When I got laid off in 2001 and moved back to Minnesota I was lucky enough to not have health insurance. I had a temp job, for three years, but no way to afford health insurance. Fortunately I was young and relatively healthy. I did however need to make sure that my girly bits were healthy. My choices were limited. Sure, at the time they rolled out Minute clinic type places to deal with my occasional sinus infection, but they couldn’t do pap smears.
I was lucky enough to be able to get care, provided on a sliding fee scale, from Planned Parenthood. When I needed it, I also got birth control. I was able to make sure that I stayed healthy, and financially solvent, because of them.
When I finally got health insurance, I kept going to Planned Parenthood because I figured it was my way of giving back when I didn’t need the subsidized care any more. In fact, I went there until four and a half years ago when I was ready to start a family and got an OB/GYN. She complimented me on being responsible with my care even when I was uninsured.
Cecily does a great job of summing it up, but here is the deal. Planned Parenthood cannot use federal funding for abortions, so that isn’t the issue here. The issue is that they provide a valuable service. STD testing, gynecological care, and yes, birth control, so that people can take responsibility for their own health. Making that care affordable for people saves money for everyone in the long run. A yearly pap costs a lot less than treatment for cervical cancer.
So, if you care, call, get involved, help protect the health of everyone.