The people I saw in the clinic waiting room were there for many reasons
“I grew up in a small town called Apple Valley in the middle of the Mojave Desert in Southern California and met my first real boyfriend at age 15 in high school. It was 1984. After a few months of dating we became sexually active – not unlike most of my friends. Because sex ed was allowed to be taught at my high school, I knew that condoms and birth control pills were the ONLY way to avoid pregnancy and STD’s. Of course abstinence is another way, but let’s get real – small town, not much to do, underage drinking, lots of free time without parents around, and lots of pressure (college wasn’t much different). And of course at age 15 I thought I was in love. As soon as I got my driver’s license and could get myself to Planned Parenthood I did. I took my friends with me and we all got on the pill. The Planned Parenthood in Victorville was a crowed clinic, women and their children from all walks of life, but mostly Hispanic and poor. It was an eye-opener for me. Here I was, upper/middle-class white teenager getting the same services as they were. My friends and I went to PP because we didn’t want to get pregnant or tell our parents. We felt we were being responsible for ourselves and our choices. It was the only place we could go. The people I saw in the clinic waiting room were there for many reasons… for some it may have been the only safe and affordable place they could go for basic healthcare and reproductive services in the entire High Desert.
I’m sure the only reason that I or my other desert-rat friends didn’t end up as babies with babies was because of Planned Parenthood, and I am thankful for this. I bet my mom is too. I was able to stay on track, go to college, graduate, get a job and have a career. As an adult I went to a local SLC Planned Parenthood for years for gynecological services until I aged into my 30’s and found a doctor that I liked who could fulfill all my healthcare needs including this. I am fortunate. Now I Stand With Planned Parenthood in other ways.”