Dear Planned Parenthood
Dear Planned Parenthood,
I sit here and write this in the same way I would try and write to my own mother, expressing gratitude for how she has helped me. Thank you. You have helped me throughout my best and my worst. You have seen me at my weakest and you have encouraged me to do what is right for me.
I first went to you when I was a mere seventeen year old. Drunk off cheap wine, I ended up in a man’s room, a man who was ten years my senior. I didn’t want to have sex and he did, pushing and cajoling, blocking the doorway while telling me to relax. Not being okay with the answer of “no.” Tired, I asked him to at least use a condom, which he would slide off during sex. I would only realize this when it was considered “too late” and be told, “It wasn’t [his] problem.” I was angry, hurt, and scared. He was able to walk away from the situation he had manipulated so well and I was left to pick up the pieces of the consequences. I was the girl that I had been warned about- the one who didn’t take enough precautions, the one who had it coming, the one who had no one to blame but herself.
I panicked as I fled to what I thought was our city’s women’s center, but in actuality was a “crisis” center. At the time, I was living in the South and this was, unfortunately, all too common. As common as being denied birth control by pharmacists, as common as the embrace of abstinence sex ed while gonorrhea and syphilis outbreaks were happening, and as common as casting out pregnant teenagers, yet cheering the fathers absolved of any responsibility, worrying about their “bright future” and how these girls were going to “take it away.” These centers, now blindingly obvious to me, preyed on naivete, secrecy, and shame – mine at the time. They were set up for those moments of desperation and fear, waiting with open arms to convince young women of what they thought was the best decision to make.
Read the rest here … it’s worth it.