My Body My Choice
From January 22 1973 to January 24th, 2022, our country has gone back and forth between pro/against abortion rights for women. Throughout history, men have thought that they have the right to control women's bodies. Throughout history, women have been put under a microscope and told that if chosen to have an abortion they would be called sluts, whores, monsters, and many other nasty phrases.
These words have been said to all women. Nicki Minaj, singer, and rapper speaks on her abortion in the song's autobiography to talk about how it has affected her and how she wasn't ready for a baby. Minaj talks like she owes the world an explanation for the decisions she made when she was a child. It is critical to take into account the truth, women don’t get any say on what they can do with their bodies, it’s up to the state. My body and all the other girls' bodies in America have been put in the hands of our Supreme Court. After Roe V. Wade was overturned on June 24th, 2022, we protested. As has happened time and time again, girls alike gathered around the capital and in cities all across America to show these politicians that our rights are no joke.
We live in a country unwilling to join together and make balanced decisions. This fight that women have to fight is real, and should not be a debate any longer. The state we live in has chosen to continue to “allow,” women to get abortions, but millions of girls outside of Colorado, will have to go through illegal procedures that very likely will put them in situations without time, into jail, or worse, death for them and the baby.
To get a broader perspective on what Roe V. Wade looks like within East. Talking to the health office about how East is and has handled the overturn of Roe V. Wade, and high school sexual activity, in general, gives insight into the importance of this issue.
Health Educator Sinead Maguir shares what she and the staff are doing within the health office around sexual activity, and providing kids with the support they need. A vital part of our conversation was how after Roe V. Wade was overturned, many students have wanted to make sure more than ever that they are practicing safe sex. Girls specifically are more conscious about being and getting on birth control, even if they are not sexually active. While abortion is legal in Colorado, taking into account that many girls still don't seem to feel safe or protected is important. As if their bodies have been threatened by the change in abortion rights. Devastatingly this is the consequence that every girl is faced with across the country, no matter what state they live in.
According to the New York Times article One Womens Abortion Odyssey; Madison Underwood shares the quote “They're Just going to let me die?” A pregnant woman whose life was threatened when abortion was made illegal in her state of Tennessee. She talks about how her baby had been shown to have a birth defect that would put her life at risk, and the doctors could not save her. Because Abortion is illegal in Tennessee she was forced to go to Georgia at the time to get the medical help she needed. Even in situations of extreme, abortion can’t be used to save a life.
Sinead also went along to tell me about the contraceptives that the health clinic offers and the services they provide. Birth control pills, rings, implants, condoms, and the shot are all forms of contraceptives for practicing safe sex. A big part of the clinic and for girls throughout East to know is that you do not need a parent's consent for help at the clinic. Because of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), anything said to the clinic can be kept confidential and family members and others do not need to know.
I also learned the clinic does not have a way to give referrals or provide aid for abortion clinics, however, they can be there for girls if they need emotional support or education on what their possible choices are with a pregnancy.
After going to the health office and learning a lot about what a safe environment looks and feels like, it is safe to say that the health office has its best efforts for students and girls at East. In a year of shooting, covid, and more the overturning of Roe V. Wade has strongly urged women everywhere to speak out, make sure they get educated, and that their stories are heard. These shocking couple of months have put our country at a difficult poll, but after speaking with many girls and the clinic, it is right to say that choice is one of the most important parts of healthcare in America and girls' well-being. Sticking to this, in the East is what keeps us afloat and will show people everywhere just how important this is.
East is very fortunate to be able to write about this issue and speak on it publicly. The opportunities we have at East and at the health clinic make it possible for girls to get all the support that they need and to continue talking about this important issue for all girls in our country.