It's official: IUDs are soaring in popularity, but nobody is celebrating. The surge is a result of the results of the 2016 election and the looming threat that Planned Parenthood could be defunded at any moment. That's why when 28-year-old Whitney Bell went to get her IUD inserted at her local Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles, she decided to capture it all in an Instagram story.
"My hope with this video was to shed some light on the real work Planned Parenthood is doing and to highlight the often undiscussed services they provide," she told Refinery29. "Also I wanted to give other women some insight about what to expect during this process. The internet is full of IUD horror stories, tales of how painful it is, but there is very little out there that actually explains the process and normalizes the act." The video doesn't just capture the details of Bell's experience, but also provides some little-known facts about the organization, like how they saved her $600 even though her insurance hadn't kicked in yet, and how the federal funds that go to Planned Parenthood are actually used. "When you call to defund Planned Parenthood, the vast majority of what you are removing is basic health care, not abortion," Bell says. "Cancer screening and prevention, mammograms, HIV/AIDS screening and treatment, STD testing, trauma and assault counseling, birth control, sexual education, and the list goes on and on and on." According to Bell, who also sells unapologetically feminist merch on her website Kidd Bell, her viewers had a great reaction to the video, proving that honest, accessible healthcare is something everyone wants. "Normalization and education are the most important tools we have in this fight," she says. "As women we have been shamed and taught not to discuss our periods, abortion, birth control, or visting planned parenthood in general. I want to remove the stigma, encourage us to talk more openly about these processes, and help us realize that we are all going through the same thing."