Opinion: The Trump administration has made it harder to access no-cost birth control for women and girls and allowed for discrimination in health care. We can reverse this.
It is an isolating feeling, receiving abnormal test results after an annual OBGYN visit (I’m fine). It’s even more terrifying to absorb this information just a month before a close relative was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
My fear caused overwhelming anxiety.
Going to the doctor is scary and uncomfortable, especially when we don’t know or understand what to expect, what is considered “normal” or “irregular.” But it does not have to be this way. Having a mother as an OBGYN who was able to talk me through basic women’s health information was essential for my understanding and well-being.
Imagine if we all had the information and resources I had from my mom? Imagine if we provided proper resources for women’s health, starting with basic education and health services for all female identifying human beings?
Health care is a basic human right. And for women, it’s a basic human right which has implications on our families, our careers and our finances.
Health care access and education are critical
The stigma and lack of information associated with women’s health imposes stress, fear, and depression on patients and causes delays in the diagnosis and treatment. Emphasizing access and education for men and women on women’s health issues should be a priority.
A Biden-Harris agenda for women’s health would expand access to health care and education so that women in similar positions to me can feel empowered to make the best decisions for their care.
President Trump has prioritized a complete rollback of the ACA, including protections for those with preexisting conditions. For women, a preexisting condition is as common as pregnancy or cancer. This legislation was struck down in court but if President Trump had his way, it would have eliminated health care for millions of people, including removing no-charge preventive services for older Americans on Medicare with no substantive replacement.
Trump administration has curbed back services
Furthermore, the Trump administration has prevented family planning programs from obtaining Title X funds — making it harder to access no-cost birth control for women and girls and allows for discrimination in health care. Women, including me, will have to choose between cost and the best fit for their personal needs.
This shouldn’t be a choice women and families have to make. Rolling back protections and basic preventative care leaves women and others with fewer options and puts our health at risk, sending us a message loud and clear: my basic health does not matter to the Trump administration.
These rollbacks are unacceptable. Not only do they lead to a lack of basic care, but they send us in the wrong direction for education and public understanding of the health care needs of women and families. The disparity in care is for a lack of trying or caring in the Trump administration. It leaves women like myself with the stress and strain of limiting the type of basic care and information necessary for screenings of abnormalities and basic preventive medicine.
Secure future of your health care by voting
Our health care system needs to do more in order to be equitable. We need to make women’s health issues more discussable and we deserve a president with a proven track record of advocating for women’s health. I deserve to feel safe that my basic health care covers my needs and provides me the proper information and support to make decisions for my health.
The Biden-Harris ticket promises a step in the right direction and makes women’s health a priority. The Biden-Harris administration would send the message to women and girls that their health care is important. Where, critical benefits for women are emphasized, including maternity care, preventive services provided free of charge, and protection against discrimination in care and benefits.
Men and women across the country will make health care a priority, emphasizing the importance of women’s health this November and vote Donald Trump out of the White House.
Genevieve Leo is a strategy and operations consultant passionate about women’s health. She previously served as a staff accountant for the Democratic National Committee and currently focuses on campaign finance. Reach her at [email protected]; on Twitter, @genevieveterese.
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