A few years ago, I graduated from college and into a recession. Because of the Affordable Care Act, I was able to stay on my father’s health insurance through his work.

For this I was incredibly fortunate, but my high-deductible plan still didn’t cover birth control. It cost me over $60 every month, a price I couldn’t afford as an off-season ghost tour guide. I was faced with a choice: I could prioritize groceries or prioritize my health and reproductive freedom, but not both. No one should have to make that choice.

A friend told me that when she didn’t have insurance, she went to Planned Parenthood for her birth control, and they mailed it to her for an adjusted price based on her income. Obviously, I made an appointment the next day. Planned Parenthood helped me access the kind of reproductive health care that should be normal and expected everywhere, even when I couldn’t afford it.

My experience is not unique. Millions of people across the country have faced a moment in their lives where they weren’t sure if they could afford basic, preventative health care. It’s not surprising that those millions of people across the country are also frustrated that many of their elected representatives continue to try to bar us from health care by defunding and preventing access to Planned Parenthood, a provider that connects millions to just that: affordable, accessible, judgment-free care.

This latest attempt, the Graham-Cassidy bill, would repeal the Affordable Care Act and prevent millions across the country from accessing care at Planned Parenthood. The effects would be devastating.

In Maine, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have stood with Planned Parenthood and voted against every other attempt to repeal the ACA and “defund” Planned Parenthood. Millions of patients, like me, need them to continue to stand strong and prioritize affordable health care by voting against this dangerous bill.

Catherine Buxton

Portland