Women, healthcare, and access issues


I have been thinking a lot lady about women’s need for healthcare and oppression of women. A lot of this thinking has been spurred on by my facebook account, which lets me know that the new administration is planning on defunding planned parenthood, cutting medicare, and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act with Health Saving’s Accounts (the last one has to be a joke…right? HSA of the average American will not pay for hospitalizations and major medical issues).

The defunding of Planned Parenthood (PP) makes little to no logical sense, as no federal money is used to support abortions (which seems to be the GOP platform reason for why PP should be de-funded). I myself used PP as a young uninsured nursing student and even when I became a nurse with no insurance. PP was in fact my primary care for many years and PP offers great care options for women.

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This year when it came to my yearly exam, instead of literally waiting 8-12 weeks for an “annual” appointment with an MD or DO, I decided to have my basic needs met through PP. They take my insurance (which I am ever so grateful for) and I could make an appointment for a few days from when I went online. I could cancel my appointment online.

When I arrived, I was pleased to see a bowl full of condoms sitting out. I was in the waiting room with one other male in his mid-20’s, it was mid-day on a Monday. When I went back to the exam room, after only waiting about 10 minutes, the MA took my weight, BP, and did a brief health history with me. An NP was with me shortly after this, and we discussed many of my overall health concerns. She did a breast exam, gynecological exam and pap smear, discussed peri-menapause with me, and she even spent a few minutes talking with me about my tween and what the latest approaches were for sexually active teens (including answering my questions about HPV and what my daughters’ experience might be like should she come to a PP for birth control when she is a teen).

I have to admit I was more comfortable here then visiting my primary care doctor, the one who is listed on my insurance. I like getting care from NPs, I trust them and appreciate the time they devote to prevention. The routine felt comfortable and I was at ease. I left with a plan to address some of my health concerns with other healthcare professionals and with an increased knowledge base around my own health and even my daughters’ future sexual health. Although my insurance paid for this health prevention visit, I made a donation to PP on the spot before I left the building.

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I want PP to be around when my daughters’ might need them in the next few years. If you feel the same, I hope you will join me in contacting your legislative body and your local PP to see how you might be of assistance. To learn more about how to contact your representative in Washington DC, please visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

 

3 thoughts on “Women, healthcare, and access issues

  1. Many years ago as a young radical lesbian feminist I fought hard and long to create safe spaces for women, to obtain women’s rights to make decisions about their own bodies, to insure that women had access to health care and abortion if that was their own choice. I also helped produce women’s music festivals and events that encouraged and developed women’s culture and raise political awareness. In the past few years I have seen the demise of several of the women’s festivals including the grandmother of them all, Michfest, the disappearance of most of the women’s bookstores, community centers and health related services by and for women. Part of the reason for this, I was informed by several younger women, that we no longer need these special places, that we are so integrated into the general society that we have access to everything. WAKE UP! Trump’s winning the election is the first clue of how untrue this is. What we have is fragile, and vulnerable to disappearance, to regulation and defunding by a bunch of men, mostly old, mostly white, mostly Republican, and mostly rich (not a judgement – just a fact). Women we need to join together again – support those surviving agencies and groups – like Planned Parenthood and NOW, and any local organizations addressing women’s needs. We need to support our progressive women candidates. Don’t let forty years of women’s work and progress disappear down the drain. Don’t let herstory repeat itself. We MUST join together and fight to maintain our rights and to control our own lives.
    I will post this also on my blog: nursescholarblog@wordpress.com

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  2. I have been beside myself since the election. I cannot fathom that we have elected not only such as individual as Trump but that we have both houses of Congress controlled by members who appear intent on rolling back the years to a time when race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation all had it’s place as defined by conservative white men. I have been a nurse for 40 years and in my life I have not experienced anything to equal the intolerance that I have seen over the past 8 years and especially over the past year.

    I was moved by your blog as I, too, am keeping a close eye on the prospect of the dismantling of the ACA and the defunding of Planned Parenthood. As a new graduate nurse in 1977, I began my full-time career in an ICU but I also worked one evening a week at the local Planned Parenthood providing education and nursing oversight. I continued this for two years and saw the wonderful services that were provided to all who visited the clinic. Abortions were not done at this clinic but pregnancy testing, contraception, routine pelvic exams and Paps as well as STD diagnosis and treatment were provided. I have supported Planned Parenthood throughout my career. I support reproductive choice recognizing that though many may not choose the use of contraceptives or therapeutic abortion, it is the right of each individual to make his/her own choices.

    In my nursing education I was taught that a nurse doesn’t judge a patient’s choices, lifestyles, etc. We are there to provide the same high quality of care to each individual regardless of station or status in life. I have always held to that standard and believed that all nurses were taught the same. I cannot understand how we have arrived at this moment in time where our country has become so intolerant of differences and how we cannot see the need to access to all to adequate healthcare.

    I hope to look to this site for guidance to become involved in making a difference in healthcare political discourse as a member of the nursing profession.

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