In the 1970’s women’s rights made great strides when “the pill” was introduced into general use. Finally, a way for women to control their fertility and make informed decisions about their own lives. Because of this, younger women have grown up knowing that they can make choices on marriage, families and work that is best for them.
Before birth control was widely available in a form that women could use, the possibility of pregnancy meant that many women were under the control of the men in their lives. Many businesses wouldn’t hire women in higher positions since the possibility of pregnancy meant that they couldn’t continue. Women’s health was brought down by multiple pregnancy’s (my own great grandmother had 14 children). It meant that women were dependant on the men in their lives to provide. This created a situation where many were subjected to domestic abuse and had no choice but to stay with their abusers.
As well, before Roe v. Wade, many women who found themselves pregnant didn’t just go and have children. Instead they would either try to get rid of a pregnancy themselves (a wire coat hanger was the tool of choice) or go to a back room, illegal doctor who would perform the abortion. Many women died or were unable to have more children because of this.
Having access to birth control and abortions (especially in the situations where the child would be born with deformities or has died in the womb) is a critical right for women. There are many Republican lawmakers who want to take us back into the dark ages however, not only by restricting abortions, but by restricting birth-control as well. This can’t happen, but it’s possible that it may.
If pro-life politicians and activists really cared about “lives”, they would be solidly in favor of preventing unwanted births. But they aren’t. They want to punish women for having the audacity to want to be equal to men. They push back not only on abortion, but on birth-control (which obviously limits the need for abortion). The Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare), made birth control freely available to all women. There is a good possibility that it might get taken away now.
Whether or not the ACA is repealed, the requirement that birth-control be available for free may go away. That is because the ACA requires that health insurance must cover preventative health benefits for women, but doesn’t specify birth control. Health and Human Services decided that. Which means that the President can direct HHS to do away with birth control. If this happens, than the only people who will be on birth-control are those who can afford to purchase it. This means that younger women or poorer women will once again be subject to the vagaries of their fertility without recourse.
All Females assigned at birth (and I’m including trans here) who are capable of becoming pregnant, should seriously consider getting a long-term birthcontrol method to see them through the end of this election cycle. An IUD can cost anywhere between $200 and $2,600. Much better to get one now that is covered by a co-pay. IUD’s are the most effective methods of birthcontrol, with the Paraguard copper IUD lasting up to 10 years. They are also reversible at any time should you choose to become pregnant.
While condoms are effective birth-control when used correctly, they won’t protect you from unwanted, unprotected sex, also known as rape. Given the President-elect’s prolectivity for grabbing women by the genitals and how many of his supporters think that’s okay, it’s quite possible that rape will become much more common. While overturning Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court might be harder than Trump thinks, it could still happen. And Republican controlled states are already feeling emboldened to pass even more restrictive abortion laws. An Indiana lawmaker is proposing a total abortion ban in his state, while Texas wants to enact laws that would ban abortions for fetal abnormalities and require “burials” for miscarriages.
Trump seems to think women can just go to another state that allows abortion, but for many poorer women, that will be impossible. Removing access to both birth control and abortions keeps women marginalized. We can’t go back to the dark ages.