As we find ourselves trying to make sense of this new political climate – one thing is blatantly clear – Trump and Republicans in Congress are actively on a mission to take rights and autonomy away from women. Some might even call this a war on women.
Just recently we were hit below the belt twice – no pun intended – via an abortion ban and an attack on birth control access. While neither of these attacks are new to us, the appalling rate at which these attacks are coming in are of concern. The Trump administration is taking direct aim at birth control coverage for 62 million women, eliminating the guarantee they had for no-copay contraception under the ACA. And just last week US House Republicans voted to pass a misleading and dangerous bill aimed at restricting women’s access to a safe and legal abortion.
As New Mexicans we understand the value of respect – which is why we respect women to make their own decisions. At ProgressNow New Mexico we believe this implicitly. No ifs, ands, or buts. However, it comes to no surprise that the anti-women Republican majority in the US House and the 45th do not share our sentiments.
Personal decisions about abortion need to remain with women, their families, and their medical providers. We know that laws like the recent abortion ban are not aimed at helping women, but are simply a modern-day Trojan horse aimed at taking down Roe v. Wade. Nearly 99 percent of abortions in the U.S. occur before 21 weeks. Abortion later in pregnancy involves complex circumstances, and we must keep in mind that every circumstance is different. Doctors, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, oppose these types of laws because they prevent medical providers from giving their patients the best healthcare possible in an individual situation.
This ban would further harm women in need by creating additional obstacles to receiving a safe and legal abortion. Women need support, not additional barriers, to obtaining timely, and safe health care. We understand that every pregnancy is different and so are the circumstances surrounding it. That’s why we can’t make complex decisions about abortion for someone else.
Nor can we decide when a woman should and shouldn’t start planning a family. What recent history has shown us though, is that the current resident of the White House does not care about women or their lives. Access to birth control should not be controversial: it’s something the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime. A majority of Americans support no-copay birth control — because they understand that women’s ability to access basic health care should not be up for debate.
Nearly nine in 10 women of reproductive age will use contraception at some point in their lives, whether for family planning or other medical reasons like treating endometriosis. Birth control should be treated like any other preventive medical care.
86 percent of Americans (including 91% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans) support policies that make it easier to get the full range of birth control methods. Since this makes sense we need to be completely clear on something – this has nothing to do with religion – under the Affordable Care Act, religious organizations already had an accommodation that still ensured their employees could get coverage through other means. This rule is about taking away women’s fundamental health care, plain and simple.
Should it come as a surprise that these attacks against women were made? No. Not if you take into account that we’re talking about the man who bragged about grabbing women by their pu%$!es and the spineless Republican majority who still support him.
What we can do is continue to organize and resist. Please join us and stay informed and help us fight back.
When a woman has decided to go on birth control or have an abortion, she has made the decision that is right for her. Every situation is different, and laws targeting abortion and access to birth control are nothing more than political interference in women’s personal decisions.