My first job was at Planned Parenthood.
I am talking about my very first job EVER!
I started my working career as a peer educator. In New York State, you are required to first obtain your working papers in order to receive a paycheck. I wasn’t even old enough to have working papers so I was given gift certificates to my local mall.
It’s so surreal to think back at this time in my life. I was so young and naive in the beginning. I did not know about the dangers that were lurking around every corner. I was unaware of teen pregnancy percentages, abstinence, STDs, the politics behind it, etc. The folks at Planned Parenthood opened my eyes to some scary things but at the same time put me in position to be of help to others.
I believe the first thing I learned about was abstinence and the consequences of not being abstinent. My fellow peer educators and I were a group called Teen Reality Theater aka “TRT.” It was our job to educator our peers in the form of situational plays and walk-in hours. We were given the opportunity to help our peers know their options and feel empowerment in their choices. When they say knowledge is power, that is simply the truth. We taught about communication and abstinence but we also offered protection and options for protection. It’s not what you choose, it’s about making sound decisions.
So many people are speaking negatively about Planned Parenthood and its mission and it hurts my heart to hear these things when I know them no to be true. I am so thankful for the four years I spent with them. I could have easily become a statistic if not for the education I received and some of my friends may have had the same fate if not for the role I played with Planned Parenthood.
Ignorance is NOT bliss… ignorance harms others. I am pro-choice. I have been pro-choice since I was fourteen. Being Pro-choice means that what’s right for YOU is for YOU to decide. With a lot of “-ism”and hate going on, I strengthen my resolve to be pro-choice in those aspects too. If no one is asking you to join in, don’t invite yourself. Stick to the old adage: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Violence is selfish and in most cases, unnecessary but in the world we live in, some people see it as the only way to have a voice. Gain knowledge, seek the truth and your voice will be heard through your opposition of oppression.
No one life is better or more important than another. Let us all make the decisions for our own lives and leave the judgements to the higher powers.