Parenthood recognizing there is a spectrum of gender identities, even if not all of their funding agencies do, and apologizing for requesting the forms be filled out with sex assigned at birth and legal name. (They do ask for preferred name, and the checkbox does say “sex assigned at birth” and not just “sex.”)
In the short time I was in the waiting area, I saw two men come in and get condoms, another thing they offer.
Both the nurse who did my intake and the NP who saw me were incredibly gracious. They got the normal info about my health and sexual history, and I could not have felt less judged. I’d thought student health center was not that judgy but holy shit this was so much more comfortable than that.
They signed me up for a CA state program for low-income residents to cover reproductive health services. (I am currently unemployed.)
They noted they have counseling services not just for abortions or suicidal thoughts but anytime I might be feeling overwhelmed and need to talk to someone.
They gave me a prescription for antibiotics. (If it’d be milder, a regular UTI, they would have given me the medicine before I left the clinic.)
They gave me medicine for the yeast infection I’m likely to get with the antibiotics (without me asking for me). They sold me medicine for the pain from the bladder spasms for $4. They gave me a bunch of non-latex condoms in case they might be less irritating. They included lube samples (they recommend I use more).
The whole trip cost me (apart from the missed day of class) only the train fare and the $4 for the pain meds.
The state of California is going to pay for my antibiotics They’ll get their investment back on that when I don’t end up in the ER. They’ll get their investment back on that even more by taking care of their new citizen, because I will have a job here and pay taxes here.
Thank god for a safety net. And many thanks to Planned Parenthood.
If you would like to donate to Planned Parenthood, you can do so here. Please consider doing so if you can.