“I’m interested in women’s health because I’m a woman. I’d be a darn fool not to be on my own side.”
The Republicans continue to try to discard the Affordable Care Act, and put in place their own vision of what America’s health care should look like. I am all for a complete overhaul, or elimination of the ACA…
… there is something better, with a better way to do it.
I have to believe that there are some Republicans coming at this with positive intent. I’m that liberal, who often feels alone, hoping that the intent on the conservative side is positive.
However, every day, I read more facts about all the proposals flying around the Capitol Building, and I lose some of that bright-eyed, bushy-tailed optimism.
Why? The amount of damage the proposal could cause women continues to pile up, to where it is impossible to not feel overwhelmed.
I mean, I don’t even know where to start.
Could it be the fact that states would have the rights to allow insurance companies to call my c-sections pre-existing conditions?
Ok, well, here’s what really stabs at my heart: How about the fact rape and sexual abuse that plagued my childhood from the ages of 4-13 could also be considered a pre-existing condition?
Um, what about the fact that one proposal ends benefits for birth control? I’ve recently been on birth control. You don’t want the visual of why.
Heck, I’m sure the men in the room discussing women’s health don’t want the visual why.
What? Men discussing women’s health care? Yes. Men.
You may have heard of the Freedom Caucus. It is the group who put a stop to the first health care proposal earlier this year. The caucus got in a room with leaders and hammered out the current American Health Care Act that eventually passed in the House. Who is in that caucus?
2017 Update: No members of the Freedom Caucus are women.
There was one. Maybe she spoke up.
Or, maybe she isn’t like Maya.
Maybe she never had the experiences billions of other women have had.
I have so many issues with the House Bill, but I learned in journalism school to focus. So, I am going to focus on Planned Parenthood.
Oh, no. I know. The feelings on both sides of the argument surrounding Planned Parenthood are so deep and strong.
I am a former patient of Planned Parenthood. I am proud to say that I used the services there. I used every service I could possibly use. Well… all the services, except one.
I used Planned Parenthood, because we were poor, and because I only wanted women to check my private parts out. Given my childhood, I’m sure you can understand why.
“Back in my day”, most docs were men.
I cannot stress enough how many women need Planned Parenthood and how much the health care for women will fall if it has to shut its doors.
Now, here’s the rub. I mean, this is classic, “They have NO idea what they are doing” information.
Federal dollars, the ones some Republicans want to strip from Planned Parenthood, do NOT go toward abortions. They don’t. They can’t. They just don’t.
So, while the Republicans think pulling funding from Planned Parenthood stops abortions, they have no idea what COULD happen. See, private funding could still pour in for aid in providing abortions. Concurrently, federal funding could go away.
The result? Republicans could turn Planned Parenthood into actual abortion-only clinics by taking away federal dollars used to give women basic health care. No health care funds, but private money to go toward abortions.
I would say this irony makes me smile, but really all it does is make me frustrated, and mad.
Just like it was yesterday, I can remember the feeling I had as a teenage girl, having not had another person check out my privates since I was raped…. walking into a clinic for a check-up, and knowing I was going to be bare. Naked. I cried. I told the doctor I was afraid, and I told her a brief reason why… just the limited facts I could choke out.
I can’t tell you her name. I’m ashamed of that, but really I was in a fog of emotion.
What I can tell you, is that she sat, and talked to me, and made me feel comfortable, and not judged.
Flash forward 10 years, in Birmingham, AL, where I could only see a male GYN, because of my insurance. He had horrible bedside manner, was not gentle, and made me feel like a pile of garbage.
So…. women…. which scenario do you prefer for the daughters of the world?
Oh, wait, let me be clear. I don’t think for a minute every male doctor is like the one I had in Birmingham. Just, for me, in my situation, it was not the best experience. I seek out only women now.
It has been a month since the House declared victory over the ACA. Now, we wait for the Senate.
Please, if you feel compelled, please speak up. Call your Senator.
Please, don’t just make it about Planned Parenthood, even if I believe so many women should.
Remember, so much of what many of you have gone through could now be a pre-existing condition; something that might not be covered in certain states if we’re not careful.
Please, women, be like Maya Angelou. Don’t be darn fools.