Gloria describes the services provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood.
Most organizations that provide family planning services, whether it’s a doctor’s office, you know, a private doctor’s office, or Planned Parenthood, or a public health clinic, they provide the wide range of services. They will provide the Pap smears. Basically, it’s well woman care. It’s most of the healthcare most women need during their reproductive lives. In other words, from the time they hit puberty until the time they are past menopause, and very often those programs actually even provide services beyond menopause. It will depend on the individual service.
So, we need to think about our reproductive health needs as a continuum as we go through life, and know that you can access services related to that continuum at any time. For example, the birth control services that you need when you are say, 20, and you are in college and you want to finish your degree before you start having children and you know that, well that probably means you want to use a birth control method that is as close to 100% sure as you can get.
You know, if you are 10 years older and you are in a stable relationship and you know you want to have children one of these days, but you are not sure when, timing doesn’t matter as much, a method like a diaphragm, for example, may be all right because you can tolerate the possibility of having an unintended pregnancy; it wont’ change your life or it will enhance your life perhaps.
So, to think about those resources in terms of that continuum is very good. Basically, it’s about staying healthy, about being able to keep your body healthy so that when you have a pregnancy, it can be a healthy one, and to prevent unintended pregnancies, but to keep yourself healthy through Pap smears, breast exams, other kinds of cancer screening, diabetes screening and services of that nature.
About Gloria Feldt:
Gloria Feldt is a nationally acclaimed activist, author, keynote speaker and commentator on women's lives, rights, health, and leadership from where the personal meets the political. She’s been dubbed "the voice of experience" by People Magazine, one of America’s “Top 200 Women Leaders, Legends, and Trailblazers” by Vanity Fair, “Woman of the Year” by Glamour, and a “practical visionary” by her colleagues. She was a teen mom whose life’s passion for reproductive justice led her to a 30-year career with the world's largest reproductive health care provider and advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood.