Imagine yourself as a woman. Imagine yourself as a woman without access to birth control (and affordable methods at that), gynecological visits, and abortion clinics. You would feel helpless, miserable, and stuck. Imagine giving birth to a child that you couldn’t afford year after year until you went through menopause. Would you have a happy life? Would you be able to say that you were able to accomplish everything you wanted to?
“I would like the government, and anti-women politicians mainly, to get out of my vagina.”
These are some of the experiences of women, like myself, who do not or did not have access to reproductive healthcare.
I am 20 years old and a junior in college in Beaumont, Texas. I remember going to the Health Center on campus the first day of my freshman year. I felt extremely uneasy because I only had $25 in my bank account, and I knew that it wasn’t enough to pay for anything – like, to be seen by the one of the nurse practitioners, or get my next Depo-Provera shot.
The day before I went to the clinic, I had learned about the Student Health Plan. It was very costly — $300 to $400 a semester, depending on the amount of coverage chosen. Plus, another $200 or so for summer coverage.
In the end, my first time at the Health Center produced some irritating and predictable outcomes. Because I could not afford the health insurance plan, my student account was charged over $400. My Depo-Provera shot was $75, my Well-Woman Exam was about $350.
It took me three months’ worth of paychecks from my job at Subway to pay off my balance. It sickens me to no end to know that there are millions of people who would suggest that I “just get a higher paying job” or take on another one, or “keep my legs closed and stop being promiscuous.”
My body is my own, and I should have the right to do what I think and know is best for it.
I would like the government, and anti-women politicians mainly, to get out of my vagina. I am absolutely tired of having to choose between buying groceries and maintaining my reproductive health. And I know that millions of women in the United States, and around the world, are feeling the same way. As women, our reproductive health and freedom has been compromised way too much. Women are tired of not having a say-so!