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As a patient at Planned Parenthood, I’m very concerned by new hurdles in Governor Sununu’s budget that could endanger patient care. I am so grateful for the care I received at Planned Parenthood and I am disappointed in councilors who are not putting their constituents’ care and the health of their communities at the top of their priorities. I hope that sharing my experience will inform people of the importance of the care people receive from Planned Parenthood and encourage them to reach out to their executive councilors.

Some members of the NH Executive Council, which approves or rejects all state and federal contracts over $10,000, including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s, are trying to delay voting on all contracts for family planning providers, but their goal is to defund Planned Parenthood entirely.  The Executive Council is ignoring the fact that this will hurt real Granite Staters like me who rely on family planning providers, such as Planned Parenthood, for access to services like birth control and cancer screenings. 

After being in a committed relationship for a few months, my partner and I decided we wanted to explore options for contraception. I decided it was time to choose a different birth control method while away from home and during a global pandemic, which added stressors for me. I was ready to find the best birth control option for myself but felt lost. From the start of this process, I trusted Planned Parenthood to provide me with the care I needed for birth control. They supplied accessible information on the variety of options and range of services they provide. I was immediately comforted by Planned Parenthood’s approach and booked an appointment to go over my options with my provider. 

When I arrived at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, my anxiety was quickly put at ease by the provider’s knowledge and compassion. While going over several options, they answered all of my questions and gave me the care I needed to make a conscious, informed choice for myself. Prior to the consultation, I had an idea of the birth control method I wanted. While talking with my provider, they informed me of some of the side effects. I learned about the arm implant, which ended up being the best fit for me; I loved that for me it was highly effective, long-term, and low maintenance. 

I was so glad that Planned Parenthood was there to guide me in making an informed decision, rather than unknowingly acting on something I thought would be best for me. The staff were very accommodating and were able to bring me in for an insertion after our phone call. I was a bit nervous about the insertion but my provider walked me through the process very thoroughly. The process was much easier than I expected, and I was deeply comforted by my provider. 

The care I received from Planned Parenthood that day was easily the best experience I have ever had with health care staff. I felt empowered by my decision thanks to the support of the staff and I was positive that I was receiving comprehensive care. 

Unfortunately, this access to the quality, affordable, comprehensive care that myself and other Granite Staters receive is at risk. More than 15,000 lower-income and uninsured Granite Staters rely on the NH Family Planning Program to access birth control, STI testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and other essential safety net care. It is unfair and unjust that some executive councilors are prioritizing politics over people’s care. Everyone deserves to have access to comprehensive and compassionate care, regardless of income or zip code, but the NH Executive Council is jeopardizing this. 

Contact your councilor now and tell them to approve the family planning contracts and protect the health of Granite Staters: bit.ly/contactcouncilor 

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