I went to Planned Parenthood. Yes, you read that right. I, Heidi Martin who was raised in a conservative Christian household, who was taught that Planned Parenthood was literally the devil, went there, and used their services.
Bear with me as I share some very personal information with you. I have only shared this with a select few, and certainly never saw myself writing about it on such a public platform. Breathe, Heidi. Here goes.
I was raped. I was a scared 14 year old girl who couldn't go to my parents, so I went to the only place I could think of. Enter Planned Parenthood. Let me tell you about that experience. I rode the bus by myself, and nervously went into the empty lobby (Thank God for that empty lobby, as it would never be empty for my future visits).
I timidly approached the receptionist and burst into tears as I choked out the words, "I've been raped". What happened next was one of the most empathetic and compassionate things someone in that setting could have done for me. She didn't hand me a clip board and have me fill out papers right away. She didn't even call a doctor or put me in the computer. She got up from her closed off desk, and walked around into the lobby. She then sat down with me and hugged me as I sobbed uncontrollably for what felt like hours. I don't even remember her name, but I think of her and what she did often.
I thankfully was able to receive Plan B and prevent an unwanted pregnancy. I also received invaluable counseling and follow ups. I was able to get on the birth control pill without my parents' knowledge or judgment. They even called the police for me.
There is a lot of talk about "Planned Parenthood being this..." or "Planned Parenthood is that..." fill in the blank. You can find nice or nasty things to say about anything on the internet. I'm not doing that. I am simply here to tell you my personal experience. My concern is for scared, lonely 14 year olds who may not have a place to go if Planned Parenthood is shut down. From my personal experience, they were a gift from God, and I will forever be in debt to them and what they have done in my life.