Planned Parenthood Offers More Than Planning

By Stefanie Arevalo

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Madison Port, 20, has gone to Planned Parenthood since she graduated from high school.

“I get my birth control here and have yearly check-ins from a gynecologist,” Port said. “It’s the only place where I can afford the care, since I don’t have to pay right up front.”

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Port also uses the clinic for resources on family planning, which is one part of what the organization does. Planned Parenthood also works with teens to make independent and informed decisions on sex, focuses on women’s health and reproductive care and provides some medical coverage. Their main goal, though, is to prevent unintended pregnancies.

Planned Parenthood has a number of locations across the state, including one in Salt Lake City, and is a nationally recognized family planning institution. Walter Arr, who works with the organization, said the clinics also offers STD tests and pap smears. And when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy, Arr said Planned Parenthood has a number of resources for individuals.

“The decision of the future of someone’s pregnancy is totally up to them — we can’t make that decision for them,” Arr said. “Instead, we provide the ‘confirmation of pregnancy’ and connect the individual to resources ranging from prenatal services, adoption or termination of pregnancy.”

In Utah, there is one Planned Parenthood location that will perform abortions.

“Ultimately, our goal here is to provide a safe place for women of all ages to get the attention they need in an approachable way,” Arr said.

According to the National Campaign, 36 percent of women in Utah report having an unplanned pregnancy. Port said she relies on Planned Parenthood because that’s not something she has the money for right now.

“I can barely afford to pay for my apartment,” she said. “It wouldn’t be fair to drop a baby into that mix, too, when there’s not much I could offer.”

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