Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood

My final project for the class that I created my blog for is focused on, in a nutshell, the way that reproductive rights are being threatened under the Trump administration.

In my first post of the series of four that I wrote, I write about Trump’s plans to defund Planned Parenthood and to limit women’s access to healthcare. I leave readers with the question as to why more people don’t seem to care about problems that are deemed “women’s problems.”

My second post focuses on some of the movements that came out of the threat to defund the organization, including several hashtags that were used on Twitter, some of which I even participated in.

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Photo by: Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter, “Planned Parenthood Fan Page Profile Photo”, (CC BY 2.0), via flickr

While my second post focuses mostly on media movements, my third one focuses on the outpouring of support in the form of monetary donations that Planned Parenthood received in the wake of the election, because tweeting can only do so much.

My fourth and final post serves to remind American women that we aren’t being the only ones affected by this administration’s actions. I write about the reinstatement of the global gag rule, a policy that prevents any nongovernmental organizations that are funded by the US, many of which are in developing countries, to even mention the word “abortion.”

Our rights and our healthcare are at risk now more than ever, all thanks to the Trump administration, and we need to fight back harder than we ever have before.

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We’re Persisting – Social Media

One of the very, very few positive things that’s come out of the election of an atrocious excuse for a human being as president is the amount of organizing, teamwork, and support that has happened since then. A sense of community has developed among the like-minded people who refuse to normalize his actions or those of the people who make up his administration.

As I mentioned briefly in my last post, which goes over some information about Trump’s plans to undermine women’s health, women, including myself, are scared. But in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve banded together, specifically to try and keep that from happening.

After it was announced that Trump so badly wanted to defund Planned Parenthood, and even more so after he became elected, people around the world (not just in the United States!!!) started showing their support for the organization on social media outlets, specifically on Twitter, by using the hashtag #IStandWithPP. I’ve seen it trending worldwide on multiple occasions.

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Photo by: Women’s eNews, “I Stand With Planned Parenthood”, (CC BY 2.0), via flickr

It’s even been popping up on my newsfeed today after the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), Trump’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, that proposes to cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

Celebrities, politicians, and other organizations, like the ACLU, even used the hashtag to show their solidarity and support for Planned Parenthood, which undoubtedly helped it spread across so many different social media platforms.

The organization even made a website from the hashtag, I Stand With Planned Parenthood, that acts as a resource for people to get updates, a platform to share stories, and encourages them to take action and to donate.

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Photo by: lookcatalog, “Birth control pills”, (CC BY 2.0), via flickr

Another social media campaign that’s use is chronicled in Planned Parenthood’s 2014-2014 Annual Report is the hashtag #BirthControlHelpedMe. This one didn’t go as viral as #IStandWithPP, but it helped women share their stories as a means of expressing how important access to affordable birth control for multiple reasons.

There are sooooo many different reasons for women to go on any given type of birth control. For example, beyond preventing pregnancy, the birth control pill can help regulate periods, help control acne or menstrual cramps, help lessen the effects of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (a really extreme form of PMS), and can help women suffering from endometriosis, too. Honestly, the list goes on and on.

For myself, #BirthControlHelpedMe manage the symptoms of my polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that causes a hormonal imbalance that the birth control pill helps regulate.

In addition to the hashtags that everyone was able to participate in, the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, took to social media, too. She went Facebook Live back in January when the plans were announced to defund the organization!! She addressed several concerns of women who were, and probably still are, worried about their healthcare coverage and reproductive rights.

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Photo by: Sarah Mirk, “Mirena IUD”, (CC BY-NC 2.0), via flickr

In the video, Richards says that Planned Parenthood saw “a 900% increase in women trying to get an IUD appointment” after the election. An IUD, an intrauterine device, is a long-lasting, hormonal form of birth control that would last longer than Trump’s presidency. This fact alone is enough to make it clear that women see the risks and are scared about the availability of other methods of birth control under the current administration. Today’s House decision about the AHCA is more than enough to validate our fears.