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Monday, April 27,2009

Local women testify to the benefits of Planned Parenthood

By Athens NEWS Staff

Without Planned Parenthood of Southeast Ohio, my life would be less than it is today. First, I have been enriched by working with all the amazing volunteers, staff and my fellow Leadership Council members. Through my involvement with Planned Parenthood, I have had the opportunity to participate in a variety of important  activities, such as canvassing Columbus neighborhoods for the Barack Obama campaign and lobbying state representatives for the Ohio Prevention First Act. I have seen these efforts make positive change in my communities, both large and small.

Why did I get involved with PPSEO in the first place? Well, I decided that it was time to give something back to an organization that not only shares my beliefs, but also has affected my personal well-being.

After finishing my second college degree, I was once again without health insurance. This was not an ideal situation, but at least I knew I did not have to be concerned about never getting to see a doctor. Thanks to Planned Parenthood, I knew that I could not only afford my yearly exam, imperative to any woman's overall health, but also I could afford regular contact with qualified medical personnel including a dedicated doctor.

I realized that without PPSEO, I would not have access to ANY medical care without taking on significant debt. I asked myself, "How many other people in my community were in my position?" That's when I knew I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that our local Planned Parenthood survives in these uncertain times. I'm extremely glad that I did, and that I do.

Mary Lee Powell

As a resident of southeast Ohio, I believe that basic health care is critically important to women and their families and that it should be available to all. Therefore, I have supported Planned Parenthood of Southeast Ohio (PPSEO) for more than 30 years. Throughout this time, I have had the privilege of knowing many of the women and men, both volunteers and staff, who are working or have worked for PPSEO. I know that these are persons dedicated to providing health care to southeast Ohio residents, regardless of their incomes. As a mother, I feel assured in the knowledge that my daughter, who is without health insurance, can receive quality health care that she can afford at Planned Parenthood. For this reason, I will continue to do all that I can to support PPSEO.

Susan G. Quinn, O.D.

I've been an Athens resident and small business employer for over 25 years.

I've always believed in Planned Parenthood's mission but what converted me to a true supporter has to do with something that occurred about 20 years ago with one of my employees. Sara* was a young mother, recently divorced and trying to get back on her feet. She was barely able to make ends meet for her young family on the wages she was paid as a technician at our office. Although we offer the option of medical insurance to all our employees, Sara didn't qualify due to a pre-existing condition. As time went on I worried about Sara's lack of medical care. I asked her about it sometime later and she said, "Actually, I DO get regular medical care. I go for annual exams at Planned Parenthood. I get a comprehensive physical exam, breast and cervical cancer screening, and it's provided on a sliding scale based on what I can afford to pay."

It occurred to me that Planned Parenthood was not only a clinic for those with reproductive needs; it was also a vital provider of medical care in a system that too often fails to provide for those in need. Planned Parenthood turns NO ONE away due to inability to pay.

I've been an active supporter ever since.

* Not her real name


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