Health & Lifestyle

Planned Parenthood

By Theresa Aronson

BREAKING: “The Trump Administration just took direct aim at birth control coverage for 62.4 million women!” Former Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards tweeted on October 7th, 2017. Planned Parenthood is a trusted health care provider in the US that delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people nationwide. Despite increases in taxpayer funding and donations from celebrity activists, Planned Parenthood facilities are closing down rapidly all over the country. We’ve all heard that politicians in Washington have being trying to “defund” Planned Parenthood, but what does that really mean? Why are people saying #IStandWithPP? And do they need to go to the bathroom? Maybe. (ha!) Just 48 hours after the Women’s March on Washington, the Trump administration announced the Global Gag rule otherwise known as Donald Trump’s healthcare reform policy. This ‘rule’ makes it so that no U.S. nongovernmental organizations, receiving US “family planning funding,” cannot be funded. In other words, the Senate made it so NGOs like Planned Parenthood do not have enough funds to stay open. “The Senate mandate is known as one of the worst bills for women’s health in a generation,” Richards tweeted. At the moment, Planned Parenthood is America’s leading reproductive health care provider. Planned Parenthood provides 2.4 million people a year of access to birth control, cancer, screenings, STD tests… In a single year, the organization provides 2 million patients with birth control, 4.2 million STD tests, 360,000 breast exams, and 217,000 Pap tests.  “We’re the nation’s largest provider of sex education,” Richards tweeted Sex education that’s evidence based and delivered by trained professions is extremely effective and widely supported.” In the past year, Planned Parenthood has catered to 2.7 billion women and men including those with low incomes, living in rural communities, people of all different sexual orientations and racial backgrounds. When Planned Parenthood opened, their mission was to provide healthcare to low-income communities. This was to ensure that no matter whom they could receive timely access to healthcare. Philosopher John Locke said a “Natural Law:” philosophy asserting that certain rights are inherent by virtue of human nature, endowed by nature. Although healthcare should be considered a “natural right,” it sadly is not. Just this past Friday, the Trump administration declared that they plan to cut down on mandates in the Affordable Care Act, starting with narrowing down on the Patient’s Bill of Rights. Under the Affordable Care Act, there is a section known as the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which  is meant to make health care laws more accessible, and easy to understand for the general public. After all, doesn’t the public deserve to know what their rights are? Additional rights and benefits that the health care law would provide includes:

“Breastfeeding equipment and support, birth country methods, counseling, mental health and substance abuse services, the right to appeal a health plan decision, and the right to choose and individual Market plan rather than the one your employer offers you.”

Under the Obama administration, 62.4 million women gained access to birth control coverage. The Trump Administration treats healthcare for men and women as though it was optional, even though nearly 90% of women of reproductive age have used birth control at some point in their lives. That means nearly 100% of women in the United States need access to birth control during their lifetime. However, 1/3 of those women cannot afford to cover their birth control costs in their lives. Birth control matter, or #HandsOffMyBC, is the next best twitter movement to be a part of if we want to get the ball rolling on birth control coverage. Covering birth control could make the pill even more affordable. Never in our nation’s history has birth control been as readily available or affordable as it was in 2016. The Trump Administration attack on birth control policy puts all women that rely on birth control directly at risk. No one can predict what will unfold in the future. You may be asking: Well, what can I do about such a messy political mandate? In her piece, “When It Comes to Gender, Let Confusion Reign” Holland Cotter responds:

Resistance is good exercise. It helps keep you young. And it can keep you alert. Even when you lose track of what “normal” is, you know you don’t want to be that.”

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