Belen Sassone/ Contributing Writer
The ever-changing Republican healthcare bill, the Trump administration and Conservative politicians all have one thing in common: they have no idea how a woman’s body operates and show no desire to be educated on it.
For decades, women have been fighting for a seat at the table alongside their male counterparts in hopes of receiving not only the same rights, but also rights that are unique only to women.
The activists of the past, who fought for things such as the 19th amendment and Roe v. Wade, have paved the way for the strong women we see marching on Washington, becoming politicians, and holding their abusers accountable today.
However, recent attacks on reproductive freedoms and the looming threat that they’ll be taken away has shown that we still have a long way to go. The demand to “Defund Planned Parenthood” has become widely popular amongst Republicans because they feel that the organization doesn’t line up with their beliefs.
President Donald Trump has also said in the past that he would not support funding as long as abortions were being performed in the facilities, despite acknowledging that millions of women facing non-abortion related issues have benefitted from the services provided.
Hundreds of other politicians seem to share the president’s beliefs because they claim that their tax dollars, as well as those of millions of Americans, should not go towards something that they don’t agree with.
Even though the percentage of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood is as little as three percent, plans to get rid of them have been outlined in the multiple healthcare bills that have been rejected by Congress.
Using the rhetoric that taxpayers fund abortions to attract Conservative support is falsely spreading misinformation and demonizing an organization that actually provides women with the things they need to be healthy.
Many people still don’t understand that the government does not write a check directly to Planned Parenthood yearly. Even if they did, there is a law preventing tax dollars from going towards abortion, with the exception of rape, incest, or a woman’s life being at risk.
Federal funding for the organization works through programs like Medicaid and Title X, with the government reimbursing Planned Parenthood once patients use their services, which include pap smears, affordable birth control, STD prevention and exams, etc. Taking this away not only violates women’s civil rights, but leaves millions who cannot afford to go elsewhere in the dark.
The most unfortunate part about this situation is that defunding Planned Parenthood and outlawing abortions is not the only anti-woman action that this administration stands behind.
In October, an Obama-era mandate on birth control was rolled back, allowing employers to decide whether or not they’d include access to contraception as part of their insurance policies.
Trump claimed that people of faith, whose religions disapprove of birth control, should not be “targeted, bullied or silenced anymore.” However, none of the proponents for this decision seemed to take into consideration that if contraception is not accessible, the number of unwanted pregnancies will rise as a result.
Although changes to the mandate were later blocked, it’s still frightening to know that such a lack of common sense and basic knowledge is prevalent in our government. In a response to a letter by a woman who was worried about the changes, Trump demonstrated his confusion when he spoke solely about his agenda to protect the lives of the “unborn.”
When the man who holds the highest office in the country thinks that abortion is synonymous to contraception, it not only presents the obvious red flags, but signals us to take action against the ignorance that will leave us without rights.
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Photo taken from Flickr.