By Diane Cervantes
Since the announcement of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement this year, there has been a wave of worry washing over many as the future of women’s reproductive rights is uncertain. As a moderate conservative, Justice Kennedy was the key swing vote that legalized same-sex marriage and protected abortion and affirmative action. Many now fear that Roe v. Wade could be overturned, especially if President Trump’s nominee (Brett Kavanaugh) is appointed a seat on the Supreme Court. In an attempt to dismantle reproductive rights, the current administration has proposed a “domestic gag rule,” that would take away funding for Title X which provides affordable reproductive health care and easy access to contraception. The gag rule would impose people from getting birth control or preventative care, would allow doctors to withhold full and accurate information about your healthcare and would make it illegal for doctors, nurses, hospitals, community health centers and any other provider in the Title X program to tell patients how they can safely and legally access abortion.
To have come this far, only to take a big leap back when it comes to a woman’s reproductive rights is absurd and harrowing. As slight as the odds may seem during this crucial political time we are living in, it is easy to feel discouraged, but if history has taught us anything it’s the bittersweet lesson that we get stronger through adversity and in order to move forward and instill change we must take action. The following are ways in which we can protect and aide in saving the rights to accessible and affordable reproductive healthcare.
Vote – This can’t be stressed enough. The privilege to vote is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly and we have the opportunity to have our voices heard by voting in the upcoming November elections to make sure our elected officials stand up for women’s rights and equality. Register to vote here.
Contact Your Representatives – It’s now easier than ever to have direct access to our state and local representatives. You can find who represents you and their contact information here. The more we contact our local government officials, the more likely we are to make an impact. E-mail, call, tweet, there are plenty of ways to get your message delivered.
Donate – The National Organization for Women, The American Association of University Women and The Association of Women’s Rights in Development are great nonprofits fighting for equal rights. Donating to such organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU is a great way to contribute to help fight for equal laws and policies that include assuring women access to the reproductive health they need.
We have an opportunity to change the fate of the issues that matter the most to us. Become informed and make a difference. We got this!