Rhea Beddoe says Planned Parenthood saved her life.
In 2005, she was in her early 20s and working at a prestigious law firm in New York, and she had access to premium healthcare when she went in for a yearly Pap smear. Her OB-GYN had bad news.
You mostly dont hear anything after you hear the word cancer, Beddoe told the Daily Dot. Not only was her Pap smear abnormal, but she had precancerous cellsthe worst kind, CIN 3that could turn into cervical cancer. Her doctor treated her right away, removing the precancerous cells. Beddoe was told to come back in six months for a follow-up to make sure the cells had not returned.
Six months later, Beddoe, who is Black and an immigrant and moved to the U.S. from the Caribbean at a young age, no longer had that job or health insurance. As a teenager, she was under her mothers health insurance. In 2005, in the pre-Obamacare days, she was a freelancer with no coverage. Feeling unlucky and scared, Beddoe was left with few options.
I was thinking, What should I do? What essentials do I have to go without? What do I have to cut so that I can make rent, for healthcare? she told the Daily Dot.
She ended up at Planned Parenthood, where she was treated and given a sliding scale payment option, a relief to anybody without a steady income. Thankfully, the precancerous cells had not returned.
Beddoe continued going to Planned Parenthood even after she had health insurance again because of how friendly the staff wasand how safe she felt.
I definitely consider Planned Parenthood a resource for giving people access to basic healthcare, it can be lifesaving, Beddoe told the Daily Dot. Its like having an umbrella over you thats looking out for your health.
Beddoe is one of the countless people across the country who have spoken out in past months in support of Planned Parenthood amid the Trump administrations attacks on federal grants, known as Title X, that make family planning clinics services available to patients for free or at a low cost. Recent policy will affect low-income Americans, mainly women of color, who will no longer have access to reproductive healthcare at Planned Parenthood and other family planning organizations.
And the fight to fund Planned Parenthood is, of course, integral to an even larger fight for abortion rights, which in recent months has been in contentious battles from the federal to state level. In May, after Alabamas governor signed the nations most restrictive abortion ban into law, women shared their own abortion stories online with the hashtag #YouKnowMe.
1 in 4 women have had an abortion. Many people think they don't know someone who has, but #youknowme. So let's do this: if you are also the 1 in 4, let's share it and start to end the shame. Use #youknowme and share your truth.
— Busy Philipps (@BusyPhilipps) May 15, 2019
I had 2 abortions, both saved my life in different ways.#1 I was too young #2 The doctor said I might die if I carried the baby to full term. I have no regrets or trauma. It was my decision & I won't let anybody take that power away from me or other #youknowme @MarketRoadFilms
— Lynn Nottage (@Lynnbrooklyn) May 19, 2019
This is hard to put out there but important so…
I am 1 in 4. I was a divorced single mother, practically homeless and I could barely afford to take care of one child. I got dumped by my then bf and was handed money to "take care of it". #YouKnowMe
— Famous Amos