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5 Planned Parenthood services that aren't the least bit controversial

For some people, when they hear the name Planned Parenthood, the first thing that comes to mind is abortion. But that's not all Planned Parenthood does.

Every few years or so, in their fight against reproductive rights, activists refocus on Planned Parenthood as enemy #1. People who are against abortion hold it up as the representation of all that is wrong with America: "An entire medical practice set up to give women abortions! They must be stopped!" But what most of them don't admit is this really important fact:

Only a measly 3% of their Planned Parenthood services are actually abortion-related.

Do they know that? Did you know that? Well, in an effort to combat the "big bad abortion wolf" narrative, here are five facts you should know about what Planned Parenthood really does:


1. In 2013, Planned Parenthood performed half a million breast exams.

Image via Thinkstock.

Breast exams are crucial for early cancer detection. Not only does Planned Parenthood offer affordable exams, they make sure patients know how to do self-exams between screenings.

2. In 2013, Planned Parenthood performed 400,000 pap tests.

While the pap smear won't tell you if you have cervical cancer, it can detect pre-cancerous cells. Basically, if there's anything sketchy going on in your cervix, the pap smear tells your doctor so you can figure out the best way to handle it. For people who don't have insurance or need more affordable health care options, Planned Parenthood is their first stop for preventive and reproductive health care like pap smears.

3. Planned Parenthood helps prevent over half a million pregnancies every year.

Image via Thinkstock.

If you're not ready for parenthood but abstinence isn't your style, safe sex is your best bet. Luckily, Planned Parenthood offers free and affordable birth-control options like the pill, the patch, IUDs, and condoms — in addition to emergency contraception like Plan B. And while some people have incorrectly dubbed Plan B an "abortion pill," it actually just prevents conception — it doesn't terminate pregnancy. Think of Plan B as as a soccer goalie who goes in and blocks the sperm from ever getting to the egg. Yay sports analogies!

No pregnancy for me, thank you!

4. In 2013, Planned Parenthood provided nearly 4.5 million tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

When we talk about safe sex, pregnancy prevention is often the main focus, as if that's the only consequence of doing the deed. But sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are something we all have to consider. Condoms are a great way to prevent STIs, but sadly they don't always get the job done. That's why it's great that Planned Parenthood offers affordable STI testing and treatment options. More people who are aware of their STI status and get treatment means more happy and healthy sexual partners to go around. That's pretty much a win for everyone.

5. Planned Parenthood encourages patients to explore all their options, not just abortion. That includes adoption and parenthood.

Image via Thinkstock.

While abortion is one way to deal with an unplanned pregnancy, that doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone. Planned Parenthood is about helping teens and adults make smart and healthy choices, not forcing people into doing things they aren't comfortable with.

When it comes to dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, adoption and parenthood are worth considering too. Whether it's online or in person, Planned Parenthood helps women who are considering all options, including adoption or parenthood.

There are millions of people who rely on Planned Parenthood for all kinds of important health care services.

Whether you're pro-life or pro-choice, I hope we can all agree to be pro-health. Right now, anti-abortion activists are pushing to defund Planned Parenthood, which would keep people from accessing health care like cancer screenings, HIV tests, and more.

If you think it's important that these kinds of free and low-cost services remain available, let Congress know you support Planned Parenthood by signing the "I Stand With Planned Parenthood" petition.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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