Politics & Women’s Health

Planned Parenthood Rally in Washington state last year (2011)

Women’s health has been a strong political focus recently leading up to the Presidential election.  The first Presidential debate, in fact, included such discussion.  Obama, although known to support women’s health rights, accused Planned Parenthood of violating women’s health law  while Romney remained true to his political party roots by supporting anti-choice as well as threaten to overturn both Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood.

Legislative attacks on women have been an endless, back and forth battle among men in politics, thrusting their power and control over women’s reproductive rights from pregnancy prevention to the actual birthing process.  Nowhere in-between these debates have human rights been an actual part of the discussion.  Beyond choosing a President who represents the lesser of two evils when it comes to women’s health, our control over the issue appears inconsequential.

Such issues are consistently decided within a male circle, based on religious, conservative, liberal or moral values in addition to government spending concerns.  Yet, when do women actually come into the debate, not only as representatives but as the key subject of women’s health?  Rather than consider government spending, let’s consider the amount of individual spending on healthcare between men and women and the blatant disparity.  I am, in fact, being punished by the system for simply being a woman.

As an environmentalist, I strongly believe that women’s liberation has a direct impact on birth rates and make for a better society.  Options such as oral contraceptives and abortions should be an individual choice without being a financial burden.  During the Women’s Liberation Movement, however, women began to question whether or not these options we call liberties are merely just another form of patriarchy.  I go back and forth between what I think is liberating myself, but at the end of the day, I find choice to be the ultimate liberation.

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