Planned Parenthood is for You

Planned Parenthood  is for You

Naomi St.Clair, Editor in Cheif

When asked, only about a third of Roosevelt students knew where the local Planned Parenthood is located, and most had no idea. All Roosevelt students are required to receive half of a Health credit to graduate, but where can you go for more help after your semester with Mr. Ferlito?
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, taking away the constitutional right to have an abortion. Now, it’s up to the states to decide whether abortions are legal or not. Abortion is now banned in 13 states leaving residents with few options for reproductive healthcare. In 2019, Ohio lawmakers passed the so-called ‘heartbeat bill’ which prohibits abortion past six weeks of pregnancy, with minimal exceptions. Soon after Ohio’s enaction of the abortion ban, a 10-year-old girl’s family discovered she was pregnant due to rape. She had to travel to Indiana to receive an abortion because of Ohio’s strict ban.
Abortion in Ohio, for now, remains legal up to 21 weeks gestation as Ohio courts determine the constitutionality of the abortion ban. Meanwhile, it is imperative to utilize the resources you have access to. Planned Parenthood can help. Kent’s Planned Parenthood is at 138 East Main street, right through Acorn Alley. Their office is open on Tuesdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and from 11 am to 6 pm on Wednesdays and they offer services in person and online by appointment.
Not all families are comfortable with open conversations about sex and taboo topics, but Planned Parenthood has resources to teach you and/or your parents about the ‘facts of life.’ They have information from medical experts on their website about sex, STDs, relationships, sexual orientation, gender identity, contraception, and much more. There are various ways to get help in person or through telehealth meetings, as well as through the resources they offer online. Planned Parenthood can help handle unwanted pregnancies, access to men’s and women’s health care, STD testing and treatment, transgender hormone therapy, and birth control. They also offer a variety of emergency contraceptives, otherwise known as ‘plan B’, to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex.
There is an ongoing trend of politicizing the topics you learn about in health class. In the case of Roe v. Wade’s overturning, such topics can be outlawed, or in the case of some new curriculum requirements, they are loaded with strict censorship. New bills outline what can and cannot be taught in your high school classes. This legislation is troubling because statistics support comprehensive sexual education as the most effective way to protect young people from unhealthy decisions. “It’s important that we start having the conversation about if you are engaging in sexual activities, how you remain safe, and how you make smart decisions,” explains Roosevelt’s health teacher Mr. Ferlito. “You’re giving kids less information about the realities of what we are trying to get across,” he says. “It’s openly being hurtful.”
The combination of fewer reproductive rights and less education on important subjects regarding sex and sexual identity makes it difficult for teenagers to make healthy, informed decisions. Mr. Ferlito sees value in a thorough lesson plan, “We sat down not as political parties but as concerned parents and society of how we could help teenagers avoid unplanned pregnancies and STDs STIs and that [comprehensive sexual education] is what we all came up with. It wasn’t a Republican thing or a Democratic thing; it was what’s best for our kids.”
Education works. You can take control of your own sexual health by learning about how to be safe with Planned Parenthood resources. You can call the number 330-780-8011 or book an appointment online at after inputting your location as Kent, Ohio.