I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now but with so much good work happening in the prolife movement it’s hard to find the time to go back to such a dark place. There are some massive misconceptions going around about a certain organization and how they help young women. So as much as I don’t care to tell this testimony of mine I see it’s necessary in order to protect others like me.
In the winter of 2007 I was almost 17 years old, I had just recently tested out of high school and was awaiting a spring semester at college. One night I arrived at what I expected to be a movie night with multiple friends and instead found myself locked in an apartment with a man I didn’t know. He did not take no for an answer, I could not get my body to fight away, I was frozen in shock and fear. After what seemed like hours but was less than one I was instructed to drive him in my car to his destination where he got out and walked away. Thankfully I’ve never seen him since.
After the initial day or two of shock and grief I found myself concerned for my physical wellbeing. I wasn’t yet sexually active when I was raped and I had no idea if I was okay or not.
Of course the thought of pregnancy popped into my mind but I was fairly certain that wasn’t going to be an issue. I was more worried about internal damage or maybe an STD.
I had a conservative religious family and although they would have been completely there for me had I been honest with them I was too embarrassed and ashamed to tell them what had happened to me. I played it off and decided to get myself into some intentional trouble to sort of cover my tracks should I get pregnant or anything like that. I just didn’t want to tell my family I had made myself vulnerable and was attacked.
Like many young girls do in sexual crisis’ I called the closest Planned Parenthood clinic hoping they’d be a support for me. I didn’t at the time really understand fully the concept of what they did there.
The receptionist answered politely and I began to tell her that I had recently been raped and feared I may have some problems from my attack. She asked if “by problems I meant a baby”.
I told her I wasn’t pregnant and didn’t think I was going to be pregnant just based off of what had happen during my attack. I told her I was in some physical pain and wanted to get checked out by a doctor and get an std test but I just couldn’t tell my family. She told me flat out if I wasn’t pregnant and seeking to abort my “rape baby” they really couldn’t assist me. I remember her exact words in a much less sweeter tone than her first words “If you wind up being pregnant in a few weeks come in and we’ll help you take care of it. The doctor can check you out then. If he damaged you it will still show in a few weeks.”
I questioned her asking why I had to be pregnant to get a post rape exam and I was told there are too many legalities I wouldn’t understand and it wasn’t in their best interest to take me on as a client. I was shocked and really disappointed as they were my only hope at the time. I just said okay thanks and hung up.
I never did get my post attack exam. I went years before telling my family or seeing a doctor for a woman’s wellness check. It wasn’t until I was married and seeking to conceive that I finally found the courage to go get checked out. And all those years leading up to that point I spent wondering did my attacker ruin me? Turns out the answer is maybe. I was sexually active for almost 9 years before conceiving, never using birth control. I spent 5 years testing and pushing my fertility and waiting for a pregnancy to occur. Eventually we found out I had severe scar tissue damage filling my fallopian tubes. The doctors all said it might be a natural occurrence but was more likely to be from internal trauma. By the Grace of God I eventually had a tube open and was able to conceive my one and only miracle child. But I will never know if my infertility pain was something my body did to itself or from what he did to my body. Not knowing drives me insane so I don’t let myself go there.
I sometimes wonder what would’ve happened had Planned Parenthood given me that much needed post rape exam. Would they have seen the damage? Would my scar tissue be prevented somehow? Could I have avoided those years and years of surgeries, shots, blood draws, HSG tests, and emotional pain from infertility? I think if they had given me a true and caring exam like they claim to the answer would be yes. Of course I now know I wouldn’t have found comfort or care there had they accepted me anyways. And now I understand what she meant by too many legalities. I was a minor claiming rape, no way was Planned Parenthood going to deal with all of that paper work and the hassle of the required reporting to law enforcement. Especially considering they weren’t going to get the big bucks from an abortion service out of me.
Helping a young woman who had just been sexually abused didn’t matter to Planned Parenthood. Their convenience and bank account mattered. They didn’t care that I was alone and confused and afraid. They didn’t want to educate me on my body or help me find recovery from my attack. They didn’t want to deal with the hassle of doing what was not only legal but what was right. My pain wouldn’t make them enough profit, period. They made that loud and clear.
So as I said as much as I hate to go back to this time in my life it’s necessary. People are still claiming Planned Parenthood cares for women in need, that they are a place for victims, that they offer healthcare to the hurting…it’s all lies.
Planned Parenthood denies rape victims care. They pressure you to come to them for abortion if a pregnancy occurs. They belittle you and put themselves above all others.
So how did Planned Parenthood help me after I was raped? They didn’t.
Don’t buy into the “Planned Parenthood helps women” lie.
When you hear it remember women like me, women who were once girls in pain and in need of help, women who were turned away for things not our fault, women who needed someone to defend them and step up and do the right thing when we were too weak to do it ourselves. Remember the non abortion related victims of Planned Parenthood too.
Planned Parenthood doesn’t help, they hurt.