As thecontinues in Washington, Chloe Heitnz, a 22-year-old recent college graduate, took to YouTube to explain how Planned Parenthood helped her at one of the darkest moments of her life. On Thursday, she shared her story with Washington Unplugged.
In the video Heintz explains how she was raped by a boyfriend when she was 17. As she explained to CBSNews.com's Lauren Seifert during the interview, "It was a pretty violent situation... And afterward it took a long time for me to develop a coherent way of thinking about that experience."
Heintz did not get pregnant as a result of the assault, but she was given a pregnancy test and tested for STDs at Planned Parenthood.
It took three years for Heintz to understand that she was a victim of rape, but once she became aware of the magnitude of her ordeal she decided to reach out to other women at her college.
"I started feeling a sense of responsibility to talk to women who hadn't quite gotten to the point that I had," she said, "Since then I've just been more vocal on a personal level and the Internet is really easy to open up about your feelings there so I talked about it."
Heintz explained what she would say to lawmakers who are against giving federal funding to Planned Parenthood: "I think that in this country we have a significant responsibility to take note of the poor and the disadvantaged. I find that women go to Planned Parenthood for their primary health care rather than for crisis situations like abortion, or rape like I did. I would implore lawmakers to look at the human side of things and to have a sense of dignity and responsibility for the people that they represent."
Less than a month out of college Heintz hopes to continue her work as an advocate for women's rights.
"I am searching, pretty tirelessly, for a position as a rape and sexual assault advocate right now... I think that working for women's rights and staying in that field is what I want for my immediate future," she said.
Watch the interview with Chloe Henitz above.