A couple weeks ago, Trump launched another assault on the bodily autonomy of women, specifically that of working women. He decided to begin dismantling the Affordable Care Act, informally known as Obamacare. The brick he has decided to pull first from the Jenga tower that is American healthcare is the right of all women to have birth control covered by their health insurance.
As of October 6, employers were no longer required to cover birth control, meaning that depending on a woman’s job, she has to pay out of pocket for prescription contraception. This strikes me as wrong for numerous reasons. For starters, it is simply kind of strange for the government to play a role in your sex life. What right does the president, the senate, or my job have to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. Access to birth control isn’t something that should be litigated, but rather something that is guaranteed and handled personally.
In the end, Trump’s decision is sexist. No one argues against the distribution of free condoms, because generally speaking, they are not for women.
No one cares about the sexual activities of men, because sexual activity in men isn’t seen as wrong. Whether he knows it or not, impacting women’s ability to control their bodies is damaging to women’s independence. Rather than taking their fertility into their own hands, it becomes a conversation. Will he wear a condom? Does he bring them or do I? No one should be able to make a woman have a child if she doesn’t want, nor should that decision be impacted by anyone but herself. It is her body, to have sex with or not, and to carry a child with or not.
This is not even to mention the innumerable women who use birth control for things other than sex. They control acne, hormone imbalances, overly heavy periods, and more. So, the issue of easy access to birth control isn’t just a women’s rights issue—it’s a health issue.
To some, none of these issues might sound damaging, but overly heavy periods can take a woman out of work or school, especially because of the overwhelming cramps that can accompany them. Condoms, something we give away for free, have never impacted someone’s ability to function like birth control can.
All I can say is: if the Trump administration keeps attacking women, they’re going to leave the rest of us with a damaged America that we’ll have to pick up.