It’s pretty basic. Women and all persons must have agency over their lives and their bodies. No one should be “in” the doctor’s office with us, we make our own decisions with those who matter to us – and sometimes on our own.
When the state de-funded Planned Parenthood, the governor assured Iowans that there would be sufficient access to care. That has not been the case. Clinics closed and way too many lost access to birth control, testing for sexually transmitted diseases – and access to basic medical care. It is not a surprise that since then the rate of STDs has increased. Options are slim as labor and delivery units have closed at smaller hospitals around the state as well. Access is a serious issue.
The walls are closing in on Roe. Some states have codified protections. Our Republican trifecta continues to legislate to produce test cases for the courts, the most extreme of which continue to fail to pass judicial muster. Currently, the right to abortion is protected by a State Supreme Court decision that declared abortion a state constitutional right. An amendment to shut that down will be coming to the ballot within the next couple of years once it is passed in a second legislative session.
Iowa’s women, and particularly Iowa’s women of color are impacted by the shredding of the state’s social safety net. Childcare remains expensive and hard to come by for many; minimum wage workers in particular struggle to find care for their children. The pandemic has been brutal on “essential” workers who do not have the luxury of working from home. Further reductions in unemployment benefits will hurt families, particularly (but not only) those with a sole breadwinner.
Access to birth control
Annual healthy women screenings
Safe childbirth options
Help for those in domestic violence situations
Having a voice. Having agency.