President Trump is coming for our pill. He wants to make it easier for your boss to remove birth control from your health coverage. The new rule would amend Obama’s coverage requirements so that even companies with no religious affiliation will be able to deny birth control to their employees. It more than irks me to see a bunch of old white men making decisions that affect women’s lives, and using religion as a mask to discriminate and disadvantage.
Opening up the law to allow any business, company, or university to dictate whether or not they cover women’s birth control is outrageous. On a whim your boss may be able to decide whether or not you deserve to have affordable, reasonable access to birth control. Someone who has no personal connection to you can make a decision affecting your personal life, predicated on their beliefs.
Women already have to pay taxes on products for our periods. Products which should be a right, not a privilege. Tampons, pads, and cups – whatever your preference – should be provided by the government. Let’s do the math. Women have their periods for about 40 years of their lives. Once a month, women will have their period for anywhere between three to seven days. You have to change a tampon, at the very least, every eight hours (majority of women will do this much more often). A box of 36 tampons is roughly $8, so – if we take the goldilocks option of very easy, light flow periods using three tampons a day for your entire menstruating life – you’re spending $1,600 on tampons alone. Nevermind the heating pads, pain medication, panty liners, new underwear, and birth control, which if you’re paying out of pocket, brings that to a total of about $18,000. $18,000 to maintain and control a function of my body that is natural and cannot be helped. Great.
Our fertile bodies bleed. Sometimes our non-fertile bodies bleed. Sometimes we’re caught off-guard with some spotting which is just our period teasing us. That’s always fun. So, to Trump and the other men making this decision, you are very welcome that we have been mopping up after ourselves rather than letting the red river flow all these years. Imagine the clean up costs; probably be more expensive than throwing us a few tampons, or at the very least, giving us a bloody tax break on the products we have to buy.
And now Trump is coming for our birth control. The thing that helps many women regulate their periods. The thing that helps many women regulate their hormones or give them relief from excruciating monthly pain. The thing that really helps to have a low abortion rate. The men who are responsible for this latest decision do not care that they are making vast changes to our health care. They are putting their stamp on our bodies and we can’t let it happen.
The Handmaid’s Tale is looking more like a documentary series everyday and it’s not funny anymore. Let’s not allow life to imitate art. Let’s heed the warning. Let’s not be asleep.