The birth control pill has been the most influential factor in allowing women under 21 to continue with college, according to findings by the Guttmacher Institute. I am one of those women.
I remember when my uterus turned on me. I remember laying in my bed in pure agony. I couldn’t breathe I was in so much pain and I couldn’t move without knots forming in my pelvis.
The pain would last for hours, and the only thing that would curb the pain was sleep. Sleeping for 3+ hours during the middle of the day every day for 7 days was not ideal, but at the time I thought that was my only option for relief.
Sometime later though, I saw an article on the internet about something called “hormonal birth control” and read that it may help ease menstrual cramps. When I saw that, I was ecstatic! I thought, “I can finally have my life back.”
I had a $35 copay per pill package. Each package contained a 1-month supply of hormonal birth control pills. After you do the math, I’d have to pay $420 a year. Now, multiply that by the number of years that I’ll be on the pill (which would be about 10+ years). That’s a lot of money. A lot of money that I didn’t have.
Lucky for me, and thousands of other Americans, the Affordable Care Act came to the rescue. Under the ACA, insurance companies cannot charge a copay on contraceptives. The ACA has saved me and countless others from the frustrations of being stifled by pain and burdened by lack of finances.
You know who is consistently fighting against the Trump administration to keep the ACA in place? Planned Parenthood.
You know who constantly fights against bills that would do immense damage to the healthcare of women of color? Planned Parenthood.
And do you know who organizes seminars, workshops, and events to educate people of color on their health care rights? You can see where I’m going with this.
When Planned Parenthood is mentioned, abortion is the first thing that comes to mind. This controversial topic has caused unrest and even violence amongst people for decades.
No matter your stance on abortions, the fact remains that Planned Parenthood does what’s right for women of color by offering us all of our options when it comes to pregnancy.
Their health care services don’t just stop there. Their facilities act as any other health care provider and offer certain cancer screenings, STD testing, pregnancy testing, and even counseling.
“I support Planned Parenthood because I believe that every individual, no matter their sex or gender, should have access to affordable health services. To deny someone this, or to look down on them for a decision they make regarding their personal health is unethical and wrong,” said second-year Florida A&M University student Herley Gaston.
It’s no secret that women of color aren’t cared for through the American health systems the way we should be, especially black women. African American women are three times as likely as our white counterparts to have reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, and four times as likely to die during childbirth, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Planned Parenthood specifically caters to these women’s health and reproductive issues, and without them many of us wouldn’t have the access to these services that, in some cases, can prove fatal.
“I love how this organization supports women and our rights. They speak for those who are afraid to ask for help, they are a perfect example of sisterhood,” said first-year FAMU student Destini Nau.
It is our duty to see that black women have the power to determine what is best for their health and future. Planned Parenthood has the best interest of women of color in mind and is always working to ensure our needs are met, they have more than earned our support.