“Planned Parenthood has been my go-to place since college,” she says. “When I got to my appointment I laid out my situation for the social worker. She was amazing. One of things I remember most vividly is her telling me that I couldn’t make a wrong decision. It was the first time anyone had said this to me. She was telling me that either way—having a baby or having an abortion—was okay. She didn’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t do, but instead helped me think about the issues. As I talked I understood that my problem was not the pregnancy but the relationship I was in. By listening and not judging me the counselor helped me clarify what I had to do: Abort the father, keep the baby.”
Almash’s speech is salted with adjectives: Great, helpful, compassionate. That’s why, she continues, she gets so riled up when conservative politicians condemn Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health providers. “I want these legislators to know that my three-year-old is here, not despite, but because of, Planned Parenthood.”
Indeed, comprehensive options counseling—to help women determine whether abortion, adoption, or childbearing is right for them—is deeply woven into the care offered at women’s health facilities throughout the United States.