This morning I met our fearless leader, Planned Parenthood’s President Cecile Richards. She came to visit volunteers at convention headquarters, giving a small speech before stopping to talk with us individually and take pictures.
I’d ended up chatting with another one of the Planned Parenthood higher-ups earlier in the day, and she’d asked what made me want to volunteer with them. I told her how I’d received my disability benefits just as the politics around Medicare and Medicaid began to turn particularly heated, and how I had severe endometriosis, maintained and medicated through the hormones found in birth control. I was scared of losing prescription access and sought out a Mirena IUD, which would provide me with five years of treatment no matter what my healthcare coverage was like. But at the time, and to this day in certain areas, Mirena was only being given to women who had already had children. With any IUD, there is of course the legitimate concern that your fertility could be affected. But none of the doctors I saw seemed concerned with the fact that my fertility was already being affected or the fact that if it continued to progress I could lose my ovaries and uterus entirely. Until I went to Planned Parenthood. They listened to me, addressed all of my concerns, and answered all of my questions. Then they gave me five years of reproductive security and peace of mind.
I was urged to share my story with Cecile, and I got the opportunity during her visit. As I spoke, this incredible woman, who hears stories like mine literally every day, began to cry. Which of course set me off as well, and we sniffled and hugged and I was struck by just how much this woman really, truly, unabashedly cares.
I have never been prouder to represent this organization.