The Female Body is Under Government Siege

The Female Body is

Under Government Seige

Lots of people are on birth control. A lot.

In fact, across the United States, 62 percent of young reproductive age adults are using birth control right now. That’s over 103 million females throughout our country. While that is only slightly more than half of the female population, a whopping 98 percent of females that are sexually active have used birth control at some point in their lives. The repercussions of cutting away access to birth control, which is currently under seige in Washington, are beyond widespread, and sadly this could be a reality in the not too near future.

As of Friday June 1st, a newly proposed piece of legislation has made it much easier for health providers to resist the previous birth control mandate, which provided free access to the pill to anyone with health insurance. The new mandate, which would pull Obama’s Title X family planning options from many women across the country, is set to take action immediately, should employers chose to cut it from their plans. In short, the revoking of this act now gives employers the ability to deny health insurance coverage over pregnancy contraceptives that the Affordable Care Act had previously made mandatory.

Over the past nine years that Title X has been in affect, the lack of co-pays on preventional substances have not only helped them become largest female-obtained product covered by healthcare, but it has also prevented hundreds of unwanted pregnancies and lessened the number of abortions within the United States by half. Substances such as these have become a daily part of females lives, but possibly not for much longer.

"Rather than putting up with this attack on womankind, Planned Parenthood has created a tool to assist citizens in tracking Trump to keep females up to speed with the new ruling’s effect on their bodies." Photo Courtesy of TrackingTrump.org

“The affordable birth control that Title X provides helps prevent one million unintended pregnancies each year.” according to a statement from Planned Parenthood. “Overall, publicly funded birth control services — including Title X — help women avoid 1.9 million unintended pregnancies, including 440,000 teen pregnancies, every year.”

And, Mr. Trump, what do you plan on doing to support those half a million women children that will need resources and access to health care throughout and after their pregnancies? Any legislation planned to address this Handmaid’s Tale-like reality you will be supporting?

Without the birth control mandate I don’t know how much the treatment would cost,” Diedra from Washington told BBC. “This is definitely an attack on women – if this issue affected men it wouldn’t be happening this way.”

According to the Trump Administration, this new ruling, which was originally presented in December, uses ‘religious beliefs’ and  ‘moral convictions’ as the reasons for pulling universal access. In no uncertain terms, the United States government also hints at the availability of birth control substances leading to ‘risky sexual behavior’. Jury’s out on whether there’s any proof of that, or whether it’s just more lip service meant to push a pre-decided agenda.

“Imposing a coverage mandate on objecting entities whose plans cover many enrolled families who may share objections to contraception could, among some populations, affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way,” claims the hotly contentious piece of legislation.

OK then…

While this new ruling came as a shock to the majority of U.S. citizens, Planned Parenthood has been taking this heat for a while. However, this nonprofit organization that supplies contraception, family planning, and assistance on reproductive complications, which treats approximately 4 million U.S. citizens a year, is not willing to go down without a fight. Rather than putting up with this attack on womankind, Planned Parenthood has created a tool to assist citizens in Tracking Trump to keep females up to speed with the new ruling’s effect on their  bodies. The website also tracks and calls out the promises Trump had made when elected, revealing which he has gone back on, and which were simply abandoned.

Planned Parenthood isn’t alone in this fight. Females across the country are not putting up with this new ruling. Instead, they are standing up for their bodies and taking control of what they are rightfully entitled to. Protest-inspired hashtags such as #ThxBirthControl, #ProtectTitleX, #NoGagRule, and #HandsOffMyBody are helping to galvanize females across the country into action. Hopefully, we can begin to take this threat seriously, and take our anxiety into powerful counter-action.  

Gwen Hannas

Gwen Hannas received her bachelors degree in English. Now she is an editorial intern with SWAAY.

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