ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: healthcare

Supporting Sexual Health Care in Kansas Starts with Education

Last week, I attended the Protecting Sexual Health in Kansas forum at Kansas State University. Speakers Jennifer Greene, director of the Riley County Health Center, and Micah Kubic, executive director of the Kansas ACLU, discussed the state of sexual health care in the country and in Kansas, specifically Riley County. Greene called Riley County a “contraceptive desert” as it only has two publicly-funded clinics that offer a range of family planning options. Many of the surrounding counties in the area don’t have a single clinic like that, so the need for contraceptive services are greater there. Looking at the entire state, Greene said that in 2010, 45 percent of pregnancies in Kansas were in unintended. In Riley County alone, 9,190 women (aged 13-44) are in need of publicly-funded sexual health… Read more »

Tell Me I Look Sexy With My IUD Strings Pushed Back: Let’s Chat About IUDs

Let me tell you a true story: I took the birth control pill for less than a month, and it made me feel horrendous. I gained weight, my skin broke out, and my pre-existing anxiety got even worse. This is where my first true love, my Mirena IUD, comes in.   I’ve never had huge issues with my periods. They’ve never been particularly intense or cumbersome, but, instead, merely just annoying and inconsistent. I decided to get an IUD by the suggestion of my doctor before I went to college. It felt like not only the responsible thing to do as I take my first steps into ~adulthood~, but also, the thought of not having a period for FIVE years sold me. If you do the math, that’s roughly seven… Read more »

In Favor of a Full Bush: Why I Want Healthcare Education to include Pubes

This past week, as a part of my first official semester in nursing school, I learned how to insert a urinary catheter. A urinary catheter is a tube that is inserted into the bladder via the urethra when the bladder does not empty pee as normal. My nursing class learned how to insert catheters into urethras that were located above adult vaginas. The whole process of learning how to insert a catheter began with reading about it, then watching a video on how to do it, and finally practicing on a mannequin that is supposed to simulate a real life adult human person. While I watched the catheter-insertion video and then later in lab while I readied my mannequin’s vagina for practice, I was perplexed. Why? Because both the mannequin… Read more »

Chubby Not Chastity: Guess What? I’m Fat and Want Plan B

During finals week this past April, I found myself slumped over a frequently dying PC, empty Starbucks double shots and a series of text messages about Plan B. My sole sexual partner at the time was trying to convince me that sex with condoms is lame and that au-naturale was the way to go. Now, of course the break from studying piqued my interest so I listened to his various arguments for why latex-less sex was what all the kids were doing. After a few misguided attempts to convince me, he offered up what I’m sure he saw as the winning argument: “how about I buy you Plan B afterwards.”   There it was, the end all, be all of preventative methods. Except there was one flaw with this holy… Read more »

Perspective: It’s Time to Allow Foreign Doctors to Provide Care

Though many religious leaders say it is not required given the circumstances, diabetic and pregnant Muslims often try to celebrate Ramadan with both fasting and prayer. This practice requires the supervision and care of a culturally-competent doctor who understands both the medical issues that could spring up from fasting as a diabetic or mother-to-be, but also one who understands the cultural significance of the holiday. Culturally-competent doctors can be hard to come by in the United States; many medical students have only just begun to be assigned textbooks on the subject of treating those from foreign cultures. So why, then, is it so difficult for doctors from foreign countries to get certified in the United States? According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are now nearly 42 million immigrants living the United… Read more »

States are Continually Attacking Abortion Access

Since Texas’s anti-abortion bill, HB2 made it to the Supreme Court, many other states have followed suit with similar anti-choice legislation. Louisiana has recently tried enforcing legislation from a 2014 clinic regulation law that would close all but 1 of the abortion-providing clinics in the state. However, the Supreme Court blocked the law until the courts reach a decision about HB2. Although some clinics have already had to cease operation due to this law. On March 2nd, Oklahoma joined in on the frenzy and passed a bill that would require anti-abortion curriculum to be taught at all of the state’s public high schools. This goes beyond abstinence-only education, and goes as far as asserting the “evils” of abortion. It’s important to note that Oklahoma doesn’t have any sort of required… Read more »

Kansas Gambles with Tax Money to Punish Planned Parenthood

For a state that is struggling with a historically significant budget crisis, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and his supporters in the legislature sure do know how to gamble tax dollars on actions and legislation that are federally prohibited. In his state address last week, Governor Brownback announced that he was going to follow through on his promise to remove Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (PPKM). According to his letter to the Kansas Secretary of Health and Environment, Governor Brownback’s direction to end Medicare funding to PPKM was “based on their affiliation with the national Planned Parenthood Federation of America and other information provided by [the department].” While the letter is vague in what exactly that information was, it is presumed that the information was that the… Read more »

Reproductive Justice and the Right to Die

One of the greatest achievements of the reproductive justice movement is the considerable work that has been done to weave the injustices faced by poor women seeking an abortion and the police violence that black folks face together into a coherent critique of structural violence. Recognizing that marginalized communities must stand together when calling for the right to live a life free of violence and full of love is powerful. Despite this far-reaching agenda, considerable silence still surrounds our final phase of life. If the goal of the reproductive justice movement is life on our own terms, then we need to embrace the uncomfortable truth that death will always lurk on the other side. This means that the reproductive justice community must engage with the grim reality that just as… Read more »

The Importance of Planned Parenthood in a College Community

As a college student, living paycheck-to-paycheck, I understand the importance of affordable healthcare. I am lucky enough to still be on my parent’s health insurance which covers my current method of birth control. I am privileged beyond compare by this alone, but not everyone is so lucky. College is a time specifically known for growth and struggle. I mean, we hear people constantly referring to life in college revolving around being able to afford nothing but ramen noodles and cereal for dinner every night. It’s no surprise that if college aged students can barely afford their meals, that they probably struggle with paying for their medical needs as well. This is what Planned Parenthood is here for. Planned Parenthood works towards offering healthcare to those without insurance, to those who… Read more »