Despite the prevalence of health care clinics in nearly every community, whether it be within a hospital, school, private medical clinic, community-based, or even in the local grocery store, many people are unable to access or afford medical care when needed. This may be due to lack of insurance, inability to afford care, or the individual may not be aware of community medical resources.

However, one clinic is known throughout the land. It has withstood the test of time, having first formed 101 years ago in 1916. The formidable and determined Margaret Sanger understood the need for women to have more autonomy in their lives, and the first step was to allow women to plan their parenthood. Thank goodness, right?! I have three kids and that was more than enough for me. I cannot imagine how my life would have been without the option to choose the size of my family. Those nights out with girlfriends, enjoying a glass of wine, discussing political issues —or not—would not be an option.

We've come a long way, baby!
We’ve come a long way, baby!

Planned Parenthood is one of the most recognized and respected medical providers for women—and men—in the world.

In 1970 Title X was passed that allows federal funding for organizations such as Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers to provide education, health care services, research, and pregnancy prevention to low-income individuals. According to Planned Parenthood, “Title X also saves taxpayers money. For every dollar invested in publicly funded family planning programs, the government saves $7.09 in Medicaid-related costs.” Not only does Planned Parenthood provide individuals with excellent healthcare, birth control, and education among many other services, it also helps the government save money, not to mention families.

I am proud to say that many, many moons ago I was a volunteer birth control educator at Planned Parenthood. I saw women of all ages seeking help – some as young as 12. Thank goodness they had a safe place to go for quality care. Birth control, education, and check-ups were happily provided despite a person’s ability to pay. The quality of the organization impressed me; my short time at Planned Parenthood set me on the path that continues to inspire me. It ignited a passion in me that has been simmering over the last three decades–to offer emerging adults comprehensive reproductive education and healthcare to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. If we teach about birth control, abortion can be greatly reduced. Planned Parenthood sets out to do exactly as its name states: to plan parenthood.

Recently the president of Planned Parenthood spoke in San Francisco. I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. Grab some coffee or wine, get out your holiday wrapping project, and take a listen.  Click on the link below.

The Future of Choice with Cecile Richards