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Also: Immigrant rights are a reproductive justice issue.
Planned Parenthood
TBH Just the facts. No judgment.
No apologies.
In This Issue:
Seeking health care as an undocumented immigrant + Cervical Cancer Awareness Month + Living with herpes stigma

I refuse to make any resolutions to shrink myself. I refuse to see my reflection as a problem that needs fixing. I refuse to spend another year at war with my body."
Megan Jayne Crabbe, body-positive activist

Undocumented + Seeking Care
Many are forgoing their health care to preserve their safety.

For an undocumented immigrant or families with mixed immigration statuses, sharing personal information, going anywhere that requires crossing border patrol checkpoints, and even stepping into health care facilities can fill them with fear of harassment, discrimination, raids, detention, and deportation. This lack of access to care puts lives at risk. For example, a key factor in reducing the cancer mortality rate is early and regular medical screening. According to the CDC, undocumented Mexican migrant women are about half as likely to have received a Pap test in the previous year compared to their documented counterparts.

Beyond that, there are many reports of inhumane treatment and human rights violations at detention facilities. There have been reports of people being denied health care services like abortion services, prenatal care, care following a miscarriage — as well as lifesaving diabetes and pneumonia treatment.

The trauma of witnessing or experiencing discrimination, detention, and deportation can have long lasting impacts on physical and mental health. Immigrant rights are a reproductive justice issue. Join us in supporting those who lead this movement to affirm every person's right to health care and to raise a family without fear of deportation and violence, and to help fight for protections like the Dream Act.
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Get the Details:
+ For Undocumented Women Seeking Reproductive Healthcare, Policing and Politics Create a Maze of Barriers
+ How Pregnant Women Suffer in ICE Detention
+ Dangerous & Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention
+ A List of Organizations Dedicated to Helping Immigrants and Refugees That Need Your Support

Know Your Rights
Undocumented immigrants disproportionately experience unsteady and low incomes, and they are barred from accessing affordable health coverage through the health insurance marketplaces and federally funded programs like Medicaid. Planned Parenthood health centers are committed to providing primary and preventive care to all, regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status. Check out and share our Know Your Rights guide — available in English and Spanish.

Defier of the Month

Blasa NV

Blasa is an undocumented immigrant, a survivor of domestic violence, a mother, and an entrepreneur. She is also part of the Planned Parenthood Promotores de Salud program, which is built on community health education programs from Mexico and Central America. She opens her home to friends and neighbors for conversations — or platicas — about sexual and reproductive health. Her work as an adult peer educator combats barriers to health care access, and for this, she is our Defier of the Month. Read more.
Looking to do something similar in your community? Your local Planned Parenthood health center may be operated by an affiliate that runs a peer education program.

"I’m nervous about having my first Pap smear. What should I expect?"
If you have a cervix, get your first Pap test at age 21, and keep getting them every three years. You may only need them every five years eventually if you get it along with an HPV test (a really important test that can help your doctor or nurse detect problems that could turn into cervical cancer).

A Pap test may be part of your regular checkup, pelvic exam, or "well-woman" exam. If you're nervous, here are some things you can do to make the process easier:
Tell your doctor or nurse about your concerns beforehand and communicate during your exam. This might include coming out to them as queer and/or trans or letting them know of a history of sexual assault. Some people find it helpful to have their nurse or doctor explain what they're about to do before they actually do it.
Do something that you find distracting or relaxing — things like listening to music, taking deep breaths, or naming animals alphabetically (alligator, bear, cat, etc…).
Use the buddy system. See if a friend will go to the health center with you or ask your doctor or nurse if you can have someone join you in the exam room.
Give yourself something to look forward to after your appointment.

— Sarah at Planned Parenthood

To learn more about what to expect during a Pap test, or to make an appointment, visit our website.

Video from Tonic
Living with Herpes
Body shaming can take many forms — including stigma around having an STI. About one in six people in the U.S. has genital herpes, but the stigma associated with it can be isolating. First, read up on the facts, then learn about how you can use non-stigmatizing language (Hint: Your STI status doesn't make you "clean" or "dirty"). Want to learn how to tell someone you have an STI, including herpes? Check out this video.
Had unprotected sex? Forgot to take your pill? Need answers fast?

Text us at 774636* or chat live with our health educators online!

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TBH (To Be Honest) is a monthly newsletter dedicated to learning about our bodies, talking about sex and relationships, and challenging health inequity and injustice. Send us your feedback.

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