ppnyc

These are the baked goods I made for a Planned Parenthood of NYC event I helped organize.  They’re birth control themed.  From top row, left to right: IUD cookies, Today Sponge cookies, spermicidal foam merengues, raspberry marshmallow patches, white chocolate-dipped pretzel Nuvarings.  Bottom row, Pill pack cookies, Condom cookies, pill cookies, condom cookies.

I’m a Clinic Escort for PPNYC.  My job is to provide a warm and welcoming entrance to the family planning health center while observing and reporting on any suspicious or illegal activity clinic protesters engage in.  I was asked to be on the panel of an event that was supposed to keep the politics out of abortion and just humanize the abortion experience.  I was the Clinic Escort on the panel.  I spoke to an audience of over 120 people about my personal experience trying to enter a Planned Parenthood in order to get the morning after pill after a condom broke and my experience being a Clinic Escort. 

People came up to me afterwards to thank me for being so honest and candid.  They’ve proceeded to e-mail and tweet at me ever since.  The event was last Thursday night.  It was incredible and educational and we couldn’t have asked for a better audience.  The Q&A was thoughtful and compassionate. 

This is what healthcare should look like.

<3

I’m in the middle of a month-long intensive training for Planned Parenthood of NYC’s Activist Council.

So there are some things you may or may not know about me. I’m very liberal and consider myself a ‘progressive’. I’m a pro-choice and pro-union feminist (among many other things!) Remember when 'feminist’ became an undesired word in our vocabulary? The media made it synonymous with 'manhater’ and that’s most definitely not the case. In this anti-women political climate, I am loving the resurgence of 'feminist’ as a word used by progressive men to define themselves.

I’m 100% pro-choice. but Planned Parenthood is not just about abortion. It’s about health care. It’s about affordable health care and comprehensive sex ed.

**I’m going to try not to get too preachy but I will provide a link (click the photo for more info!)**

I have always been politically active, even before I could legally vote. I don’t remember how I found out about Planned Parenthood but I knew I could go to them when I had a condom break as a scared 18 year old girl who’d just become sexually active. I remember my boyfriend at the time had to work and I had to go to PPNYC by myself. I remember being terrified and feeling alone. I remember scrounging up money and hoping it was enough for the Morning-After pill. I remember going to PPNYC in Brooklyn and having to walk by a couple huge posters of mutilated fetuses and bible scriptures held up by men who screamed at me and every other passerby. I remember a clinic escort helping maneuver me through the people who’d chained themselves to the building’s entrance in the hopes of keeping us (prospective patients) out. I remember the metal detector upon getting off of the elevator and thinking 'this is what I’ve read about, that people are willing to harm women exercising free-will over their bodies.’ I remember the warm receptionists, the incredible staff, and the sliding scale payments since I didn’t have a job that summer beyond the occasional babysitting gig.

I was given incredible treatment for free. I was respected and was not judged, I was offered std/sti testing, counseling, the morning-after pill (which was actually 12 pills then: 4 to take then, 4 to take 12 hours later and 4 in case I threw up either set) and I was even offered my first gyn appointment, where they offered me birth control as a back-up to the condoms I’d been using. All free, because I had no money and they don’t turn anyone away.

I owe them my life, it could have been so different without them. They taught me about backing up my protection and about early detection. I understood how important this was, as I’d lost a number of family friends to AIDS by my 12th birthday. Again, they may have saved my life almost 2 years later when they listened and helped empower me to get out of an abusive relationship. Since my first appointment 12 years ago, I continue to show my support and give thanks to this incredible organization. I’ve marched for women’s lives in D.C., phone-banked, canvassed, mailed letters, signed and shared online petitions, regularly donated money, created Valentine’s for the mobile outreach unit to deliver to high-risk individuals and sex workers complete with condoms, chocolate kisses, a list of organizations that can help them and a handwritten note saying that I care, which I truly do.

I believe that planning is power, most definitely. I think people should be given the tools needed to live healthy lives (be it education, condoms, birth control, cancer/std/sti screenings, etc) and the choice to do what they believe is best for their own minds and bodies.

