EL PASO, Texas – After providing services for 72 years, El Paso’s Planned Parenthoods has shut down virtually over night due to lack of funding. Locally, Planned Parenthood (PP) first opened its doors in 1937, with founder, Margaret Sanger, making a visit to El Paso to deliver an opening speech. From its start in 1921, with its original name, American Birth Control League, PP has provided vital healthcare information to men, women, and young people all over the world. It has been a place for affordable HIV/AIDS testing as well as a trusted source of prenatal and postnatal information and healthcare. For the last 90 years “PP has promoted a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning,” according to the Planned Parenthood website. El Paso is a community deeply rooted in the Catholic Faith. Between 2000 and 2006 16,263 women between 15 and 19 gave birth, according to the County Health Rankings.
EL PASO, Texas — I was introduced to the outdoors as a child. I would go on hunting trips with my father and would go with my family on month-long excursions in the wilderness. I was also a Boy Scout and my road to Eagle Scout really gave me a connection to the land. Despite having a loving upbringing with values and morals, I lost my way somewhere along the line as a teenager and failed to realize my true potential. After many failed attempts to get my life together, I accidentally discovered while wandering in the Franklin Mountains that nature was my touchstone to finding meaning in my life. I found the solitude of nature very therapeutic, and the rocks and trees to be the best listeners to a world of emotions and problems I was facing.