The nearest Planned Parenthood facility to me closed in 2009.
It was already about an hour’s drive away from where I live, when it was open. Now, the nearest Planned Parenthood is about a five hour drive from my house, 191.02 miles from my zip code, according to the Planned Parenthood website. It’s in a city that I’m only vaguely familiar with, so once I got there I’d probably get lost trying to find it.
Fortunately, I haven’t needed it. I have health insurance for at least the next two years, and considering my partner is now sterile, there’s no reason for me to be on birth control. Even STDs aren’t a worry at the moment, considering we’ve been functionally “monogamous” as far as sex goes for quite a while, even though my partner has been dating other people online. Before her surgery, my partner and I primarily used condoms, although there were occasions where we decided to forego them because I’d been tracking my fertility through the Fertility Awareness Method (not the same as the rhythm method), and I was reasonably certain I wasn’t fertile at the time, and planned on getting my period within the week. Still, it was never a totally sure thing. Even on months that we hadn’t had that kind of sex, both of us (particularly her, because she is very strongly childfree) would get a bit nervous if my period was late. I had a stack of cheap pregnancy tests that I used on those occasions. Never once did I get a positive reading.
Now I have a bunch of unused pregnancy tests and condoms that I don’t know what to do with. I’d give them to a friend or my sister, but then I’d have to explain why I had them in the first place, which would involve outing my partner as trans. And in some cases, it would take explaining that just because I’m asexual, it doesn’t mean I don’t have a sex life, and it doesn’t mean that I’m not “really” asexual. Those are conversations I really don’t want to get into. I’d bring them to my local Planned Parenthood for them to distribute… except, oh wait. I don’t have one.
Unless my circumstances change dramatically—and I’m very keenly aware that they could, because I’ve been doing an ongoing survey about sexual assault for an awareness project (TW at link for non-explicit mentions of rape; this project is still open so please participate and pass on the link if you want)—I’m not going to need to go to Planned Parenthood myself. But what about the people in my area who do? They’re just completely out of luck.
That’s why I think people should donate to Planned Parenthood and support it in any other way they can.
And since contraception doesn’t get talked about very often in the asexual community, consider this an open thread to talk about it. What methods do you use? Where do you go for STD testing? Even if you’re not sexually active, are you aware of places you can go for testing etc. in your area? Do you have a Planned Parenthood nearby?
Read the rest of the MyPP stories here.