The Senate voted against defunding national women's health clinic Planned Parenthood this week, but before the vote, one woman who used their services decided to step up on its behalf. Turns out its services saved her life and so she wanted to save it.
In a Facebook post on Sept. 18, Ambarie Stacey Schiefer shared an image of herself with the middle finger up along with her personal story, addressing those in the Senate and others who want to defund Planned Parenthood — an organization that yes, does provide safe and affordable abortions, but also pap smears, STD testing, HIV testing, birth control, pelvic exams and breast cancer checks to 2.7 million men and women in the U.S. every single year.
"The middle finger I proudly hold high here was a preemptive 'f*ck you' to any and all who want to make it damn near impossible for someone such as myself, without insurance, to find out that I needed such a surgery and then make it possible for me to get that very important surgery."
Her post went viral, with more than 16,000 shares.
Schiefer's story isn't unique either. A Tumblr called Planned Parenthood Saved Me has arisen through the controversy, where women share their stories of how the clinic helped them with their health, sometimes in life-or-death situations.
Another woman posted her story on the Tumblr about the time that Planned Parenthood came to her aid when she was down and out, removing a near-fatal exploded cyst:
When I was 17 I was felled by severe abdominal pain and was sent to the hospital. They decided that it was probably a dermoid cyst and prescribed antibiotics. Throughout that summer they kept upping the dosage but it didn't seem to do anything and I just couldn't afford the costs, so I stopped taking the pills. A couple of months later I passed out at work and was sent home. I decided to go to Planned Parenthood as I had no doctor, no insurance and no money. They found that the cyst had grown to the size of a large grapefruit and could burst at any moment. Two days later I was under the knife and the doctors told me that the cyst HAD burst and that I was in imminent danger of dying of peritonitis. Thanks to the quick action of Planned Parenthood, I am here to tell you about this
So if they do so many good things, what's all the hubbub about? Well, aside from those who want to see it shut down for performing abortions, it recently came under fire after an alleged video of an abortion preformed there went viral. Contrary to what those against Planned Parenthood have claimed, journalists who have watched the tapes say that it's anti-abortion propaganda.
According to Vox's Sarah Kilff, an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress produced the film.
Thanks to the Senate, more women can control their reproductive health, and in Schiefer's case, live to tell the tale.
"Without Planned Parenthood, I don't even know where I would be now. I thank them, and thank everyone who supports and believes in them. Thank you. #IStandWithPP," she said.