What Do You Want Congress to Know About Women's Bodies & Health?
By Rachel Walden — November 19, 2012
We’ve been amazed by — and grateful for — the comments left by supporters of the Educate Congress campaign about why the site matters to them and what they want Congress to know about reproductive and sexual health.
During the recent election cycle it became all too apparent that there is a *lot* that some members still need to learn. Speaking from my experience, I want Congress to understand more about the science behind conception. Rep. Paul Ryan was a co-sponsor last year of HR 212, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which states that “human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.”
I’m hoping members of Congress will stop proposing “personhood” legislation that would potentially ban some forms of contraception, such as the birth control pill, and threaten the health of women and their families in numerous ways (see this fact sheet from the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, a group that formed to fight personhood legislation in that state).
What do you think Congress should know about women’s bodies and health?
Tell us what you think Congress should know when you join our campaign to Educate Congress. It can be something based on your health, the health of a family member or friend, or a community need or policy change.
Then make sure to share your message here on the blog, post it on our Facebook page, or tweet it using the hashtag #EducateCongress.
Our Bodies Ourselves has long believed that women’s stories and experiences inform what we know about women’s health. Who better to educate Congress than all of us?
Bottom line, women (and ALL persons) need access to BASIC health care, i.e. primary care services. As a Family Practitioner and Midwife, I am tired of carve out programs (like Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for women 50-64) that address one SMALL portion of a woman’s TOTAL health. We ALL need access to comprehensive health services (preventive care, primary care, prenatal care, dental care, mental health, vision, hearing, and access to diagnostic services as well). Why do uninsured women not have access to pre-conceptual care, or are asked by private physician groups to pay a $5,000 deposit to even get their initial prenatal visit scheduled? Why do women have to choose between feeding their family and seeing a healthcare provider for the lump they found in their breast? This is an outrage! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
From my work at CondomMonologues.com, I can confidently say that there are a significant number of young males and females who are not given comprehensive information about safe sex that is inclusive of straight, bi, gay, lesbian, polyamory sex practices. Moreover, while there are contraceptive options out there that cater for specific needs, I want to see more readily available options for women who have sex with women. Congress needs to understand that access and knowledge of contraceptive options (and these options need to be inclusive of all gender and sexual identities) are fundamental to a healthy public.
Thank you for posting this, it was both very thought provoking and informative. I think information is key! By spreading the word and educating others we can abolish the ignorance that stands in our way of creating a better society and world to live and raise our children in. At the Women’s Health Clinic I attend, they are eager to inform their patients of the benefits of proper family planning, as I’m sure most OBGYNs are.