I am thrilled to be a part of this training and I hope I can be a part of two of four activist council options. I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Saturday morning than helping escort patients safely into a health center and I would love to do educational outreach, helping start discussions that promote sexual health and well-being in schools.

Planning is Power. Planning means protecting oneself from dangerous situations and it also means planning for 'what if…’ I look at this little 1" button on my lapel and smile because I am a part of an organization that not only potentially saved my life but also the lives of countless others. Giving back is so important to me.

<3

PPNYC Spring-Summer 2014 Training Events!

http://www.plannedparenthood.org/nyc/sexual-reproductive-health-training-calendar-15152.htm

Most trainings are held at PPNYC’s Training Institute in Manhattan, unless otherwise noted. Click on the title of the training for more information.

T 4/29/14 - Beyond “Just Say No” 201: Helping Clients Navigate Sexual Consent (Cost: $30)

F 5/9/14 - Birth Control Facts and Education Strategies for Youth(Cost: $30) Basic

Th 5/15/14 - Body Image and Sexuality: Making the Connection/Supporting Youth (Cost: $30) Basic

M 5/19/14 -What Happens When? Exploring Sexual Development through the Lifespan (Cost: FREE)Basic - Located at Brooklyn Public Library

Th 5/22/14- Sex Ed Classrooms: Navigating Challenges to Foster Productive Learning (Cost: $30) Basic

Th 5/29/14 - Sexually Transmitted Infections: Facts and Strategies to Educate (Cost $30) Basic

T 6/3/14 - All of Us: Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQ Clients (Cost:FREE)  Basic - Located at Queens Flushing Library

T 6/10/14 - Effective Sexual and Reproductive Health Counseling: Tools for Health Literacy (Cost: $15)  Reduced Fee!

Th 6/12/14 - Public Insurance and Reproductive Health Care(Cost: FREE)  

M 6/30/14 - Webinar: Getting on the Same Page: How Your Agency Can Share Consistent Sexuality Messages (Cost: $20 per agency)

W 7/9/14 - Speaking about Sexuality with Confidence (Cost:$30)  Basic

T 7/15/14 - Forum: Strengthening Our Cultural Competency through an Anti-Oppressive Intersectional Framework (Cost: $20)  Reduced Fee!

Th 7/17/14 - Don’t Forget the “Pleasure” in Sex Education (Cost: $40)  Basic

T 7/22/14 - Understanding New York City Political Landscapes and Supporting Our Clients as Change Agents (Cost: $15) Reduced Fee!

To find out who the trainers are, click on the title of each training and then read their bios.

_______________________________________________
REGISTRATION AND INFORMATION

  • Participants must register at least three business days before each training. Trainings may close earlier if a training fills up. Register early to guarantee a spot. 
  • Fees include all materials and a certificate of completion.  Certificates can be requested in person upon completion of any training or event. 
  • A light breakfast or refreshments will be provided at each training. A lunch break will be scheduled into all full-day (6-hour) trainings.  Lunch will not be provided, but participants can obtain a list of local restaurants from Training Institute staff.  Participants are welcome to eat their lunches in the Training Institute space.    
  • All trainings will start promptly at the times listed on the calendar. Participants who arrive late will be admitted at the discretion of the trainer. 
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available through AASECT (through 6/10/14 only), NASW-NYS, and CHES. Training Institute staff will provide you with the appropriate CEU paperwork upon completion of the training. Please be prepared to provide your membership ID. If you would like to request any additional Continuing Education offerings at the Training Institute, please email training[at]ppnyc[dot]org or call 212-274-7246.

I went to Roe on the Rocks last night, it is a rock show benefitting Planned Parenthood of NYC. As always, it was a total blast!

I bought VIP tickets and went with my friend Louie and we dressed up and I got to meet Sara Benincasa and she signed her book for me! And even drew a little house, which is perfect since I am in the process of an apartment search.

The show was awesome, I met some great prochoice people, discovered i hate martinis, ate the most ridiculoua platter of fried food and carbs with friends, danced a bit, giggled, met North Highlands and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

More pics to come!