My decision to take action
It is a scary time for women in America.
This alone speaks volumes, considering we still have the right to vote, to speak publicly, to work and to our own personhood.
Today, we risk losing other rights. The right to an abortion. The right to birth control. The right to accessible women’s health care.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 23 that defunded International Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is not just an easily accessible abortion clinic. It offers options for birth control, for STI testing, for informed decision making and family planning.
When I first moved to Buffalo, I was on the pill. I started using it at 16, like many of my other friends. The pill was simply what my pediatrician suggested. It’s not that I was having a ton of sex, or unsafe sex – honestly, it was primarily to regulate my period.
I eventually ran out of my prescription while in Buffalo and had not adequately planned ahead. I needed to continue taking something to ensure my security against pregnancy and preserve my sexual health. I did what most people my age do – I used Google. It directed me to Planned Parenthood, which made sense to me because I was not planning on parenthood, so I went there.
Let me be the first to confirm: Planned Parenthood is not some scary, dark place where doctors kill babies. It’s an incredibly secure, discreet place where personally, I felt comfortable – and I do not particularly enjoy the doctor.
The women who work there are kind and gentle. Everything is clearly explained. I had an exam and was given a prescription for generic birth control pills.
It was just that simple.
I’ve gone back throughout my four years living here for various reasons – prescription refills, questions about birth control or regular STI testing. It has never been a big deal and I have never had an unpleasant experience.
In light of Trump’s recent actions, I went back a couple weeks ago. I made an appointment with a nurse to discuss long-term birth control options.
I am worried that Trump will take away my decision-making ability.
I made the decision to use an intrauterine device (IUD). This will last for about five years and is 99 percent effective. I asked the doctor a lot of questions and weighed the pros and cons of various types of IUDs. I ultimately decided on one that seemed right for me, made a follow-up appointment and received the IUD.
This is my personal decision. I feel that this option is right for me, for my body, for my priorities.
I hope my birth control outlasts Trump’s presidency and perhaps I will choose a different form in a few years.
I felt the need to act because I do not want to wait until it is too late. For an unfortunate number of women, it is already too late. So here I am, writing this column, where I will encourage women to act. Go to your doctor, your gynecologist, to a Planned Parenthood or another local clinic. Research your options. Ensure that your own sexual health and safety is not at risk.
Before women lose the right to have a choice – choose.
Tori Roseman is the managing editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org