Thursday, August 6, 2015

"Poor, Uninsured Women" Deserve Better

I was that girl, the one everybody is suddenly talking about: the low-income, uninsured woman in need of potentially life-saving healthcare.

My husband worked for a small start-up. He was given a $200 stipend for insurance that covered him and the kids. However, if he also included me and my baby-making organs it immediately shot up to $600 a month. Evidently, I’m one of those parthenogenesis mammals capable of reproducing all on my own, and that's a liability. 

So I went without. As mothers often do.

Then one day I noticed something was "off" with my body. Specifically my lady parts. I was terrified. I needed to see a physician immediately but because it was likely to require blood draws and lab work I knew that was going to be way out of my fledglings family’s price range. We were on a budget where ten bucks could make or break us for the month. 

This was about five years ago and at the time I remember my resources here in Dallas were incredibly limited. There were no federally qualified health centers in the area offering well woman care. Most were merely ear, nose, and throat doctors. Many had been shut down do to lack of funding, so when you called you'd just get a busy signal. I couldn't afford the hundreds of dollars it would cost to go to a family physician. I knew an ER would be even worse. I had a friend who attended a local mosque and said he might be able to get me an appointment with their female physician who came in quarterly, but the entire time there was one obvious solution to my predicament: Planned Parenthood.

For around $75 I could be seen by one of their physicians and further treatment would then be put on a sliding scale based on our income. When I told people this they thought I was crazy for not making an appointment immediately.

There was only one problem. I was… I am... pro-life.

I know a lot of people might scoff at that, but in my book abortion is the taking of a human life. And knowing I would likely have to see a higher-level physician, one who performed that procedure, was incredibly conflicting. I knew I needed help and that not receiving treatment that could potentially catch an issue in its early stagesthereby saving my lifewas just that, pro-life. But I still couldn’t bring myself to make the appointment.

I called the mosque instead but when I never heard back I did nothing. Planned Parenthood, ironically, was my only viable option.  

Fellow pro-life activists get mad when I embrace the “talking point” that PP has a monopoly in this country because they think I’m supporting the belief that without Planned Parenthood poor women like myself would have nowhere to go, but the opposite is actually true. I think it’s completely unacceptable that Planned Parenthood is allowed to have a monopoly in this country simply because so much federal funding (around $360 million a year) is funneled straight to them instead of being evenly dispersed among clinics that offer the same well woman care, just minus abortion. 

Over the last few weeks most of us have seen the undercover videos of high ranking Planned Parenthood staff haggling over "tissue" donations from aborted fetuses and whether you view this behavior as admissible or not, I ask you to respect the fact that many of us will never be comfortable receiving care from Planned Parenthood physicians. Ultimately we disagree on what constitutes a human life, at what point it deserves respect, and when it becomes a human being worth protecting. Because of that many of us will choose not to receive medical attention if Planned Parenthood is our only option.

I know we can't all afford the same level of healthcare, but why must poor women be forced to go to doctors who can't even adhere to the most basic medical oath… to do no harm.

Rich women, poor women, all women deserve better choices.


Post by Destiny


  1. This pro-lifer completely agrees with you. It's appalling that PP has such a monopoly on women's health funds.

  2. I agree. I am thankful that I live some place where I have options, even when I have been poor and not well insured, but so many women don't have options other than PP and they deserve better.

  3. I also live in Dallas and notice that PP has a monopoly on poor women health care. It does not help that I am a poor Hispanic women. However I did find a clinic that is affordable that is not PP.Have you ever heard of Los Barrios Unidos Community clinic? They are a federally approved health center.

  4. Here is a link to find more clinics