You probably already know I’m a small town North Dakota girl. What you may not know is that sex education isn’t taught here. We’re certainly not taught about birth control. That’s probably why we have a fairly high teen pregnancy rate. So, where do small town North Dakota girls go for help and advice when they’re sexually active (and yes, they are. Whether you don’t ever talk about sex or you do, they are. If that shocks you, you need a reality check).
I was 16 and had my first real boyfriend who was 19, which is racy in itself to many people it seems. I thought I loved him and even though I know now that I didn’t, there was absolutely nobody who could tell me that. I would have to learn it on my own. You see, teenage girls are much smarter than they’re given credit for. We knew what we wanted and we went for it. Now, my boyfriend wanted to have sex, but he wasn’t fond of condoms–most men aren’t from what I’ve learned. Now, 16 year old me could have broken up with my gorgeous, sweet, sexy boyfriend because he refused to use a condom; but I loved him, so that wasn’t going to happen.
What did happen a few years before was a quick talk with my mom. She told me there was a Planned Parenthood in Moorhead (about 35 miles away from me), where they could help me and get me birth control when I felt I needed it. She said of course, I could tell her too, but if I didn’t feel like telling her, to just go ahead and go to Planned Parenthood and take care of it.
So, when the time came and I knew I would be having sex with my boyfriend I was so in love with, I went to Planned Parenthood in Moorhead. They were very kind and helpful. I was a teenager with no job, so I wasn’t charged. They taught me about sex, birth control, STD’s and gave me birth control pills. I continued going there for about 6 years.
As a result, Planned Parenthood is responsible for me not becoming a teen mom because there was no way I would be talked out of having sex with my boyfriend.
Despite what you may think (or have been told or have been lied to about), Planned Parenthood has prevented more pregnancies than it’s ever terminated. The main goal of the entire organization is on preventive measures and education (it’s right there in the name, PLANNED PARENTHOOD). In addition, they provide cancer and STD screenings for anyone and charge on a sliding scale, so no income? No charge.
The lies flying around about Planned Parenthood are malicious gossip being spread with the very intent to close the organization because 3% of what they do is terminate unwanted pregnancies. Also, for my fellow North Dakotans, the Planned Parenthood in our state is educational only. They do not have a clinic nor do they dispense birth control. The Planned Parenthood in Moorhead provides education, screenings, and birth control. The nearest Planned Parenthood to us that performs abortions is in the Twin Cities.
If you don’t like Planned Parenthood because 3% of its activities are made up of terminating pregnancies, please ask yourself how many more abortions or teen pregnancies we would have if not for Planned Parenthood?
Please, consider the consequences if you should happen to close them down. And always, be careful what you wish for.