Posted on 24. Feb, 2011 by Keri Pritchard-Willerton
When I was fresh out of college, I thought I was lucky to find a newspaper job. And I was.
The only benefit it offered was a paycheck – no health insurance or 401K. Earning just more than minimum wage allowed me to live, but when I got sick, the cost came from my pocket.
In an effort to maintain my reproductive health, I would visit Planned Parenthood once a year and pay on a sliding scale. It was still a small burden, but I knew I wanted a family one day and wanted to make sure everything remained in working order until I was ready.
Single and abstinent, I refused birth control offered by doctors at each yearly exam. I explained I was just there for a check-up because, without insurance, I couldn’t afford to visit a doctor’s office.
When I found a job that offered insurance, I gladly paid my monthly dues and found what I consider to be a “proper” doctor.
Fast forward 10 years.
Less than a week ago, U.S. House Republicans passed a budget amendment that would strip federal funds from Planned Parenthood. If these cuts are also approved by the Senate, the ability of millions of American women to plan how they and their families lead their lives will be seriously diminished. There, but for the grace of God, go I.
Think about it.
Planned Parenthood isn’t only a place where women seek abortions. It’s a place where women in our community, college-educated women, who work 40 or more hours a week for little more than minimum wage can go to keep their reproductive health in check whether they’re ready for a family or not.
I sincerely hope our legislators consider women like me when they cast their vote on the matter and don’t hinder pro-active patients.
If you have an opinion on the matter, let our senators know.
Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s web address is http://hutchison.senate.gov/contact.cfm
and John Cornyn’s is http://cornyn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm.