Women should have control of what happens to their bodies

If you’re a woman, chances are that you need access to contraception, sex education and pregnancy assistance (free of judgement). Shockingly, women in America have their basic reproductive health rights threatened.

There are 157 million women in the United States, 85.4 million of which are mothers, according the 2010 U.S. census.

Women need preventive care, like breast and cervical cancer screenings, pregnancy care, safe sex education, birth control or other contraceptives and pelvic exams. Celebrating 95 years of services, Planned Parenthood gives women and men access to the health care they desperately need.

Ninety percent of the care they provide is preventing pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections by educating and providing birth control. They hold parenting classes for teen mothers and parents.

The importance of Planned Parenthood has been overlooked in the fight to control the deficit. In April 2011, the U.S. House proposed that all federal funding for Planned Parenthood be cut. The U.S. Senate rejected the bill, but the fact that it was even proposed terrifying. If we don’t provide care for women in the present, the future will be significantly darker — unintended pregnancies, unsafe sex and more.

Taking charge of reproductive health now will save the next generation from life-threatening, sexually transmitted diseases. It is time to think about the long term effects.

Before the Affordable Healthcare Act was enacted in 2010, women had to pay more money for insurance simply because of their gender. Insurance companies could cite being a woman as a “pre-existing condition.” Besides reforming insurance policies, the Affordable Healthcare Act ensures that every citizen will have access to insurance — a big change, given that more than 17 million women (nearly one in five) age 18 to 64 are uninsured in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Women should be in control of their own reproductive rights. Anyone who thinks that they have the right to control what women do with their bodies needs to take a step back: your body should be under the control of one person — you. The most disconcerting thing about women’s rights is that women’s rights are still being debated.

Class of 2014

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