Some of you know that I’m a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood. I’ve been with my local clinic since I was a teenager. I’ve seen them through 2 states, 3 clinic locations, and countless checkups, depo boosters, and positive experiences. I’ve seen all walks of life pass through those doors; scared teenagers, mature women, young men accompanying their girlfriends, and mothers offering support to their daughters. I have not once felt judged, shamed, intimidated, or unwelcome after passing through those front doors. I know where the roots of the organization lie. While I can’t say I endorse all of the things the founders and major contributors stood for, I stand behind their mission as it is today. I would also gladly confront those who would picket their locations, spread hate and misinformation, or employ harassment and scare tactics to further their agenda based on “moral superiority”. I fully support Planned Parenthood, and I don’t care who knows it.
Not that I needed the emotional support, but when I was going through my divorce, I was talking to the nurse practitioner doing my exam about how my sex life was probably going to be changing in the near future. No, this wasn’t *while* I was in the stirrups. This was part of the initial conversation that happens before you get nekkid, put on the paper clothes, and climb up on the table. She had asked me if anything was new in my life, or if I’d had any changes I wanted to talk about. Being well informed, I knew that the county I live in has had one of the, if not the highest percentage of STDs in the country. Being libidinous, curious, and smart, I wanted to know more about this. So, I told her that I was getting a divorce, and that my husband and I had separated. He was seeing someone new, and I was starting to date myself. I asked about what STDs were common, and what the age group had the highest rates of infection.
I don’t have much by way of shame, so asking this sort of question was pretty easy for me. But, this lady seemed really easy to talk to. Let me tell you about her. She was somewhat petite, probably in her 40s, had a wavy blonde bob, glasses, and looked like you’d expect a frat mom to look. In short, she looked like that lady that you can trust, the cool aunt, or the mother figure in your life that isn’t going to ground you because she has to since she’s, you know, your mom. Get a margarita or two in her, and I bet she’s an awesome person to hang out with.
Anyway, she answers me pretty dispassionately, telling me that it’s gonorrhea and chlamydia that’s most common in the area among the 15-24 year old population. (source) After making a crack about how some of those numbers are illegal, I said something like I felt a little better since I doubted I'd be partaking of anyone *that* young. (Not that I wouldn't be smart about it, regardless. But, I was liking the odds being more in my favor you see.) As I finished saying that I probably wasn't going to be bedding any sweet young things, the Nurse Practitioner gets this twinkle in her eye that would have made any anime artist rush to grab their pencils to capture for later use. She smirks, wobbles her head in that flirtatious "Oh, you don't know!" sort of way and says "Oh, I dunno. Every now and then, those 21 year olds are kinda fun."
I swear she even winked at me.
Also, I believe the noise I made was called a guffaw. This woman is now officially and permanently on my list of heroes. And this is one of the MANY reasons why I love Planned Parenthood, and will stand up for them any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.