Question: Have you recently found yourself counting little plastic T’s as you drift off to sleep? Has “protect my privates” mysteriously and inexplicably popped up on your to-do list in a ghostly scrawl? Does the idea of birth control that nestles in the cozy confines of a uterus for years — more than four, in fact! — suddenly seem, I don’t know, genius? Same. It’s almost like a bunch of dudes in suits are coming for our bits or something.
I’m thinking of calling my gyno. I miss her, for some reason. I think I need her to pet my hair and assert that various decisions are up to me. Doesn’t that sound nice?
“Now more than ever, I’m seeing women strategizing how to approach their reproductive health to protect themselves for the coming years,” Dr. Kristyn Brandi told me. (She’s an OBGYN with a specialty in contraception and abortion care, and she also happens to be a Fellow at Physicians for Reproductive Health and Boston University and Medical Center). (She’s also an angel.) “We’ve had a lot of patients coming in concerned about their coverage and freedoms under the new legislation.”
Okay. Let’s review our current rights, just for fun.
“Right now, birth-control pills are free under the Affordable Care Act,” Gabriella Paiella writes for The Cut, “[Which is] something that Trump has said he wants to ask Congress to repeal on the first day of his administration.” We also still have the rights granted to us by Roe v. Wade, which is so not overturned right now.
The ACA also means we get free preventative checkups. Free! We should all make our vaginas appointments. It can be like a group sleepover, but instead of laying in sleeping bags, we’ll lay in stirrups. We’re gonna make this so fun, swear. It’s a mildly good time to be a woman. Let’s enjoy these mild spoils!
One sleepover attendee has some advice for us: “Get your IUD. If you have light periods, opt for a Paragard, which can last 10-12 years.” As Erin Gloria Ryan of The Daily Beast says, “[It’s] a simple move that can at least get a lady who isn’t ready to be a mother through the next legislative term as unpregnant as possible.” If you’re into that kind of thing.
Dr. Brandi said that’s not a bad idea. “One patient asked to get her IUD replaced early because not only was she worried she wouldn’t have coverage for it later, but also because she had to leave the country to care for a relative and wasn’t sure if she’d be let back in. It’s been a rough week for all of us, but there is no better time than now to talk to your doctor about your reproductive health needs,” she said. “We can help you plan.”
So. Sleepover to-dos:
+Flex our reproductive rights!
+Call our gynos. Cecile Richards (CEO of Planned Parenthood) told MSNBC they’ve seen an uptick in appointments already. Good job guys!
+Protect ourselves against unwanted pregnancies.
+Donate to or volunteer at Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, the Center for Reproductive Rights, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Organization for Women.
+Locate the button on our bodies that can “shut that whole thing down” when it comes to pregnancy.
If you want to get involved in other ways, here are five ways to channel your energy into activism.
Photo via iStock; collage by Emily Zirimis.