Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Birth Control Queen

I used to be the Birth Control Queen. I had a crown and everything. Back in my old social worker days, my co-workers made me a pink crown out of empty birth control pill packages
due to my client's overwhelmingly high percentage rate of tubal ligation surgeries and other long-term no more baby-making commitments. I was so proud. I figured that after two or three crack babies, maybe a lady should give it a rest. This was definitely not a policy my employers espoused, but nobody ever told me to shut up about it, so I just kept bringing it up, over and over again until I would wear them down. Think about your future. Think about the kids that you do have. How about your education? Let's talk. Pros and cons. Here's your appointment. Get in, I'll drive. Sometimes it was as easy as just presenting the options. I have tried to do the same with Shana, too, over the years, and even most of her friends. Here are the facts, girls. I started with Don't Touch Any Penises. Simple. To the point. Just Say No was thrown in there, too, among other things and eventually, after lots of yearly trips to Planned Parenthood for discussions on every possible form of protection available, I gave up as they all hit adulthood and figured I did all I could. I did my job, kept my crown. But yesterday one of our patients came in, fourteen years old, pregnant. We've watched her grow up. I can remember her back in elementary school. I think of all those times I could have said something to her or her mom. Made a little penis joke. Fulfilled my queenly duties. Looked her in the eye and said, "Hey, girlie, listen to me. I care about you. Please protect yourself."

And I'm heartbroken that I didn't.

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