I try not to talk about Politics too much. One reason is I don’t feel that I’m well versed in the subject. The other reason is it always causes problems. I found myself changing my mind recently after talking to my sister.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
Around 55 million women have access to crucial preventive care at no cost under the Affordable Care Act at this time.
If the new Congress (made up of congressional Republicans) repeal the Affordable Care Act and deny federal funding for Planned Parenthood it will cripple women’s access to affordable health care.
Right now it’s illegal for government agencies and federally funded health insurers and hospitals to discriminate based on sex, race, color, origin, disability or age. It’s the first time federal civil rights law has prohibited discrimination based on sex in federally funded health programs.
The Affordable Care Act has mandated services. One is the requirement that all contraceptive methods approved by the FDA must be covered by insurance without cost sharing. Another is that all small group and individual health plans provide coverage for maternity care.
Women would lose access to preventative services such as annual exams, supplies for new moms, counseling for domestic and intimate partner violence, and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. All of these services are covered under the Affordable Care Act.
DEFUNDING PLANNED PARENTHOOD
What the majority of the public doesn’t know is that only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services account for abortion services. But that is what their name is constantly equated with.
Their clinics actually provide breast cancer screening, testing and treatment for STDs, annual pap tests, Cervical Cancer screening, birth control, and more. For more than a hundred years Planned Parenthood has provided health services to women who otherwise couldn’t afford them.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed and Planned Parenthood is defunded, it not only puts the physical health of millions of women in jeopardy but also affects their economic security. When women have access to affordable healthcare they are able to financially support themselves and their families without the added stress or burden of how to obtain Health Insurance.
I never really thought about these issues that much. It’s been in the last few years that they’ve become important.
When I talked to my twin sister yesterday she told me about going to the local march in our city. I was worried after watching the news and when Planned Parenthood is possibly involved things can get a little intense. She knew this.
Years ago when my sister didn’t have Health Insurance and was dating her now husband she went to Planned Parenthood for her birth control. She had no choice. It was all she could afford. She made the mistake of asking me to go with her on one occasion.
At first I was oblivious. We got out of the car and a man approached me. He asked me how I was. I said “Fine, how are you?”. I wasn’t thinking this man was a threat. Then he started spewing vile things at my sister and I about being “baby killers” and he was close enough where he was touching my sister. Well, the red veil came down over my eyes. I’m not exactly sure what I said or did. I do know the man ran away and my sister banned me from ever going with her again. When it comes to my family something happens to me. When it comes to myself, not so much.
When my sister had her first child she had to return to work fairly soon. She was breast feeding. She would have to pump her breast milk at work and her husband would pick it up at her break time.
The part that disgusted her and me was where she was forced to pump her breast milk.
No woman should have to express their child’s nutrients while hiding in a supply closet that doesn’t lock or in a bathroom stall.
Many times my sister was “accidentally” walked in on while she was using the supply closet by male co-workers. She didn’t want to use a dirty bathroom but finally she didn’t have a choice. Now employers have to provide a separate place to pump breast milk.
My sister is part of the Affordable Care Act. She has two of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. (Really I’m not being biased) They are also well behaved, polite, kind, and generous. They are rare children. My sister has Celiac Disease that is always active, she has Fibromyalgia, she’s had Mono for months now, at one point she was having a type of seizure where you couldn’t really tell she was having one. She would stare off somewhere and the last two fingers on her left hand would do a tapping/tremor motion. She would have no memory when it was over.
She needs Insurance. Her husband owns a bar, does some construction, he’s in a band (not that much money), he does get royalties from a few albums he’s done with other people but it isn’t a lot, and has never actually worked a job that was technically on the books. So pretty much not helpful. He is one of the best fathers I’ve ever seen. He also tolerates my sister so he has to be good.
The point is no matter how you feel about Planned Parenthood the issues are much more than Pro Life and Pro Choice. It’s also bigger than Feminism. This shouldn’t be a Women versus Men issue which unfortunately it’s turning into judging by the signs in the crowds. This is about HEALTH CARE and the AFFORDABILITY of it. When you have to choose between Heat, Electricity, Food, or Health Insurance, something is very wrong.