What comes to mind when you think of a Planned Parenthood supporter? If images of passionate young women, peaceful activism, and splashes of bright pink come to mind, you certainly wouldn’t be wrong, but not all Planned Parenthood supporters are young, or women, or love pink!
Meet Robert. He is a 70-year-old retired Social Studies teacher. He’s an Army veteran, and divulges that he is rather conservative. He even admits to never having set foot in a Planned Parenthood health center.
Even with his seemingly unconventional profile, he’s also a passionate Planned Parenthood advocate.
In addition to teaching, he was a sponsor for his high school’s Model United Nations program. He traveled with his students to the United Nations in New York City and European countries like Germany and Switzerland. Through the years of attending Model UN conferences, Robert noticed that each year there was a different social issue that came about that commanded the focus of the group’s arguments. One year, women’s rights were prevalent, the next year environmental degradation was the main concern, and other years poverty was at the forefront.
He saw a common thread between these issues. He concluded that, “a system where women could control their own reproduction would solve a myriad of issues.”
Robert was introduced to Planned Parenthood’s services by his daughter. In high school, she had a few friends who went to the Planned Parenthood health center to receive life-saving healthcare.
He appreciates the fact that Planned Parenthood staff are not there to make judgements. Rather, they are there to provide care and help you make the best decision for you.
Moved by the compassionate care Planned Parenthood offers to patients, he thought that more people should be aware of their services. He would soon find out that his purpose for advocating for Planned Parenthood goes even deeper than that.
As a teacher in the city of Portland, Robert taught many racially and ethnically diverse groups of students over the years. If a student confided in him that their friend needed help, he wanted to convey the resources and services that Planned Parenthood has to offer. He knew their services would be a helpful resource to so many students, but he was unsure of exactly how to communicate that.
Wondering what he could do to help, he spoke to the other teachers about the life-changing care Planned Parenthood provides to their patients. Together, they were able to share the resources and services with students.
Robert felt grateful that the Portland Planned Parenthood health center was accessible for his students, and that he was able to be a bridge that led them to accessible care and education.
Robert and his fellow teachers saw the positive impact Planned Parenthood had on students. He says he wishes there was a greater dialogue surrounding reproductive healthcare, because Planned Parenthood’s education and care are available to everyone. “It’s the way healthcare should be,” he says. “Because when women make their own choices it’s better for everyone.”
Robert represents our broad array of supporters of all genders, ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and religions. Although he may not be a Planned Parenthood patient, he sees the beneficial impact that Planned Parenthood’s care has on his students. He is able to convey the information so that it can impact the people who need it most, and knows that he is helping people every day by recommending their services. Through this selfless act, he can make a difference in his community, and in the reproductive rights of women all over the world.