Lots of people are on birth control. A lot.
In fact, across the United States, 62 percent of young reproductive age adults are using birth control right now. That’s over 103 million females throughout our country. While that is only slightly more than half of the female population, a whopping 98 percent of females that are sexually active have used birth control at some point in their lives. The repercussions of cutting away access to birth control, which is currently under seige in Washington, are beyond widespread, and sadly this could be a reality in the not too near future.
The Trump administration’s latest attacks on women’s reproductive rights are, simply, outrageous. We’ll explore every avenue to protect women’s access to all available reproductive health services. #NoGagRule #TitleX pic.twitter.com/SWV5pmOnR3
— New York Attorney General (@NewYorkStateAG) June 1, 2018
As of Friday June 1st, a newly proposed piece of legislation has made it much easier for health providers to resist the previous birth control mandate, which provided free access to the pill to anyone with health insurance. The new mandate, which would pull Obama’s Title X family planning options from many women across the country, is set to take action immediately, should employers chose to cut it from their plans. In short, the revoking of this act now gives employers the ability to deny health insurance coverage over pregnancy contraceptives that the Affordable Care Act had previously made mandatory.
Over the past nine years that Title X has been in affect, the lack of co-pays on preventional substances have not only helped them become largest female-obtained product covered by healthcare, but it has also prevented hundreds of unwanted pregnancies and lessened the number of abortions within the United States by half. Substances such as these have become a daily part of females lives, but possibly not for much longer.
"Rather than putting up with this attack on womankind, Planned Parenthood has created a tool to assist citizens in tracking Trump to keep females up to speed with the new ruling’s effect on their bodies." Photo Courtesy of TrackingTrump.org
“The affordable birth control that Title X provides helps prevent one million unintended pregnancies each year.” according to a statement from Planned Parenthood. “Overall, publicly funded birth control services — including Title X — help women avoid 1.9 million unintended pregnancies, including 440,000 teen pregnancies, every year.”
And, Mr. Trump, what do you plan on doing to support those half a million women children that will need resources and access to health care throughout and after their pregnancies? Any legislation planned to address this Handmaid's Tale-like reality you will be supporting?
Without the birth control mandate I don’t know how much the treatment would cost,” Diedra from Washington told BBC. “This is definitely an attack on women - if this issue affected men it wouldn’t be happening this way.”
According to the Trump Administration, this new ruling, which was originally presented in December, uses ‘religious beliefs’ and ‘moral convictions’ as the reasons for pulling universal access. In no uncertain terms, the United States government also hints at the availability of birth control substances leading to ‘risky sexual behavior’. Jury’s out on whether there’s any proof of that, or whether it’s just more lip service meant to push a pre-decided agenda.
“Imposing a coverage mandate on objecting entities whose plans cover many enrolled families who may share objections to contraception could, among some populations, affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way,” claims the hotly contentious piece of legislation.
While this new ruling came as a shock to the majority of U.S. citizens, Planned Parenthood has been taking this heat for a while. However, this nonprofit organization that supplies contraception, family planning, and assistance on reproductive complications, which treats approximately 4 million U.S. citizens a year, is not willing to go down without a fight. Rather than putting up with this attack on womankind, Planned Parenthood has created a tool to assist citizens in Tracking Trump to keep females up to speed with the new ruling’s effect on their bodies. The website also tracks and calls out the promises Trump had made when elected, revealing which he has gone back on, and which were simply abandoned.
And yet, the Trump-Pence administration is issuing a gag rule to block patients from getting care at Planned Parenthood. It is clear the administration doesn't care. #NoGagRule #IStandWithPP pic.twitter.com/ACdwpbOiGP
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 4, 2018
Planned Parenthood isn’t alone in this fight. Females across the country are not putting up with this new ruling. Instead, they are standing up for their bodies and taking control of what they are rightfully entitled to. Protest-inspired hashtags such as #ThxBirthControl, #ProtectTitleX, #NoGagRule, and #HandsOffMyBody are helping to galvanize females across the country into action. Hopefully, we can begin to take this threat seriously, and take our anxiety into powerful counter-action.
Dating. Divorce. Marriage. Being single. None of it is easy.
