Why Everyone Deserves Access To Birth Control

It was September 12, 2018, when I heard the news that the new president of Planned Parenthood is going to be Leana Wen, a Chinese woman who has had experience in the emergency room and public health. There are several reasons why that post on Facebook stood out to me: a) this is an Asian woman who will be taking on a high position in the US, b) this position is part of an organization whose vision is being challenged by the American politics, and c) this is an issue that I, as a woman in America, should be paying attention to.

From this one post comes an awareness for the issues currently surrounding our country. This includes health care, feminism, diversity, politics, and particularly an issue that is heavily talked about, and one that I strongly believe in, the debate on abortion and emergency contraception.

For a woman in college, it is heavily emphasized to have healthy sexual choices. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, for example, many students are required to complete in-class workshops, including FYCARE and ACE IT, in order to learn about various precautions and resources they can utilize in case they are ever in a predicament that involves alcohol, drugs, sex, or assault. It is also taught in sex education that some of the most useful tools to prevent unwanted pregnancies are birth control and emergency contraceptives, like IUDs or morning-after pills.

Many health plans, under the Affordable Care Act, are required to give their recipients access to birth control, either in the form of birth control or IUDs. But under new regulations from the Trump administration, the coverage for these contraceptives can be taken away by many companies and employers. Although not every company will implement this new rule, it is a little daunting that such contraception will not be available to those who take it now or are planning on taking it, under such companies that plan to enact Trump's policy.

I believe that inaccessibility to contraception could limit the potential of many women or people in general who are able to conceive.

Cutting out this coverage takes away the reassurance that the chance of an unplanned pregnancy is low. Ideally, people would be able to choose when to have intercourse, or who to have it with, and unrealistically, birth control could be simply tracking our body temperature and fertility cycle. Reality does not allow for these ideal and unrealistic situations, though. Without emergency contraception, birth control, IUDs, or etc., the number of unplanned pregnancies will increase. Although this may not pose a problem for some, other people will struggle with providing for a new life or providing for a life too early.

The former President of the United States, Barack Obama, recently visited our University to receive an award. During his speech, he stressed the importance of voting, and encountering this article today showed me that if I want to see any change in this issue, or any other issue really, I better be ready to cast a ballot in November.

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