Just as the discussion about Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke was beginning to get stale, along comes Michele Bachmann with a comment that is sure to keep the birth-control conversation in the headlines.
Gloria Steinem [x]
Her and everything she said.
So… we’re just not gonna talk about how Steinem is extremely racist, right? Or super cissexist? Or how she is at the forefront of a movement for upper & middle class white women to have that choice while simultaneously demonizing poor and non-white
womenpeople for wanting to have children AND supporting efforts that sterilize poor and non-white womenpeople thru dishonest means?
Because, sure, that all sounds really good… but… there’s a lot being left out.
I’m literally so happy I’m crying.
OKAY SO. I’m back from my very first Planned Parenthood journey, and I have to say, I’m a great mixture of emotions. Ranging from overjoyed and happy and thrilled and grateful to angry and bitter and frightened and downright pissed—very varying degrees of emotions, but don’t worry, I’ll unpack them.
First of all, I want to kick myself for not going to Planned Parenthood sooner. I had NO idea the help I would find, and I’m still just sitting here with an overwhelming sense of gratitude because this place was literally one of the best things to happen in my life.
I’m getting the ParaGard, because it’s the only IUD they offer anywhere nearby (that I can afford!) but it wont be in for a few months, so I was immediately distraught by the fact that I will STILL have to continue buying my monthly Nuva Ring for $70 because my health insurance apparently hates anything to do with my vagina. (Seriously, OBGYN costs skyrocketed, along with my birth control, when we switched insurances. Wtf?) BUT, instead of being forced to pay this continual fee until I could get the IUD, I was instead asked, “Do you want three Nuva Rings?”
I was at a loss for words.
“What, like, free?” I stuttered out. The receptionist nodded, and I nodded back numbly. I mean sure, there’s plenty of men and women who have benefited from this wonderful organization before, so what I’m saying is probably nothing new, but I was just so shocked. That’s $70 a MONTH I am saving! That’s gas! That’s saving back for the apartment! That’s food!
I wasn’t charged a DIME for my visit—since they base it on income, and I make $200/wk, they adjusted everything. I had a breast exam, which I’ve never had before, and was taught how to perform one on myself. They did a minor pelvic exam since I’d been complaining about some pain, and they gave me a boatload of condoms (I don’t use them myself, but I’d like to keep a stock to give out to teens who might not be in the position to buy them themselves) PLUS they hooked me up with Ella—a Plan B pill, just in case, which would save me $50 in case of an emergency.
By the end of my visit, I was in tears, and the nurses were very kind. One even gave me a hug. I was crying because I was overwhelmed with how happy I was, because what they had done for me meant the WORLD to me. Expecting to pay WAAAAAAAAAAAAY more than I did, and getting $210 in free birth control, I donated $20, and would like to go back and donate more when I can.
I’m pissed though, that people want to take away these resources from men and women. I am SO pissed, and horrified. Because of my pain, they insisted on doing other tests (STDs—I’m not at risk, but they had to because of the pain and exam, so whatevs) and those still didn’t cost me anything—so for people who DO need the tests, they’re free… and PEOPLE WANT TO TAKE THIS AWAY. The clinic I went to didn’t even perform abortions, simply referrals, and I only saw one pamphlet on the wall about abortion, compared to the dozens of others about pregnancies and how to have a healthy pregnancy, etc. I mean, not that I doubted what I’ve heard in the past, but it was all a reaffirming of the facts I’d been given, now put into real-life experiences.
I got a free pelvic exam, a free breast exam—I got my birth control, and I got precautionary “just in case” methods. Planned Parenthood is a beautiful place, and I want to punch absolutely everyone who hates them for the 3% of what they do in the face!
DON’T GET ME WRONG, I totally understand people who can’t get access to these things—transportation, distance, location, etc. It’s just, for those it helps, and for those who are able to benefit from it, holy FUCK is it awesome.
But if you DO go and you have an AWESOME experience like me, I do request that you make some kind of donation. These places deserve it. And just, goddd.
I’m such a jumbled mix of emotions I can’t sit still, and I’m still crying over how happy I am. OH. And best of all? I probably wont have to pay a dime for my ParaGard when the time comes!
THANK YOU SO MUCH PLANNED PARENTHOOD.
I was having a really hard time finding Planned Parenthood, but then I noticed a bunch of angry people standing around holding signs.
I’d be lost in New Albany without ya!
This ^^ reminds me of this:
Infographic from GOOD—"The Control of Birth Control: Exploring The Debate Over Contraception and Health Care."
Glad to live in a state with ZERO exemptions. That’s the way it should be.
My good friend, @beardedstoner:
No sex ed. No birth control. Pregnant? No abortion. Have a kid? Stay home. No income? No assistance. #GOPplanforwomen
[NB: Of course, if the GOP get their way, it will affect more people than just cis women.]
POLL: MAJORITY DISAGREES WITH REPUBLICANS ON CONTRACEPTION DEBATE | According to a new poll from Bloomberg, more than 60 percent of Americans — and 70 percent of women — said that President Obama’s policy requiring contraception coverage in employer-provided insurance plans is a matter of women’s health, rejecting the Republican argument against the new rule. More than three-quarters of those polled said the topic should not be part of the national political debate. But with Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum saying Obama is violating employers’ religious freedom by mandating contraception coverage, the polls shows that the GOP presidential candidates’ views are out of sync with what voters want. “These candidates are talking to a relatively small subset even among Republicans,” J. Ann Selzer, who conducted the telephone poll of 1,002 respondents, told Bloomberg News.
[Images: two photos from the Georgia congress of eight women, mostly women of color, walking out of the chamber in protest. The one in front is wearing a bright yellow dress, and in the bottom photo, she is raising her arms in frustration. End description.]
Eight female state senators in Georgia walked out of the Senate chambers on Thursday to protest two bills that hinder access to abortion and contraceptives. All eight female democratic senators left the chambers together after two bills they oppose passed the Republican-led Senate. From Atlanta’s WXIA, the legislation:
- Prohibits state employees from using state health benefits to pay for abortions
- Does not allow employees of private religious institutions to demand that their insurance policies pay for contraceptives
“We stood together to protest what we feel is absolutely a war on women here in Georgia and we want to sound the alert to Georgians,” said Sen. Nan Orrick.
Republican state senator Joshua McKoon said of the legislation, “What I would say is the war that’s being waged is on a relative minority in this country that has strong beliefs that are protected by the First Amendment.”
The bills now heads to the House, where both are expected to pass.
The senators who walked out: Sen. Gloria Butler, Sen. Gale Davenport, Sen. Nan Orrock, Sen. Freddie Powell Sims, Sen. Donzella James, Sen. Miriam Paris, Sen. Valencia Seay and Sen. Horacena Tate. Looks like I’ll be spending my Friday night emailing these senators to thank them for taking a stance on an incredibly important issue.
Look at that fierce HBIC.
This is EVERYTHING.
This is the best thing I’ve seen all day.
Following up on our post about birth control and economics from a few days ago, this is a great summary (and not just because it mentions Bedsider, though we love that too) from Lauran Neergaard of the AP of the real costs of different types of birth control and the important part cost can play in what method women choose.
*People who use contraception, not just cis women.
President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
ETA: Their convo is cis-centric, but these issues affect all people that use contraception or need abortions.