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Clara Williams is a small business owner, a millennial, and a Planned Parenthood patient. She says access to birth control and health care has helped her flourish. This is her story. 

What brought to Planned Parenthood in the first place was a pregnancy test and an STD test in 2016.  I've now been a patient of Planned Parenthood for about a year and a half. They provided me with a free pregnancy test, affordable screening for STIs and a legal and safe abortion, and now they serve as my OB/GYN and I receive free no cost birth control because of the Affordable Care Act.

I go to Planned Parenthood instead of going to other health care providers because you always get judgment when you have ovaries and choose not to have a child at the societal approved age and time, even primary health care providers. The health care that I receive from Planned Parenthood is stellar. You always know you are getting excellent health care. They take the time to explain everything.  They showed me a birth control chart with pros and cons and that was really helpful.  I’ve never seen a birth control chart before and no one ever took the time to explain this to me.

Birth control is very important to me after an unplanned pregnancy with a terrible partner. It’s happened twice. I can’t do that anymore. I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s my choice. If my partner screws up and I get pregnant, they can walk away but I can’t walk away from it. That’s the power of the uterus. I use the NuvaRing, and for me it is about control.  Plus, it’s an affordable option and it’s been a breeze to use.

I get health care through the exchanges because I am self-employed. I quit my job to start my own business and I didn’t have health insurance. This country is built on finding your own way and entrepreneurs. For me I have no real option. Owning my own fashion business gave me the freedom and the ability to make my own destiny and do things my way. When I worked in corporate, I didn’t like being disrespected and devalued all the time.

As a Black woman, at some point you get tired of the micro-aggressions and being undervalued. I view fashion and style as a great equalizer of sorts, I want to make space for other people that look like me. It’s a part of expressing who I am and allowing other people to express who they are.

While starting my own business and when I was freelancing, I hit a rough patch.  Every time I had a cold I was like “OH MY GOD!” Then I went online and found a plan that works for me. Now I can get quality health from the marketplace. It’s perfect for a millennial, it’s all online. I get stellar health care. I go to therapy once a week and I can go to urgent care when I need it. Also, I was able to go to the same doctor as before. Without that option, realistically, I would try to find a way to get to health care by leaving this country. I think it’s important to get health care and not have that choice dictated because you can’t afford it.

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