When I Worked At Planned Parenthood, There Was A ‘don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Mentality About Sex Trafficking


There’s one story that still continues to haunt me from my time as a Planned Parenthood manager, both as a mother and as a human being, after all these years. It’s a story of a fifteen-year-old girl who came into my Planned Parenthood family planning center. It was peculiar situation but not uncommon, I’m sure. It’s only now in hindsight that I look back with shame and a great sense of culpability.

This story goes like this: A father called my clinic for an appointment for his daughter. He asked lots of questions over the phone to ensure that he was allowed to bring her in and that we wouldn’t notify the girl’s mother. He and mom were divorced, he said, and his daughter was in his custody when she had sex for the first time and contracted herpes. I proceeded to tell him that it was no problem at all, and that he was doing the right thing by bringing her in to see us.

The day she arrived in our center is one I’ll never forget. This young girl was in so much pain that she couldn’t even sit down. She winced as she struggled to sit in one of the lobby chairs. After paperwork was filled out, we called her back into the exam room where she was tested, treated, and sent on her way with some form of birth control.

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