After graduating from high school, Michael moved from his small hometown in Minnesota to attend trade school in California. As a young student with few financial resources, he wondered how he would receive the reproductive health services he needed. Luckily, he knew he could turn to Planned Parenthood for his sexual health needs.
Michael admits to prejudices he may have held about Planned Parenthood before visiting, thinking its services would fall short of other medical providers. Yet, he discovered that the care at Planned Parenthood could be “even better than what you’re getting at your family doctor.” He remembers how “people smiled when you came in the door and people asked how they could help” and he found comfort when the services came from a professional, scientific approach.. As a patient, Michael received STD testing and contraception in a safe, non-judgmental environment, without which, he admits, would likely have led to him having unsafe sex. With the help of Planned Parenthood, Michael discovered a new level of agency in his sexual health, accessing thorough and safe care when he needed it most.
A current resident of Sauk Rapids, Michael still values the care he received over 10 years ago. He advocates for Planned Parenthood’s services, recommending their care and participating in counter-protests against picketers. He says, “When Planned Parenthood provided free services for my own health and well-being, I felt motivated to stand up for them so that other people can have that same social benefit.” As a man who sought out care, Michael reminds us that Planned Parenthood’s care is “not just about female reproductive health”; its impactful, memorable care is worth defending to maintain accessible services for all people, no matter their needs or situation.