We have all heard of Planned Parenthood before. Whether it be in good conversation or bad, Planned Parenthood has come up in conversation a lot as of lately due to the political climate. Over the last few years, Planned Parenthood has come under attack and it sparked an interest in me for a number of reasons. Aside from me being super duper pro-woman, I am also pro-person. I want everyone to be happy, healthy and fabulous, so when I heard about the good and "presumed" bad side of Planned Parenthood, I decided to take a look into things myself. Let's break it down, fabulously of course. 

photo via PP  Instagram

photo via PP Instagram

Some Fab Facts:

  • 4,900,000 - Number of women, men, and young people worldwide provided with sexual and reproductive health care, education and outreach by Planned Parenthood in a single year.

  • 1,000,000+ - Number of these clients served by PPFA-supported partners in 12 developing countries.

  • 84 % - Percentage of Planned Parenthood health care patient age 20 and older.

  • 75% - Percentage of Planned Parenthood health care patient age 20 and older with incomes at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.

  • Planned Parenthood says 3% of the services it provides are abortions.

  • 68 Million - the number of visits to www.plannedparenthood.org in a single year:

The Services: 

  • Overall General Health Services 

  • Pregnancy 

  • Birth Control

  • Emergency Contraception

  • Abortion  

  • Sexual Orientation & Gender (LGBTQ ) 

  • Male & Female Cancer Screening 

  • Healthy Relationship Counseling  

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections

The Gag Rule : the current presidential administrations efforts to put an end to affordable birth control and reproductive care, especially for low income individuals. Also prohibiting patients from getting access to safe and legal abortions even if the patient wants one. 

Insurance : No matter the insurance, or if you don’t have any insurance at all you can get services at Planned Parenthood.

photo via PP  Instagram

photo via PP Instagram

Any and everyone can obtain services at Planned Parenthood. It is no longer just a place for women, but men, women and everyone in between are welcome through their doors. I was shocked at the percentage of men that get services at Planned Parenthood which never seems to get talked about. 

Planned Parenthood served over 250,000 men in 2014—a 76 percent increase from a decade prior. The vast majority of those services are men seeking STI testing and treatment for everything from erectile dysfunction to jock itch. Planned Parenthood also provides cancer screenings unique to men, including testicular cancer and prostate cancer, which affects nearly 13 percent of men in their lifetime. - GQ

As we inch closer and closer to election day, I wanted to make sure I fully understood the magnitude of what is happening, so I decided this year I was going to get my annual exam done at Planned Parenthood. Packed with all of this new found knowledge, I headed to the website and made an appointment on their web portal. My desired location here in NYC on Bleecker Street is the largest center in the city so getting an appointment was scarce. If you do choose Planned Parenthood, grab an appointment as soon as you can, even if you have to make it a month in advance like I did. 

photo via PP  Instagram

photo via PP Instagram

After getting checked in and settled, a nurse goes through the typical height/weight/blood pressure exams then ask's about your sexual health and desire to take any tests including being tested for HIV and STD's. Because it was my annual exam, I surely wanted to be tested for HIV and STD's. The HIV test was a quick prick on my index finger and the STD test was a more personal test with help from the nurse. I advise everyone to get tested ! Your life literally depends on it. 

After testing was done, I waited for the doctor to call me in the exam room. Once inside another round of personal and sexual questions including a selection of birth control options, if I wanted.  Once these questions were over I changed into the examining gown and was given a breast, pap smear and pelvic exam. Breast exams are vital and extremely important for women as we need the earliest detection possible for any obscure lumps. The pap smear which tests for cancerous cells and the pelvic exam which is vital as well is a quick internal check.  My doctor was extremely friendly and answered any questions I had. We even laughed and talked about restaurants!  This may be the first time I’m saying this but I had such a good day at the doctor. Planned Parenthood made me feel welcome, safe and assured me if I needed anything I can come right back. 

photo via PP  Instagram

photo via PP Instagram

No matter what your political viewpoint and stances are, healthcare is a universal need. I’m so happy that I experienced Planned Parenthood and really took the time out to talk to not only the staff there but to people who personally reached out to me to tell me about there own experiences at Planned Parenthood.

And let’s remember…voting is FABULOUS. So please make sure you exercise your right to vote and head to the polls on November 6th!