I was raised in a very conservative family- sex was not discussed openly, but you certainly did not want a reputation as a “loose girl.” How that could happen was up to me to figure out, but it had something to do with boys. When I got to college, it was the late sixties, and love, free sex and birth control pills were everywhere! How could I deal with these new freedoms? I was excited by the ideas, but scared of the consequences if I made the wrong choices. In the back of my mind, I was consoled by the thought of Planned Parenthood – somewhere I could go if there were questions or issues that I could never discuss at home.
I married and raised two daughters in a home where I hoped we could discuss most anything. I always tried to convey these thoughts: ask me, I love you, trust me, I will not lie, and if I don’t know the answer, we will find out. Of course, mothers and daughters cannot always discuss everything without some embarrassment or judgement, so when they were away at university, I told them, “go to Planned Parenthood – they will always be there for you.”
Now my daughters have children, and I have been shocked to see the attacks in the political arena against Planned Parenthood and women’s rights. Legislation passed over decisions about my own healthcare and life choices. I thought these discussions were over – that we had moved forward in the footsteps of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Will Planned Parenthood be there for my grandchildren?
I work as a pharmacist in a university student clinic, and I dispense birth control daily. I counsel young women and men who might not be aware that their lifestyle choices, which include birth control and family planning, may be in jeopardy.
What can I do? Is anything that I do as one human being important enough that it can turn the tide of this onslaught? I don’t know. But I DO know that apathy and ignorance is not an option. If I stand with Planned Parenthood and volunteer to do whatever is needed – collect petition signatures, make phone calls, VOTE – and if many of us do this work and stand together as one united voice, maybe Planned Parenthood will be around for the next generation.
To stand with Planned Parenthood and get involved as a volunteer, email Emily, our Advocacy Coordinator. You’ll be glad you did.