I don't think any of us have the right answers or know exactly what we are doing when we navigate through relationships or breakups, even if we do take every Buzzfeed quiz there is out there. What I have found out though, is by writing this book, Female. Likes Cheese. Comes with Dog: Stories about Dating, Divorce & Saying "I Do" most everyone can relate to some part of it, whether it is having an awkward date, being dumped, or falling in love. The short stories read as if we are talking over drinks at a bar gossiping about our love life. It's as if, you, reader, are one of my best friends. I hope by reading this book you are reminded that you don't have to be anybody but you and your mistakes are simply memories to learn upon. Get comfy, grab a glass of wine (or your beverage of choice), cuddle with your furry companion (pet or otherwise), and enjoy…
From the chapter "Kansas & The Firepit" from Female. Likes Cheese. Comes with Dog: Stories about Divorce, Dating & Saying "I Do"
I had lost my dog to my ex. I was a mess. I thought this man was going to be by my side the rest of my life, I had gained a lot of weight. Not the kind of weight you gain when you tell your friend "OMG, Kelly, I, like, put on five pounds this summer because of all the partying I've been doing at the rooftop bars," but real weight. The weight that makes you feel totally inadequate. The weight that makes you say, Hey I might as well keep eating because it doesn't matter anymore. I was inconsolable during that summer.
I still wasn't completely out of my trash TV and alcohol phase, but I had switched to vodka, at least. Which, let's be real, just hides the fact that you're an alcoholic. I wasn't really talking to anyone about my problems. My mom tried to take me to fat camp. Yes, fat camp. When your mother says the reason why you're not happy is because you're fat, there comes a point where you really don't know whether to laugh, cry, or drink. I think I did all three. The reason why I wasn't happy was because I was going through a divorce, and my life was unraveling. I was not only unhappy but also fat, so I guess there was some truth to that. It was just what I needed to hear to get myself back to reality.
While cleaning the kitchen one day, I walked by a pair of boxing gloves. Boxing was something I had always been interested in. Watching it on TV and having some friends that had done it professionally, I figured I would take the plunge and put this "body after breakup" into motion.
There was only one boxing club in our area for fitness. I walked into the afternoon classes knowing that I was going to be a little out of my element, but I'm not afraid of a challenge. I'm an outgoing person and being sports savvy, I knew that I would catch on quickly. The guy teaching the class, Kansas, was very attractive. Ladies, you know how in yoga when you have to do the sun god pose? Well, let's just say he was what you would hope a sun god looked like. With sweat glistening down the side of his face, it was almost as if the ceiling parted and angels started singing as he stood over you telling you, "Ten more!" as you got down for ab rounds between punches. This guy was exciting. He was energetic. He was. . . constantly checking on me during class to make sure my form was correct, since I was new, and let's face it—I was totally OK with the attention. After class I signed up for a one-year membership and became addicted, not just because I loved the workouts but also because of the hot trainer.
I started coming to class three times a week, initially taking only Kansas's classes, but not wanting to look obvious when I really started crushing on him, I had to mix it up. I mean, this is Crushing 101. This was my first crush out of the gate post-divorce, so exactly what you think would happen, happened. Kansas became my rebound guy. I would make any excuse to linger after class (which, looking back, just made me look desperate), but then sometimes I would switch it up and leave. I mean, it was a game. I was trying to figure out if he was interested or not. It was exhausting. After talking after class for a few weeks, I happened to mention a home improvement project I had been thinking of working on. Being the good listener (stalker?) that I was, I knew he just happened to be interested in home improvements, as he did many of his own. I figured that would be a great way to get to know each other better and for him to fall completely in love with me, of course. Duh. Now I had a reason to cross something off my "list". I love sitting outside and having a glass of wine and listening to music by a fire. I wasn't really sure how I was going to accomplish this task on my own, but recruiting a fine gentleman like Kansas would be a good start. So, he agreed to my firepit project, and after gathering supplies at Home Depot, he came over, and I quote to you from my journal, I kid you not:
So today he shows up, and we are in the backyard digging the hole, and he takes his shirt off. His body is a wonderland! I mean sweat is just glistening down his torso. So I had to change the subject somehow and shut my gaping mouth, so like an idiot I say, "Oh, look, a callus on my hand," and he says, "Those on a woman are sexy." FML.
Ladies and gentlemen, do you want to know what I did that day? Something so adult and so mature: I pushed him into the dirt. I pushed that beautiful body into the dirt. I couldn't take it. I was like a schoolkid on a playground. Because that is the type of tantrum this lady used to throw. Kansas took it as flirting. I took it as frustration, because I couldn't tell a boy I liked him at the time.
This whole awkward flirting game went on for a few more weeks. Kansas would come over, and we'd dig more holes (to bury my dignity in) or set stones—I don't know. I thought rebound guys were supposed to be fun, casual things, but this wasn't fun at all. This was like homework in school. Every day I'd come home from "class," and I'd strategize on what I needed to do to make better "grades." If I had actually spent half the time in real school that I spent on Kansas, I would've had a 4.0. I was having to chase him, but I almost didn't know what race I was running. After all, I hadn't dated since 1884. So I figured if the firepit thing didn't work, then I'd write him a poem... Like a moron...