It’s a strange time to be alive, and I think we can all agree on that.
Now, I’m reading about rollbacks of the protections to transgendered Americans in the workplace, put in place by the Obama administration. (You can read the New York Times article about it here.) In the same week, the White House also punched a hole in women’s access to contraceptives, which are not always used for birth control. Many women, myself included, have used these for medical reasons that extend far past birth control.
In case you don’t know what birth control is or why it’s used, Buzzfeed put together this short informational video a few years ago:
And really, it has never been all that easy to get birth control. In fact, some organizations refuse to offer it because of religious reasons (which is their right by law), but by making it easier for employers to refuse to cover it in insurance, you’re damaging women’s reproductive health. To put in perspective, a good friend of the Collective’s is a surgeon, and even she, a healthcare professional with nearly a decade of training, had to spend months meeting with various doctors to get a prescription for the pill, and even then, the doctor she met didn’t understand what she needed it for. In the end, she had to visit Planned Parenthood, because her healthcare providers wouldn’t give her what she needed. She complained to me for a long time about that, because being in surgery for hours at a time meant that she couldn’t change her tampon, and she needed the birth control to manage her flow so she wouldn’t bleed through her scrubs and contaminate the OR.
I can’t tell you how surreal it was to have her tell me that other doctors didn’t understand menstruation or how it varies from woman to woman.
It makes me feel a bit like Jessica Jones, ready to punch the dude that tells a woman what to do with her body.
Now, more than ever, it is important to keep organizations like Planned Parenthood in business. They provide access to contraceptives and family medicine and sex ed. For everyone. Please consider donating to support women’s access to reproductive healthcare.
Not smiling unless I feel like it,