When was your first experience with Planned Parenthood and what was it for?
It was just for general healthcare. I had been an actress at the time and was moving around in Central Illinois up in the Chicago area and then I did some work in New York. I didn’t have a regular doctor, and I also didn’t have insurance. There was a point where I think I had a Urinary tract infection, and probably a vaginal infection too. I didn’t have a doctor and I needed to see someone. I knew that I could trust Planned Parenthood to be within my budget and have good quality care. In none of the places I went, I don’t remember any protestors. The care I received was fine… With the exception of the facility in Chicago that was very crowded, it didn’t feel like a place that you would go to if you didn’t have money or otherwise indigent. I don’t know what I would have done if [Planned Parenthood didn’t exist]. At that point, there was nowhere I could get immediate care. When you’re in an area where you don’t know any doctors or have insurance, I don’t know what I would have done. I would have had to have done something, but I have no idea how much it would have cost or how I would have found good quality care.
How do you feel that Planned Parenthood has impacted your health and the health of women all over the country?
It is the only place that I know that’s like a chain of hospitals. There’s a name you recognize, where you know you’ll get good quality care, where you won’t be refused care and that you will be taken care of. And its going to be staffed by women who care about women, it’s a safe place to go and a place to get quality care by people who know about you and care about you.
If you could say something to legislators who want to defund Planned Parenthood, what would it be?
Get off the abortion high horse- it's not about abortions. It’s about preventing pregnancy, maternal health, and prenatal health. It’s about the health of your daughter, your sister, your mother, your aunt. If anything happens to them where they can’t get insurance, you want them to have a place to go. Not everybody is so privileged that they have a primary care physician- that they have a doctor that they can trust and go to. They can go to a Planned Parenthood and get the healthcare they need and are looking for. I think that’s Planned Parenthood’s place, to provide healthcare.