By Jamie Walsh
1777 - All states passed a law that took away women’s rights to vote
1839 – First state grants a woman the right to maintain property with her husband’s permission
1920 – Women are granted the right to vote
1973 – Roe vs. Wade, women hold the right to terminate an early pregnancy
2012 - Obamacare/Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance cover preventative care and birth control
2016 - Trump wins, and people start saying they need to get their IUDs now while they still can
2017 – Oops, may be too late.
Keeping his promise to his right-wing, heavily conservative Republican party, Donald Trump has decided his presidential power deserves ruling power in the uteruses of America.
Under the Affordable Care Act created by Barack Obama, employers were required to provide insurance that would cover women’s birth control with little to no cost. President Donald Trump has now undermined that ruling, taking away the right to affordable contraception for hundreds of thousands of women. Employers now have the right to deny the coverage of birth control due to deeply held religious and moral beliefs. The administration is arguing that forcing employers to provide birth control to women goes against their freedom to practice religion.
Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “This is a landmark day for religious liberty. Under the Obama administration, this right was seriously eroded.”
Let’s talk about liberty. Like the freedom to live your best life and not worry about getting pregnant. For many women, that is liberty.
With his attempt to defund Planned Parenthood and make second trimester abortions illegal, Mr. Trump seems to feel rather comfortable making decisions that do not affect him in any way, shape, or form.
I currently receive my birth control through Temple University’s Health Services for $7. My roommate receives hers through her personal doctor with insurance and has no copay. Should Donald Trump succeed in all his plans to take away some of the most important reproductive rights of women, neither of us would be able to afford our birth control.
We are both just 20 years old, full of dreams of
traveling and continuing our education. Our
rights to affordable birth control allow us to stay in
school without fear of unexpected pregnancy.
One day I would love to be a mother, but that day
is not today. I want to get my degree and move around the country pursuing a career in journalism. I want
to explore the world and learn more about myself
on the way. My birth control helps me remain on
track with my plans, regulates my period, and
relives serious period pain. Without, I open myself
up to unexpected pregnancy, and return to irregular periods that brought along excruciating pain.
I was first placed on birth control at the age of 13 after recurring ovarian cysts. I later switched birth control to prevent menstrual migraines at the age of 15. The administration lists the health risks of freely providing birth control and one of those is promoting risky behavior among teens and young adults. Everyone is entitled to their own sex life, no matter how they choose to pursue it. That being said, men do however have less to worry about. They do not have to worry about obtaining contraception other than condoms. If men don’t have to worry, why do we have to?
I was placed on birth control by my doctor long before I was sexually active. Scrolling through Twitter, it became clear that those fighting for insurance not to cover birth control believe strongly that the only use of birth control is to prevent pregnancy. It may be one (very effective) use for birth control, but there are many more. I saw many middle aged men stating that it was against their religion and felt it unfair to have to pay for someone else’s promiscuity. This demonstrates the absurdity of the situation being led by men uneducated on women’s reproductive health and deliberately obtuse about the realities of being a sexually active woman.
It is my right to have dreams AND have reduced-pain periods AND have sex and not get pregnant. My body, my choice. I will not allow for Donald Trump to decide my health nor my future. Men argue the health benefits of Viagra, stating why it should be covered by insurance, and they are winning. Some women cannot live a healthy life without birth control so why is our argument being ignored? No one has the right to tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her body.
Jamie Walsh is a junior at Temple University and a lover of toaster strudel, beluga whales, and all things Joe Biden. She has a passion to write and explore the all possibilities Philadelphia has to offer as a student, a woman, and a dreamer.