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Lucy was in a new relationship. She made the choice to be proactive and receive the HPV vaccine. However, she was surprised when after making this choice for herself, her regular health care provider refused to provide the vaccine because she was older. Her age did not fall within the CDC’s traditionally recommended window. Though she didn’t blame her clinic (their hands were tied), she couldn’t believe they would deny her something that had no large side effects and that she was willing to pay for. “The people you deal with in our health system are not the evil people, they are people doing their jobs. They take time to explain to you why they don’t do this service. It’s more that they are part of the system that has assumptions within it. They’re helpless to do anything about it.”

Lucy decided to try and make an appointment at Planned Parenthood to see if they would give her the vaccination. They were thorough, respectful and did administer the vaccine, which ended up being covered by insurance.

“It was welcoming and non-judgmental. There was no, 'gee, really? You want this? Why do you want this?' None of that. Just very respectful and very professional and very comforting. You know all the things you would expect from Planned Parenthood and I was really pleased that you do it better.”

As an educator, she believes that our nation’s health starts with personal health and education. Lucy chose to share her story because Planned Parenthood helped her by giving her a service that she chose for herself, for her body.

Tags: minnesota

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